Fender has unveiled a new Telecaster fashioned after the late Joe Strummer’s well-thrashed 1966 model.
The latest signature guitar for the Clash frontman and guitarist arrives after the 2021 release of the budget-conscious Joe Strummer Campfire acoustic guitar and a megabucks Custom Shop replica of his Esquire.
And, financially, the Joe Strummer Telecaster sits somewhere in the middle as a pro-quality relic’d guitar that looks like it has seen plenty of action in the Roxy and Vortex, and yet somehow survived. Those looking for a pristine, box-fresh Tele, look away now. This ain’t it.
The Joe Strummer Telecaster has what Fender calls Road Worn lacquer and hardware, which is something we have seen applied to its Vintera series, but here the Big F goes all in to recreate Strummer’s battle-scarred ’66 model.
It almost looks as though there is binding around the body but that’s just where the finish has been magicked off.
Either way, it’s a cool look, and it is wholly in keeping with the vintage-inspired spec. This Mexican-built Tele has a solid alder body, a bolt-on maple neck topped with a 7.25” radius slab rosewood fingerboard.
A pair of Custom Joe Strummer Vintage single-coil ‘60s Telecaster pickups is controlled via your typical complement of three-way pickup selector, volume and tone, all of which are housed on a control plate that similarly matches the Road Worn look of the rest of the instrument.
The neck has a period-correct mid-’60s C profile, and the vintage frets should heighten the time capsule vibe that Fender is going for here.
One thing that is nice about buying a relic’d guitar is that you don’t have to worry about the dings. Fender has made a start on it. This is ready to plug in and thrash. A beater, straight out the case.
Other neat details include a custom neck plate, vintage tuners, a three-ply parchment pickguard, and a vintage-style hard-shell guitar case to keep it safe. Nice nitro finish you’ve got there, wouldn’t want anything to happen to it…
In other Fender x Joe Strummer news, the punk icon is the subject of the Artist Spotlight on the company’s online tuition platform, Fender Play.
There you can find lessons in how to play tracks such as Coma Girl, The Long Shadow, and X-Ray Style, or even get a listen in punk strumming from none other than Wayne Kramer of the MC5, who will be playing the original Strummer Tele.
The Joe Strummer Telecaster is available now, priced £1,649 / $1,799.
See Fender for more details.