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© Harvey L. Silver/Corbis
Widely associated with Stratocasters during his tenure with The Band, Robbie Robertson cut his musical teeth on Telecasters.
During his early days in Ronnie Hawkins’s band (a time when he received priceless mentoring - nay, tutoring - from another Tele legend, Roy Buchanan), Robertson favored blonde models - although he switched back and forth freely between maple and rosewood necks.
While backing up Bob Dylan in the pre-Band band The Hawks - as seen in this great compilation clip from 1966 - he stuck to rosewood. Check out his playing - snaky, twangy licks, wrapping around the vocals like ivy on fence.
Robertson claims that his workhorse Band-era Tele was stolen, thus hastening his move to Stratocasters. Maybe it’s the one pictured here (he’s playing beside an Epiphone Riviera-toting Levon Helm), which sports a maple neck. Clearly, the man liked to keep his options open.