Do not adjust your sets, its a 1969 fender Rosewood Telecaster and an original one to boot..!
The last time we have one of these was over 5 years ago and we do not think you will fine very many for sale in the UK (or Europe) right now.
More popular than you know who, the Rickenbacker/Gretsch toting boys from Liverpool had eluded the advances of Fender and Don Randall who was clearly keen to sign up the fab four to the big F. Following failed attempts, Don setup a meeting with them at Apple HQ during the summer of 1968 and sealled a deal to supply them with a raft of Fender equipment, including a certain all Rosewood Telecaster for George.
Two prototypes were designed and built by Roger Rossmeisl (who’s fertile mind also gave us the Thinline Telecaster) and Philip Kubicki, the best one being shipped to Harrison. The original run of production guitars were constructed from a sandwich of solid rosewood and maple and was used by George for the Get Back sessions as well as the Let it Be film and famous rooftop performance. An iconic instrument was born
This guitar is in great shape. The clear poly finish showcases superbly the grain of the rosewood and though it shows some signs of knocks around the edges, this doesn’t detract from the overall look. The back in addition has a mark underneath the neck plate that could be from resting on something in the case.
The one piece neck is in equally stunning shape, the maple strip with rosewood makes for a nice juxtaposition. The simple Fender logo on the headstock looks good too, closer to the spaghetti style of the pre-CBS logo. The fret board is in good condition and frets, though a little worn, have plenty of life left in them. The guitar has had a different set of tuners at some stage, but visible holes are thankfully kept to a bare minimum (see pics). As a result the holes were enlarged slightly. When we received the guitar it was fitted with some reproduction ‘F style’ tuners though we have subsequently fitted some correct ones with the correct size ferrules.
The plastics are in good condition. Again, this was corrected as the pickguard fitted had been modified by a previous owner so the neck pickup was mounted to it. It transpires this was due to the original mounting screw breaking off in the body, rosewood is quite a hardwood after all.
The hardware is in good shape, some signs of wear but nothing too extensive.
Electrically everything seems to be correct with possibly the solder on the back of the volume pot having been reflowed at some point. Interestingly, the hook up wires on the bridge pickup are both yellow which was a feature of this year. You’ll also notice from the pictures that the pot dates are week 34th week of 1966, just like most, if not all Teleasters up until around 1970 due to Fenders large purchase of pots in 1966.
The guitar comes with its correct black Tolex hardshell case.
Sonically we are definitely in tele-country. Rosewood seems to have quite a maple quality to it and the neck feels very solid. This yields a bright acoustic tone. Plugged in, the fun really starts. The bridge pickup twangs without being too harsh, undoubtedly helped by the lower value pots. The neck pickup has that warmth that helps balance the instrument. The middle position is just the icing on the cake. The weight relieving helps make the guitar more manageable.
This is a must for any Harrison fans or anyone looking for their favourite instrument in a different flavour. Don’t let it slip away.