Elvis Presley's 1968 Fender Telecaster rosewood prototype just went up for sale

Telecaster
(Image credit: Reverb)

In 1968 Fender built six rosewood Telecaster prototypes – and at least half of them went into the hands of legendary musicians. Now the first is up for sale, once owned by none other than Elvis Presley.

he guitar comes with a verification letter to prove it from Eddie Miller, who was the Fender rep in Nashville at the time. 

'The letter is dated September 16, 1969, and as you can read, it states that at the time, Nashville producer Scotty Turner was in possession of the guitar,' reads the description for the Tele's listing Reverb.com (opens in new tab)

Telecaster

(Image credit: Reverb)

'It was one of six prototypes, with this first exact guitar going to Elvis (one of the others went to George Harrison, another to Steve Cropper).' 

Factory production of the Rosewood Telecaster started in 1969 but these early models represent the first instruments sent to a select group of players. In addition to the Telecasters, a rosewood Stratocaster was built intended for Jimi Hendrix though he would never receive it and it's now at Well Strung Guitars in New York.

Fender Rosewood Stratocaster

The rosewood Strat than never made it to Hendrix  (Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Harrison famously used his Rosewood Tele for The Beatles’ Apple rooftop concert on 30 January 1969.

Elvis used his own Rosewood Tele guitar for a few months before deciding its 9lbs 9oz was too heavy for him – fair enough, that's a heavy Tele load even for a King!

Presley ended up sending the guitar back to Eddie Miller, before it presumedly ended up with Turner. The description adds that  the guitar's pots date back to 1964 and includes the original hard case. It's yours for $295,000 and shipping is free.

Check it out on Reverb (opens in new tab)

Fender George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster review

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.