Every guitarist has that one special guitar that they wished they had back. It might be because it was a sentimental gift, maybe it was sold to pay the bills, or maybe you just didn't realize how much you loved that guitar until it was gone. These are the stories of the ones that got away. Most of them are my own stories, but send me your stories as well and they just might get published here.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Fender Nashville Telecaster 2008 Honey Blonde
It's just me, but even though I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Telecaster guy, I just can't seem to fall in love with these Nashville Teles. They're really nice and, some would argue, more versatile due to the extra Strat pick-up in the middle. But to me, a Tele has two pickups. End of story. Well, I guess not really the end of the story, or else Fender wouldn't be making them. But whenever I find a good deal on one and pick it up thinking maybe I'll keep it, it's not long before it's for sale on Craigslist or Ebay.
This one was manufactured in the Fender Mexico factory in 2008. I have come to the conclusion that, unless you just really have some personal reason, there is no reason not to buy a MIM Fender guitar. My friend O, who is better known as a founding member of legendary San Diego bands Olive Lawn, fluf, Reeve Oliver, The Make-Up Sex and now #Octagrape...and also known as the guitar tech for J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. ...and also known as a legendary skateboard photographer...and on and on, says this: "You can buy a Fender made by Mexicans down in Mexico, or you can buy one made by Mexicans in California. Either way, it's the same machines, the same specs and the same guitars." And he says that lovingly...he's the most die hard Fender guy I've ever known and was sponsored by Fender at one point.
I found it in a pawn shop down in Chula Vista, CA, right down by the Mexican border. My son and I were killing a few minutes after his soccer game and I spotted a pawn shop. This always elicits a groan from my kids, until I explain that this is how we get to buy nice soccer shoes and dance lessons. We walked into the shop and there weren't any instruments to be seen. I started to turn around to leave, but the owner asked if he could help me. I explained that I was looking for guitars, and since he didn't seem to have any, I'd be on my way. He asked, "What kind of guitar are you looking for?" I said maybe Gibson or Fender or anything interesting. He brought out a cool old Gibson solidbody from the late '60s with some kind of weird sparkle finish. It was out of my price range. I asked if he had any Telecasters and he said, "Sure. I have one," and he brought out this Nashville model.
I unzipped the grungy crusty gig bag it was in with low hopes. But low and behold, once I took out the guitar, it was pretty nice! It had a couple of dings and one of the knobs was loose, but those are just bargaining chips. The strings were old and useless and you could tell he just wanted to sell it. I asked how much and he said $300. I put it back in the bag and told him it was quite a bit more than I wanted to spend today. Heck, I wasn't even looking to buy a guitar...we were just killing time after the soccer game. He asked how much I would spend and I blurted out "$200 cash out the door." I wasn't expecting him to accept but he said, "SOLD!" Oh. Okay. I guess I better look this thing over again real quick. I barely gave it the once over. Everything looked solid, so I ran across the street to the Mexican grocery store (lots of Mexico references in this story), and used their rickety ATM machine with the $3.50 surcharge.
I got the guitar home, cleaned it all up, tightened some screws, put new strings on it, plugged it in and...boom...nice guitar! Like I mentioned at the beginning, I get these Nashville model Teles and it doesn't take long to list them and sell them. I briefly tried to talk myself into keeping this one. It's nice. The honey blonde finish is gorgeous and the tortoise pickguard looks great with the honey blonde. The Fender Tex-Mex Strat pickup in the middle sounds good mixed with the two Tex-Mex Tele pickups. It has a nice maple neck and an alder body. And as much as I like tradition, the six-saddle bridge does work better than those three barrels. You know what I'm saying.
I listed it on Craigslist and it wasn't long before I flipped it for $300. Not a huge profit, but $100 buys some nice soccer shoes for a 10-year old. Nothing wrong with that.