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Telecaster (Fred Stuart & Gene Parsons B & G Bender) with Roland compatible Synth output Guitars

1991 Fender Telecaster (Fred Stuart & Gene Parsons B & G Bender) with Roland compatible Synth output

Color: Black with red paisley design, Rating: 9.25, $12,500.00 (ID# 02199)
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"The Cowboy Pimp Mobile"
One of the Original 1991 Prototype Variations for the James Burton Signature Telecaster built by Fred Stuart

 

1991 Fender Telecaster (Fred Stuart & Gene Parsons B & G Bender) with Roland compatible Synth output

This 'unique' guitar started out in 1991 as a prototype for the James Burton signature Telecaster and was one of approximately six-to-eight variations of the paisley design by Jim Cruikshank. The guitar weighs 9.10 lbs. and has a solid alder body specially finished in black with a custom red paisley design. One-piece maple-cap neck with a nut width of just over 1 5/8 inches, a scale length of 25 1/2 inches, and a wonderful medium-to-thick profile rising from 0.87 behind the nut to 0.93 behind the twelfth fret. Maple-cap fretboard with 21 original medium jumbo frets and black dot position markers. Headstock decal with "Fender" in gold with black trim, "Telecaster" and two Patent numbers "2,573,254.  3,143,028" in black below. Three individual Fender [Kluson Deluxe] tuners with oval metal buttons and three Scruggs tuners with 'squared' oval pearloid buttons (High E, A, and low E). Single 'butterfly' string tree. Small oval decal on back of headstock with "Custom Built / Fred Stuart / Fender USA" in gold. Four-bolt neck plate with "Custom Shop USA" stamped in the center. Fred Stuart single-coil 'Tele' pickup in the neck position with an output of 8.32k. Fred Stuart "George Fullerton Magnacoil" black six-polepiece pickup angled in bridgeplate with an output of 3.05k. RMC Piezo 'acoustic sound' system installed in bride with separate Roland compatible 13-pin output socket on black metal plate next to regular jack output. Single-ply tortoiseshell pickguard with beveled edges and nine screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus four-way "pickup selector" switch with "Circular" tip, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. Specific shape black plastic control knobs with ribbed sides and transparent red switch-tip + two specific shape transparent red plastic control knobs and two micro-switches on adjoining metal control plate. Specific bridge assembly with six individually adjustable brass saddles, specific tailpiece for Parsons/White B & G Bender. Custom "Fender 'B' & 'G' Parsons/White String Bender system fitted to back of body. This guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition. Housed in the original Fender four-latch, faux-aligator 'thermometer case' with red plush lining (9.25). Included is a letter of authenticity from Fred Stuart, his original black leather guitar strap and a Roland GR-33 Guitar Synthesizer with cables, and four color photographs of Fred using the guitar live on stage.

"Fred Stuart knows guitars. He has played them most of his life, has a collection that fills several garages, and hand builds them for customers worldwide. Fred learned much of his trade at Fender, the legendary brand that has provided guitars to the world’s best known musicians, but he’s perfected his art form on his own. “I’m obsessive about materials,” he told us. “You can’t build a great guitar unless you start with great materials. A lot of the big companies are all about cost control and some accountant making decisions. But when you only use the best, you end up with an exceptional product, and the customers are willing to pay for it.“ Fred uses Makita saws, routers and drills in his workshop. “Makita tools are amazing quality. They’re incredibly well engineered and built to last. The precision is perfect, which is important when I’m working on a guitar worth thousands of dollars.”  Art, inspiration, music and craftsmanship all come together in Fred Stuart’s shop. Makita just helps make the tune a little sweeter." (courtesy of Virtual Vintage Guitars).

"Twang!… That says it all for me! My earliest recollections of music are some of the old hillbilly artists from the mid-fifties. When I found out that the best sounds were being made on Telecasters, I was irrevocably converted. Being a part of the process of carrying on the tradition is no less than an honor and a privilege."

Fred designed and built many memorable guitars during his tenure at the Fender Custom Shop. A few notable ones include: The Egyptian Tele (pp. 44/45); The Danny Gatton Doubleneck (pp. 70/71); The Aztec-Mayan Tele (pp. 78/79); The Buck Owens Tele (pp. 94/95); The Double Bender Tele (pp. 100/101); The Horseshoe Tele (pp. 114/115); The Celtic Tele (pp. 116/117); La Riata Tele (pp. 120/121); The Deco-Pearl Danny Gatton Tele (pp. 130/131); The Checkerboard Bajo Sexto Tele (pp. 134/135); The Velvet Elvis Tel (pp. 136/137), and the 50th Anniversary Guitar and Amp Set (pp. 138/139).

