Browse Dave’s Collection

“Welcome to the guitar collection. On the second floor of our store we have on display over 300 guitars and more than 50 amps that I’ve accumulated over the years. The friends and customers that have visited us seem to really appreciate being able to view this, so we thought we would share it with our online friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts as well. Enjoy!”

- Dave Rogers

The items in Dave’s Collection are not available for purchase.
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Fender Stratocaster, '57

Sunburst, Serial # -17439.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '57

Taos Turquoise, Serial # -20869.

A very rare to ever see Custom Colors from the 50's. There were very few of these that were done in this color to match the automobile colors that were coming out of Detroit at that time. Check out the Desert Sand base coat!

 

I bought this one from a PA store in Iowa after my good friend John Riniker passed on it. He was kind enough to swing it my way. Can you believe that this guitar was traded in for a set of horns? This is the guitar that I have owned for the longest time in the collection.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '58

Sunburst, Serial # 024384.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '58

Blonde, Serial # 36315.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '58

Sunburst, Serial # 026665.

The space age looking maple neck Stratocaster was favored by many innovative rockers of the 1950s era, including Buddy Holly, Johnny Meeks (of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps), and Ike Turner. It went through a few minor changes from the time of its debut in 1954, to mid-1959 when the one-piece maple neck was discontinued in favor of a maple neck with a separate rosewood fingerboard. The body was originally ash with a black to see-through yellow sunburst. The standard body material was changed to alder in mid-1956 (ash was retained for custom color blonde Strats). The sunburst color remained the same until early 1958 when red was added in between the black and yellow. This guitar shows a good example of a non-faded 1958 3-color sunburst.

The neck shape of the Stratocaster also changed subtly between 1954 and 1959. The big “U” shape neck profile gradually changed to a “V” shape around 1956. By the time this example was made in 1958, neck profiles were a slim “C” shape.

Diabolical guitar virtuoso Greg Koch brought this very guitar out of retirement for the recent recording of the companion CD to the New Fender amp book. He picked it to represent the archetypal “Strat” sound over five other vintage maple neck models in the collection. He used this Strat to record through dozens of Fender amps for the upcoming CD. We were honored to have him here and to have the guitars & amps from our collection used for the project. We’ve had this one in the collection for at least 10 years and none of us can remember where we got it from! 

 

Fender Stratocaster, '59

Sunburst, Serial # 38098.

In 1959 the Fender electric guitar line was revamped to include rosewood fingerboards attached to the one-piece maple necks. Rosewood fingerboards were standard on most other brands, and were thought to give Fender’s space-age oddities a more traditional “classy” look.

This Strat, with a neck date of 7/59, is one of the rare transition models with combined features of the maple board and rosewood board eras. Like the maple neck Strats of ’58, it has a 3-color sunburst finish with a single ply pickguard (instead of the 3-ply guards seen on most rosewood board Strats). The pickguard has 10 screws instead of the 11 that would soon be seen on the 3-ply guards. The fingerboard is the thick rosewood “slab” that would be used until 1962. This guitar is also a non-trem “hardtail” which makes it even rarer (but not necessarily more desirable).

 

Dave’s notes: “After telling me for years that he had this especially rare Stratocaster belonging right in the middle of my collection, my friend Jack Stowe finally brought it up to La Crosse. We made a deal to put it on my wall.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '59

Sunburst, Serial # 43228.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '68

Firemist Gold, Serial # 103581.

This guitar was rescued a number of years back. This Strat was actually out for sale in the shop as a refin and tagged accordingly. Dave and Steve Paetow were at the shop on a Saturday afternoon and they were looking at this guitar. They noticed what appeared to be gold under the refin and brought it to my attention. They had suggested trying to remove the white finish to see what was underneath. Now obviously they could have not said a word and bought the guitar at a bargain price and done the work themselves, but they were way too honest to even consider such a thing. The job wasn't fun, but our friend and employee at the time Dave Reinders, painstakingly wet sanded the white finish off to reveal the original Firemist Gold that was underneath, and it ended up turning out pretty good considering. Also, please notice the missing string tree. It came from the factory this way. Nice guitar, and it is nice to see a rare custom color brought back to life.

 

Fender Telecaster, ’78

Antigua, Serial # S835555. Leo Fender’s pioneering work in the 1950s led to the creation of several classic guitars and amps, including the archetypal Telecaster and Stratocaster. These guitars continued evolving along with the growing company, even through its sale to the Columbia Broadcasting System – CBS in 1965.   After the sale to CBS, players noticed a gradual drop in quality of the instruments (especially noticeable starting at the end of the 1960s).  There were loose neck pockets, 3-bolt necks, and “Thick Skin” polyester finishes (durable, but detrimental to a guitar’s tone). There were still some interesting creative ideas, like the new Telecaster Custom (with neck humbucker) and the Telecaster Deluxe (two humbuckers).  One inspiration involved the revival of the Antigua finish as a Custom Color in 1977.   The Antigua finish had been introduced ten years earlier for the Coronado (Fender’s attempt at a Gibson ES-335 style semi-hollow guitar).  Fender had some difficulty applying the binding to these guitars, and often scorch marks and burns appeared in the wood. The Antigua sunburst with darker grey edges effectively covered up the blemishes. The re-introduction of the color in 1977 was entirely for visual allure. The guitars receiving the Antigua treatment were the regular Tele and Strat, the Telecaster Custom and Deluxe, the Mustang, the Jazz Bass, Precision Bass, and Mustang Bass.
 

