“Back in March I took part in the Fender American Design Experience where I created a cool black Telecaster on their website. It was made up to my design spec on the website customizer but as a professional I usually ‘fine tune’ my guitars so the artisan guys at the Fender Custom Shop kindly did some fine tuning it for me.
If you imagine it’s a bit like taking a standard car and getting it souped up, so I sort of had it ‘Hot Rodded’ to my exact specifications. The Fender Custom shop is a really cool place and there’s about 15 guys and they do all the Fenders for the celebrities and bands for everyone from Eric Clapton Clapton to Pete Townshend to the Chilli Peppers to name just a few.”
Here I am at the Fender Custom Shop with Master Craftsman Dale Wilson explaining what changes I wanted to the pick-ups.
In this shot I’m focusing on the headstock and tuning pegs.
“After the fine tuning the guitar to my personal spec the Telecaster has become more of an ‘Esquire’ model (a ‘Tele’ without a neck pickup). I’ve always dug the minimalist thing of one pickup guitars in general… very punky rock n roll and quite the diametric opposite of my White Falcon obsession. In some ways I guess it balances my guitar locker.
Anyway as you can see from these photos below it’s been re-sprayed using a more vintage approach and slightly aged and has had the headstock painted. A Josephina Handwound Broadcaster Pickup has been added with a clever 3 way switch to give 3 tonal possibilities out of one pickup plus a lot of meat and power in two of the settings.
The bridge is a cut down version of a standard ‘Tele’ bridge that allows me to palm mute the strings (guitar geek alert ha,ha) better than the stock one. Dale replaced the neck completely with a master built custom shop one of exactly the same “profile” (that’s the shape and size of the back to the layman) and really hand finished the frets especially at the edges to make sure they are super smooth and “pro” level!!!!
Bingo there ya go my master built Fender ‘Esquire’….”
Billy Duffy Fender ‘Esquire’ Front
Billy Duffy Fender ‘Esquire’ Back
Billy Duffy Fender ‘Esquire’ Back of the headstock with the Custom Shop Logo and another shot of the front.
Billy Duffy – October 2014