NAMM 2019: So, here they are.
They're not a surprise, given that Fender announced they were collaborating with Jimmy Page on a series of four Telecasters last year, but this is our first glimpse of the hotly anticipated quartet, timed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin's seminal debut album, in the flesh.
Page played the famed 'Dragon' on that album, and Fender's four releases - comprising two limited Custom Shop models and two full production guitars - pay homage to the guitar in its various iterations.
The 1959 Telecaster was originally a 1966 gift from legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, sporting a tidy factory White Blonde finish, as cloned in the production line 'Mirror' release below.
The true Mirror incarnation, now given the full Custom Shop replica treatment (and price tag), was born when Page added - yes - mirrors, in February 1967. Finally, by mid-1967, the guitar had been stripped and repainted in its final 'Dragon' livery, which it retains to this day. A recreation of this final beast will be available in both Custom Shop and production line guises.
Jimmy Page Dragon Telecaster - £23,259
“The story of the instrument is the whole journey of it – from Jeff having it, to passing it on to me with such good spirit,” Jimmy Page said.
“It’s a lot of love in that gesture and the journey of it through The Yardbirds and how it was used on the first Led Zeppelin album…the journey all the way through here today. Now, it’s been restored back to its true beauty and we’ve actually been able to sort of clone it.”
Jimmy Page Mirrored Telecaster - £23,259
The Fender Custom Shop models feature an off-center-seam, two-piece ash body; a pair of Fender Custom Shop Hand-Wound ‘58 single-coil pickups; a tinted maple “Oval C” neck matching the profile of Page’s original instrument; Clear and White Vinyl pickguards on the “Dragon” and mirror models, respectively.; ‘59 top-load Tele® bridge; 7.25”-radius rosewood fingerboard matching the specs of the era, right down to the 21 vintage-sized frets.
The “Dragon” model also includes a custom hardshell flight case, white seatbelt-style strap, super-long white leather strap, red coiled cable, violin bow, rosin, Herco® guitar picks and Page-signed Certificate of Authenticity.
The Mirror model, meanwhile, includes a vintage-style tweed hardshell case, black coiled cable, Ace “Stained Glass” fabric strap, Herco guitar picks and Page-signed Certificate of Authenticity.
Jimmy Page Mirror Telecaster - £2,349 (production model, available Spring 2019)
“Jimmy actually invited us to his house in London to spec the guitar out,” said Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Paul Waller, who Page worked closely with throughout the process, assuring every detail was accurately recreated.
“More than a year later, we’ve managed to bring this guitar and the evolution of Jimmy’s career back to life. As the guitar evolved, so did Jimmy’s career. As the Dragon is born, he moves in and Led Zeppelin is born as well. It’s a pivotal moment for the guitar and music.”
Jimmy Page Telecaster® - £1,259 (production model, available Summer 2019)
The four Jimmy Page Telecasters will be released through 2019, starting in March. For much more detail on the original guitar and the inception of these stunning replicas, visit fender.com.
NAMM 2019 - all the news
The dust is settling, but our ears are still ringing. You'll find all the stories that counted in our massive news hub. Below, enjoy our editors' findings as we regrouped at the end of the show.