Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster | Fender Custom Shop | Fender

[BLUES MUSIC] Hi, I’m Mike Lewis from
the Fender Custom Shop. We’re here today to talk
about the limited edition Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster. Now, you look at this guitar
and you go, well, it’s got a Stratocaster neck on it. He said Tele, but it actually
says Stratocaster right there. So what is the story
behind this guitar? It’s kind of fabled. There’s a lot of myth to it. I don’t think anybody
really knows the full story. But back in the day when Eric
Clapton was playing with Cream, after the band
split up he formed a new band called Blind Faith. And when we saw them play at
Hyde Park, this famous concert, he had this guitar. It also appeared on the cover
of the Blind Faith album. And it was very
intriguing to us all. Here’s a Tele custom,
obviously from the era. The show and the album
came out in 1969. But there was a
Stratocaster neck on it, and we had never seen
Eric with a Strat before. And so it was very interesting. So the story goes that
he had the Stratocaster, and somewhere along the way
he came across this body. Maybe it was a whole guitar. We don’t know. And there was a lot of what we
call Frankenstein-ing going on back in the day where
people would take parts from one guitar and
make a whole new guitar. As a matter of fact, “Blackie,”
his famous “Blackie,” was that way. It had parts from various– many different Stratocasters. But he must have loved this
neck because, as it turns out, this is the same neck that was
on the famous “Brownie” guitar that Clapton played that we did. So we were very
intimate with that neck because we had spent plenty
of time looking at it, measuring it, doing
the aging on it. And in researching
the Blind Faith Tele and looking at photos of
the concert at Hyde Park, we noticed that it had
some different wear on it. Didn’t quite have all
the wear and tear on it that it had by
the time we got it when we did the Brownie, such
as there were no cigarette burns here. There was no string winder
marks on the headstock up here. So, as you can see,
this particular version is of an earlier aging than
the Brownie that we did. And also down here,
you can see where the Stratocaster neck was
jammed into the Telecaster body. There’s– it doesn’t
quite fit exactly. So you can see the
gaps right here. The four holes line up, but the
neck pocket doesn’t necessarily match right down here. I think that’s a really,
really cool thing. A lot of guitar
builders and things would make a new pickguard
to cover that up. But this is real evidence that
it was, like, a field job, you know? It was like, hey, let’s
see what this sounds like with this neck on here. Maybe the old neck went bad. Who knows? Maybe he just loved this neck. I don’t know. But it came out very,
very, very cool. Now, speaking of the
neck, this Brownie neck, it’s like a ’56 Strat neck. And it’s a really unique shape. It’s got that kind of a V
profile with a lot of shoulder right here. But the really unique
thing is the dimensions from the back to the top
down here versus up here. It’s almost the same. There’s hardly any
taper whatsoever. This is, like, 940, 970 or so. So when you’re feeling it– it’s, like, hardly any– it
feels like it actually gets thinner when you come up to
the 12th fret even though it doesn’t. Very, very unique neck shape. The rest of the guitar, it’s– in dating it, it’s
around a ’63, ’64 Tele, based on the sunburst pattern. And the real smoking gun
was the bridge here with– where the stamp is,
where it says Fender. It’s perpendicular
to the bridge, whereas the earlier
ones was at an angle matching the pickup there. And the slightly later
years had solid saddles with little grooves on
either side for the strings, but this had the full threaded. So that told us that it
was, like, a ’63, ’64 Tele. And the other interesting
thing about this guitar is the wiring. Eric used the original
Tele wiring in it. A lot of people at that time
would modify their guitar to have what we call
modern wiring, where you had full bridge, bridge
and neck, and neck by itself. Well, this guitar had the
original wiring still, where it’s bridge and tone. [BLUES MUSIC] And then the middle position
was the neck by itself and tone. [BLUES MUSIC] Tone on both. In the forward position is
also the neck by itself, but with a big, fat capacitor
that gives it that real bass-y kind of– [GUITAR STRUMMING] I never saw a picture of Eric
playing in that position. Most of the photos you see
of him playing this guitar, it’s in the middle, which
is the neck by itself. And when you listen to the
songs, that’s the sound. [BLUES MUSIC] So the rest of the guitar,
it’s in pretty good shape. The photos we saw, it wasn’t
too beat up or anything. And again, we didn’t
have the original guitar to look at closely,
but we looked at detailed, high-res
photos from the concert and gleaned as much as
we could of the aging and the pattern, pickguard,
scratches on it here and there. It came out beautiful. It sounds wonderful. We sent a prototype to
Eric, and he loved it. So the custom shop
will be doing up to 50 of these, all master built by
Master Builder Todd Krause. Now, Todd is very intimate
with Clapton and his guitars. He builds all of Eric’s
personal guitars. And we’re looking
forward to this release of this guitar this September. So that’s the Eric Clapton
Blind Faith Telecaster, and thanks for checking it out. We’ll be doing up to
50 pieces of these, master built in the
Fender Custom Shop. These will be
available in the US exclusively at Guitar Center. And for more information, please


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