“It didn’t tick his boxes. It didn’t give him what he wanted”: Before Fender, Jeff Beck worked with Ibanez to create a wild Telecaster/Les Paul hybrid – this is the never-before-told story of the signature model that almost was

Jeff Beck and a picture of his Ibanez prototype signature guitar from the 1980s
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images / Nathan Hodgson)

Guitar folklore is filled with hypothetical “what ifs?” – the kinds of stories that give fans creative license to dream up wild alternate realities in which the face of the guitar world as we know it today would be completely unrecognizable.

Imagine, for instance that Jeff Beck partnered with Ibanez for a signature guitar. Madness, right? Except, unknown to many guitar fans, this particular “what if?” came close to actually happening.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.