Fender Rosewood Telecaster, '71

Serial # 346098.

It is widely accepted that the quality of Fender instruments suffered a gradual decline after the CBS buyout of 1965. While this is true, the early CBS period of the mid to late 1960s was also a time of great creativity. The recipient of much of this energy was none other than Fender’s original solidbody: the Telecaster.

 

No fewer than four new versions of the Telecaster were added to the Fender line in the late sixties, including the Paisley and Blue Floral Teles, inspired by the psychedelic scene popular at the time. German master builder Roger Rossmeisl designed the other two Tele innovations: the Thinline Telecaster, and the Rosewood Telecaster. Rossmeisl, who had been responsible for the unique and enduring Rickenbacker electric guitar line of the late fifties, was hired away from Rickenbacker in 1962 by Leo Fender to be in charge of designing Fender’s new acoustic guitars and archtop electrics.

 

The first Rosewood Telecaster was a gift to Beatle George Harrison for use in the movie ‘Let It Be’.  Rossmeisl and Phillip Kubicki (employed by Fender at the time) made two prototypes and chose the best for Harrison. The guitar body was made with a thin layer of maple sandwiched between a solid rosewood back and top. The rosewood neck had a separate rosewood fingerboard glued on. The whole guitar had a special satin polyurethane finish (for more info read “Beatles Gear” by Andy Babiuk).

 

The Rosewood Telecaster was added to the regular production line in 1969 at $375. Production models differed from George’s slightly. They were made with a one-piece rosewood neck, and had gloss polyurethane finishes. While early examples were

solid, like George’s, the guitars were eventually lightened by hollowing out the two body halves.

 

Large numbers of Rosewood Teles were never produced, and by 1972 it was discontinued. Fender Japan reissued the guitar in the eighties, and the Fender Custom Shop makes occasional runs today (for more info read “The Fender Telecaster” by A.R. Duchossoir).

 

There are a couple of DVDs available if you’d like to see and hear Rosewood Teles in action. The first is ‘Let It Be’ showing the Beatles recording and playing live. The second is ‘Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story’. ‘Respect Yourself’ includes footage of Booker T. and the MGs playing live in 1970. Steve Cropper wields a beautiful Rosewood Tele while wearing a matching brown corduroy suit.

 

Fender Telecaster, '66

Blond, Serial # 168060.

 

Fender Nocaster, '51

Blonde, Serial # 0390.

 

Fender Esquire, '52

Blonde, Serial # 2580.

This one is nice and clean. There is just a hint of fingerboard wear. I purchased this one back during the days when an Esquire was still selling for less than $1000.

 

Fender Esquire, '68

Blond, Serial # 236389.

 

Fender Telecaster Thinline, '68

Natural, Serial # 230818.

 

Fender Telecaster Thinline, '68

Sunburst, Serial # 241136.

 

Fender Telecaster, '67

Blond, Serial # 205513, Neck Date September '67.

In the summer of 1967, Fender experimented with ways to make a Telecaster lighter. Large cavities were routed underneath the pickguard to lighten the guitar without changing the way it looked. These are unofficially known as "Smuggler's Tellies".

 

Fender Esquire, '53

Blonde, Serial # 3032.

 

Fender Telecaster, ’53

Blonde, Serial # 4123. This one was acquired in a trade deal with Larry Hendrickson back around 1980. I have to say that this is one of my favorite Teles. In the late 1940’s, Leo Fender began work on a no-nonsense solid body electric guitar. The result, introduced in the fall of 1950, was the Broadcaster.  Production continued through a name change in late 1951 (the name conflicted with Gretsch’s Boadkaster drum set) and factory relocation in 1953. For many, a 1953 “Blackguard” Telecaster is considered the Holy Grail of all Teles. Whether it’s because more were made than in the previous years due to the new factory’s increased production capabilities, or because three years had been spent perfecting building techniques, a large number of legendary Tele artists were known to favor ‘53s.  Some of the most famous of these players include James Burton, Roy Buchanan, and Danny Gatton.   The well worn 1953 Telecaster pictured has the classic features most often associated with that year, including a one-piece bolt-on maple neck, a round string tree on the headstock (rectangular by ’56), an ash body with see-through butterscotch blonde finish (after the mid-fifties, the blonde finish became whiter and eventually more opaque), a black Bakelite pickguard (changed to white in late ’54), the serial number on the bridge plate (moved to neck plate by late ’54), outer brass bridge saddles that were notched on the bottom allowing for lower saddle adjustment, and a bridge pickup with flush level pole pieces (staggered by the end of ’55).
 

Fender Telecaster, '68

Black, Serial # 222373, Neck Date July 1968.

 

Fender Telecaster Thinline, '71

Black, Serial # 319156.

 

Fender Telecaster Thinline, '73

Black, Serial # 526177.

 

Fender Telecaster, '67

Sunburst, Serial # 206721, Neck Date October 1967.

 

Fender Telecaster, '53

Blonde, Serial # 4238.

This is really one of the cleanest black guard Telecasters that I have ever seen! I remember having to pay $10,000 for it many years ago. At the time that was well above the going rate for these. I have never regretted this purchase.

 

Fender Stratocaster, '65

Lake Placid Blue, Serial # L59451.

 

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