“All the wear and tear from decades of touring is perfectly recreated on this incredible limited edition”: Fender unveils a $20,000 Masterbuilt replica of Joe Strummer’s 1966 Telecaster

Fender Masterbuilt Joe Strummer Telecaster
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has released a forensic replica of the late Clash frontman and punk icon Joe Strummer’s 1966 Fender Telecaster, but all that detail from Senior Master Builder Paul Waller comes at a price, with this high-end electric guitar priced at a cool $20,000.

For those with budgets that are a little more Player Series than Masterbuilt Custom Shop dream machines, there are however signature Joe Strummer accessories, including guitar cables, a faux leopard print guitar strap, guitar picks and hard-shell guitar case.

But this guitar is something else, one that is definitely for those who are on the pro relic’ing side of the argument. It doesn’t look like it can take much more, with the Black over Three-Color Sunburst finish given the Super Heavy Relic Aged treatment. 

And yet, as these Fender Custom Shop guitars do, it will play and sound like a dream, with a pair of Josefina Campos hand-wound ’67 Telecaster pickups lending it the sort of assertive, aggro bark that Strummer needed when front the clash, or as a solo artist in the company of the Mescaleros. Those pickups are hooked up to a modern Tele wiring circuit, with a three-way pickup selector switch, volume and tone.

This Strummer Tele has a two-piece select alder body. The maple neck has got some miles worn into it, and has a mid-‘60s C profile neck, and is topped with round-laminated 7.25” radius AAA rosewood fingerboard. 

All the components matter on a guitar like this. We’ve got 21 Jescar Vintage frets, a set of Schaller M6 mini tuners, a brass nut, and a six-saddle string-through-body Telecaster bridge with steel barrel saddles.

All the details matter, too. Waller says it was a challenge recreating all the wear marks and stickers, and the fact that it is such a heavily photographed instrument complicates the mission further. After all, everyone already feels like they know this guitar – they’d know if something is off.

“It’s very difficult to replicate,” says Waller. “It is one of the harder guitars I have ever had to replicate. The details are massive, between the stickers, all the layers of paint. We have three different layers, so originally it started as a sunburst and then the pickguard was left on and then a grey primer and then a black top coat went on the guitar, and then years of playing it, and not wiping it down, and letting it kind of corrode into what it fabulously looks like today.”

Other details include the wing string tree with tall metal spacer. The Limited Edition Masterbuilt Joe Strummer Telecaster ships in a replica touring case, inside which you will find a signature strap and and certificate of authenticity. 

For more details, head over to the Fender Custom Shop.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.