Vintage Vibes: 1970 Fender Rosewood Telecaster

VINTAGE VIBES: 1970 Fender Rosewood Telecaster

Shelby says there's something in the way this 1970 Rosewood Fender Telecaster moves. Most commonly associated with George Harrison of The Beatles and Traveling Wilburys fame, the Rosewood Telecaster was designed for Fender in the 1960s by former Rickenbacker luthier Roger Rossmeisl. This 1970 model differs from the original Rossmeisl prototype Fender gave Harrison in that this body is two pieces of rosewood bound together, whereas Harrison's was solid rosewood. But you'll see it weeps just as gently, if not more so. Don't let us down, Shelby.

Shelby Describes the 1970 Fender Rosewood Telecaster

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The Rosewood Telecaster became synonymous with one iconic guitar artist, a gentleman by the name of George Harrison from a band called The Beatles. If you don't know who the Beatles are, stop watching this video. Look that up, then come back.

The Rosewood Telecaster was designed by Roger Ross Maisel, who started his career with Rickenbacker and moved to Fender in the mid-'60s. The Beatles began their career playing Rickenbackers, so when Fender gave the prototype to George Harrison, they gave him a guitar that was designed by the very same man. A fitting end as George decided to play it in their last public performance on The Abbey Road Studio rooftop in 1969.

The original version of this guitar is quite heavy because rosewood is an incredibly dense wood. So what they did for this 1970 Rosewood Telecaster is swap the solid body for two pieces of rosewood sandwiched together, giving this '70 model a lighter, chambered body.

Fender produced the Rosewood Telecaster from 1968 to 1972, but it's unclear how many. They were never very popular. It's only in retrospect that these have become a coveted piece of history.

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