"This guitar started out in 1991 as a prototype for the James Burton signature Telecaster, and was one of approximately 6-8 variations of the paisley design by Jim Cruikshank, and was given to me by Doug Mills, who was the manager of U.S. production at the time. I was working at that point on reproducing the round laminated maple cap necks from the early 1960s, and I put one of them, with three Scruggs tuners on the body to sort of field test it. I was working around the same time on a project involving the Parsons/White B-bender, and Gene Parsons installed the B-bender as an example of the installation process. Later (I can't recall the exact date) he installed the G-bender for the same purpose. During this time frame Fender was also looking into a piezo bridge pick-up system for the Telecaster to get an "acoustic" sound. Although they ended up using the Fishman system, we also tried out the RMC system which also included a synth function, so I installed one on this guitars and field tested it. I've used this guitar over the years to try out pick-ups, and it has had several variations in its life. The current set-up is a prototype that I've worked up from a design by George Fullerton, in conjunction with his family It's a pick-up that George called the "Magnacoil".

The guitar features are;
3 Scruggs tuners on low "E", "A" and high "E" strings
A Parsons/White B-Bender
A Parsons/White G-Bender
An RMC Piezo bridge pick-up system, with a Roland compatible Synth output.

I played this guitar for many years, as I've been a semi pro musician for most of my adult life. It served me
very well, I could get electric, and acoustic guitar sounds as well as keyboard sounds, using the synth, and it was always one of my favorites. Because it has so many modifications, and functions, I had a nick-name for it, and used to call it "the cowboy pimp mobile". I hope it continues to make great music and bring joy wherever it goes for generations to come." (Fred Stuart, January 2021).

Jim Cruikshank (1919-2007) was a commercial artist and the Vice President of Communications for Fender Musical Instruments Corp. He had a wonderful eye for design and was the guy that designed the "fish tail" or 'swoosh" on the letter "F" of the Fender logo. He was also the designer of the 'Paisley' finish on the aforementioned B & G Bender Telecaster…

James Edward Burton (born August 21, 1939, in Dubberly, Louisiana is an American guitarist. The original Telecaster master and still going strong, has influenced generations of rock guitar royalty with his perfectly phrased late-'50s/early'60s Tele work with Ricky Nelson, and later stints with Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris and many others., all of which has furthered his revered-statesman status. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001 (his induction speech was given by longtime fan Keith Richards), Burton has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Critic Mark Demming writes that "Burton has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest guitar pickers in either country or rock ... Burton is one of the best guitar players to ever touch a fretboard." He is ranked number 19 in Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Guitarists. Since the 1950s, Burton has recorded and performed with an array of singers, including Bob Luman, Dale Hawkins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley (and leader of Presley's TCB Band), The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Claude King, Elvis Costello, Joe Osborn, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Hoyt Axton, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Young, Vince Gill, and Suzi Quatro.

"The B-Bender is a mechanical device that raises the pitch of a Telecaster’s B string by a whole tone (up to C#), producing plaintive, sinuous bends very much like those produced on a pedal steel guitar. This is accomplished by spring-loaded levers inside the guitar’s body, which connect the bridge to the strap button on the upper bout. The strap button itself is attached to a lever that moves up and down about an inch. When you wear the guitar over your shoulder and you push the neck downward, the guitar strap pulls the strap button upward, activating the lever system and raising the pitch of the B string. The B-Bender was invented by two country-rock pioneers, guitarist Clarence White and multi-instrumentalist Gene Parsons, both of whom played in Nashville West and the Byrds, among other acts, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their device was called the Parsons/White Pull-String, and it was designed to fit White’s 1954 Telecaster (White was killed by a drunk driver in 1973; his guitar with the prototype bender mechanism is now owned by Marty Stuart, who has played it often). After licensing the Parsons/White Pull-String to another manufacturer in the early 1970s, Parsons renamed it the StringBender and began making and installing it himself in 1973. He produced hundreds of units over many years before partnering with California folk musician Meridian Green in 1989 to increase production. Parsons and Green eventually approached the Fender Custom Shop, resulting in the signature Clarence White Telecaster model, which was introduced in 1995 and featured the modified “Parsons-White B-Bender.” About 200 of these guitars were built through 2002. This guitar also has the added benefit of a G-bender system which works in a similar manner using the upper strap button.

If the whole concept of the B-Bender sounds a bit strange, keep in mind that you’ve very likely heard it before. You might not own a copy of the Byrds’ Live at the Fillmore: February 1969, which features Clarence White’s sterling use of the B-Bender, but you probably have heard “All My Love” by Led Zeppelin and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles, both of which feature a B-Bender. Other guitarists who have put a B-Bender to good use include James Hetfield (Metallica), Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and David Gilmour." (http://www.fender.com/news/index).

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