Francis Rossi: “You really need to be a s**t-hot player to make a Telecaster sound good. Particularly when playing lead”

Francis Rossi
(Image credit: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images)

We can’t talk about the Fender Telecaster and its relationship with rock guitar without speaking to Francis Rossi. The Status Quo guitarist is synonymous with the Leo Fender-designed workhorse. Who better to go deeper and down into its appeal?

And yet, as Rossi explains here, maybe not. Rossi loves the Tele. He has stuck with it through thick and thin. But he’s no purist. Here he explains why he has no time for the purist sensibility, why he put a tune-o-matic on his, and decided that Lace Sensor were the aftermarket electric guitar pickups he needed to augment his sound.

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.

With contributions from