You’re not ready for these Teles: meet the rarest Fender Telecasters ever built

1964 Fender ‘Sparkle’ Telecaster
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Ask a guitarist what electric they’d choose if they could only have one guitar to cover all gigs and there’s a fair chance that they’ll say ‘Telecaster’. It’s ironic that the simplest of Leo Fender’s solidbody electrics has also proven to be the most adaptable. 

Though if we trace its evolution back a little further to the Broadcaster and Esquire that preceded it, we discover that it became simple by design – because in some ways the earliest prototype guitars were more complex than the classic Tele we know today. 

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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.