In mid-1959, Fender introduced lavishly appointed new versions of its original solidbodies — the Telecaster and Esquire. The models were named “Custom Telecaster” and “Custom Esquire” (perhaps influenced by Gibson’s Les Paul Custom). These guitars retained the basic characteristics and functions of the standard versions while showing a polished, classy new look.

This month’s guitar has the classic appointments of a late 1959 Custom Telecaster, which include an alder body finished in 3- color sunburst, white binding around the top and back, a three-ply greenish pickguard, and a gold Fender logo with “Custom Telecaster” written below. The rest of the features match those of a standard late-1959 Telecaster: a “slab board” rosewood fingerboard with clay dots, a slim neck profile, and single line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines.

Unlike many other late-fifties Fenders finished in three-color sunburst, this guitar has retained most of the red tint originally applied. The unstable red stain used by Fender at that time would often fade when exposed to sunlight, leaving only the black and yellow parts of the sunburst. Evidence of some fading on this example can be seen in the three dark rectangles on the upper bout. As was customary at the time, the original owner had his initials stuck to the guitar with mailbox letters, shielding those areas from light for more than three decades.

One of the best sources for detailed information on most kinds of Teles isThe Fender Telecasterby A.R. Duchossoir.

Dave''s Guitar Shop
Daves Roger’s Collection Is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally
All photos credit Tim Mullally
Dave’s Collection is on dispay at:
Dave''s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601