Saturday, January 10, 2009

1983 Squier Telecaster and my Partscaster

I have been borrowing a friends Made in Japan Squier Telecaster. This guitar is fantastic, and has the best tone of any Tele I have ever played. I do not know why it sounds so good, as this guitar was designed to compete with the Tokai, Fernandes and Ibanez copies that were cutting into Fenders market. These Squiers, especially the ones with the JV and SQ serial numbers, are very popular in the collectors market, with prices going up to $500. Not bad for a guitar that probably cost a $200. This Telecaster, with the SQ serial number, is modeled after a vintage 50's era Tele. I have played the Squiers that were made after the 70's-era Fenders, with the three hole neck plate and top loading strings. They were nice, but not like this one.

This video took me at least 15 takes! I never did get it perfect, and had problems hearing the backing track. But what the heck... it was fun to do and I just like playing this guitar.

I just finished routing out the wood on this partscaster. I bought the body a few years back, and just got around to doing the work on it.

I wanted to assemble and test it before I committed to buying the parts so I took apart my Fender Standard Telecaster, transfered over the parts and wired it all up. The two piece ash body sounds excellent, with better tone than the alder Fender body. I am going to take it apart in the spring, and finish the body in a butterscotch or amber color, like the Fenders of the 1950's. I will eventually buy the rest of the parts, and hope to have it all done by the end of the year.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac

I am not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. But I sure enjoy the first incarnation of the the band. Most people probably know the most successful line up of the band, with Lindsey Buckingham and Steve Nicks. However, the band started in 1967 when guitarist Peter Green did a recording session and called the band Fleetwood Mac. He was the guitarist in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, replacing Eric Clapton. Also in the band was John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. McVie refused to join the new band at first, even if his name was part of the bands name. He liked the steady paycheck of the Bluesbreakers.

Once he joined, the band added Jeremy Spencer on lead guitar and vocals, and the band set out to spread the blues gospel around the world. Danny Kirwan was added as another guitarist, giving the band the a rare three lead guitar line up. The hit "Albatross" set the band to the top of the charts, and an American tour followed.

The troubles that set in at this point are legendary. Jeremy Spencer took off in Los Angeles, and never came back, joining a cult. Peter Green went into a journey fueled by LSD and other drugs.

The point of this post is the share with all of you a wonderful 12 part series I watched this weekend on YouTube. This show documents the rise and fall of Peter Green, who is even today a highly influential guitarist. It is a miracle he is still with us and making music. He is not the guitarist he used to be, but that is ok. He is still important.

A sidenote: in the early 1970's, Peter gave away or sold most of his possessions, including a sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul, with the famous neck pickup modification (turned around upside down, contributing to his trademark tone). The guitar ended up with guitarist Gary Moore for many years, until he sold it a few years back. The guitar is currently for sale for $2 million. The guitar has been making the rounds at guitar shows for years and has been played by many guitarists. What a great, and expensive, piece of music history.