Top Navigation

Rosewood Telecaster, '71

346098_logo
346098_logo346098_logo

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.

Recent News

Sean Jordan
August 25, 2015 by Justin Zeman Sean Jordan

Sean Jordan was in the shop last week and we talked him into doing a quick video for us. He just graduated high school and is heading out to Berklee… READ MORE

Blog

  • simo
    JD Simo Visit
    August 17, 2015 by Justin Zeman

    JD Simo was out on the road and dropped in to say hello. He played a little for us on Dave’s 1959 Les Paul Burst. Enjoy!

  • DGS017
    DGS Shop Tour
    June 17, 2015 by Tylor

    Our Friends over at Premier Guitar came through and did a really great tour of our shop. Make sure you check it out!

  • DGS012
    Blues Day at DGS
    by Tylor

    We had a little fun Yesterday afternoon and got our Blues Face on. Enjoy!

Create a new list