is a funky guitar belonging to rock and
roll legend Ian McLagan.
I am a big fan of
work with The Small Faces and The Faces
so I was
really honored that he brought me this
Then he proceeded to tell me the
amazing story behind it.
bought this Fender Telecaster,
new, in 1965.
Getting a one-owner '65 Tele is reason enough to
write about, but read on...
The Tele originally had
a blonde finish, but at some
point, Mac stripped
Then, his Small Faces cohort,
Steve Marriott, gave him a Strat neck to put
it. Not just any neck - it's a 1954
neck! The heel
is dated "6-54". We're talking first year, holy grail
So Steve's neck is now on it, but
doesn't end there.
decides to go to see
The Who perform one night, and would ya believe it, Pete Townsend
one of his Gibson SG's on stage? Okay, no surprise there, but a hunk of wood
from that ill-fated SG lands
at Mac's feet and it
has a pickup in it,
so he keeps it.
Now he figures he would like to put Pete's pickup in the neck position of his Tele
but he doesn't know how, so another buddy, Peter Frampton,
volunteers to "show him the way" and do the work for him! Thus, the story of three
legendary guitarists' playing a role in creating the "Franken-Tele"
for another true legend, Ian McLagan.
loved telling the history of this guitar and I loved hearing it.
The fact that this guitar sat on my workbench after all of
those rock icons had their hands on it blew me away!
on to the job.
Mac only asked me to do setup and output jack replacement on it. Nothing exciting.
I found the neck was back-bowed. Not horribly, but it was there. Under
string tension it comes up straight as an arrow. So, as it is
a prized 1954 Stratocaster neck, and an expensive job to fix, we decided to leave
guitar set up beautifully. The action was sweet with only a hint
of buzzing but Mac said he doesn't mind a little buzz if the action
is good, and this turned out real good.
Amped up, the
guitar sounds great. Both pickups sound awesome. The bridge pickup
has the classic twang and thwack and Pete Townsend's abandoned SG pickup is
The only drawback is the SG pickup is considerably louder than the bridge
pickup but I couldn't lower it any further because of the way it was
Get this...the tabs where the pickup height screws thread through were
off, and the pickup was glued to a piece of wood and
shoved in the cavity.
Moral of the story: Peter Frampton
should stick to playing guitars rather than working on them!