Wednesday, March 26, 2008
'72 Reissue Telecaster Thinline Daphne Blue
This is the guitar I thought I always wanted. Maybe I should end the story with just that one line. It says a lot, especially given the theme of this site. You already know I don't own it any longer. So, if it's the guitar I thought I always wanted, why is it a goner?
I should start with why it's the guitar I always wanted. First and foremost I'm a Tele guy. I've always loved Telecasters. My first decent electric was a Tele, bought in Tulsa, OK from Larry Briggs before he became the "Texas Guitar Shows" guy. He used to have a little dirty, musty smelling guitar store called Strings West that I used to go wander around in and just marvel at what was stacked up on top of each other and crammed into corners and hidden behind other weird stuff. There was actually a pawn shop next door that specialized in guitar gear too, but when it came time to buy a guitar, I went to see Larry. I picked out a MINT 1974 Telecaster that was see through yellowish blonde with a white pick guard. After handing me the guitar the phone rang. Larry sat on the phone with the customer the whole time I was deciding whether or not to pay $400 for the guitar. I finally nodded to him, indicating I'd take it. He turned back to the phone and said, "Well, he's going to buy it. I'll keep my eye out for another one. Thanks Billy." Turns out it was Billy Squier on the phone. Thus began my long love affair with Telecasters.
Somewhere along the line, once I moved to San Diego way back in 1987, I ended up in a little shop that was attached to a rehearsal studio complex.
The guy had some great guitars and many years later we found out that about 95% of them were stolen.
He was taking them in for repairs at another location and them selling them at this other shop. Anyway, one night he had an early '70s sunburst Telecaster Thinline with the white mother of pearl pickguard. I messed around with that guitar for a long time and ended up with a thing for Thinlines. I just love the F-hole and it kind of fit right in with a sort of western aesthetic that I like in guitars.
Over time I also became a big fan of the Fender custom color Sonic Blue. So, fast forward to about 2002, and Fender announces a limited edition of custom color '69 and '72 Reissue Thinlines to be made in Mexico. There was a Daphne Blue, Lake Placid Blue, Candy Apple Red, Surf Green and Shell Pink. Well, Daphne Blue is really close to Sonic Blue and I figured this was as close as I was going to get. Most people wouldn't know the difference anyway...I mean how many people you work with would know the difference between Sonic Blue and Daphne Blue or would even know what the hell you're talking about at all. You guitar weirdo freak.
So, I buy the guitar off a guy on eBay and it's supposedly new and mint. It arrived packed fairly well in the gig bag it's supposed to come with. I pull the guitar out and there are two large chips in the back of the guitar. Inside the gig bag are two large chips of paint. Like puzzle pieces. I emailed the guy and he had no explanation...and no offer of a refund. What I learned by examining those chips is how THICK the paint job was on this guitar. It also seemed really heavy for a Thinline. I've owned a few previously, including a '74 natural wood with two humbuckers and a '71 custom color black with standard single coils (MAN! I wish I had that one back). So, I know when a Thinline feels heavy. It was one of those guitars you just never connect with and you know is doomed from the start. It also really made me think twice (but not three times) about buying guitars on eBay...guitars you can't hold in your hands and play and fall in love with or know that they are heavy and thick painted and sound marginal at best.
I hung onto it for as long as I could. But eventually reality set in that ignoring this guitar was not going to make it sound or feel any better. I finally took the photos you see here and listed it back on eBay and sold it for about what I paid. It's not a guitar I wish I had back, but I do think it would be nice to have a good Sonic Blue Telecaster Thinline...made in the custom shop with maybe a light relic to it. Now that would be nice.