GE Smith, James Burton, Rustler, 40th Anniversary Custom Shop, Hybrid with Bigsby, 1971 Vintage Fender Telecasters

GE Smith, James Burton, Rustler, 40th Anniversary Custom Shop, Hybrid with Bigsby, 1971 Vintage Fender Telecasters

I chase them… buy them, build them… and eventually sell them for someone else to enjoy them because you just can’t keep them all!

Yes, we guitar people are a bit nuts. Like Les Paul always showed us the way to “chase sound” and “chase tone” and always believing the next one will be IT!

Chasing Guitars is a website for my personal collection and information about guitars. I am happy to share information and my experience with collecting and building guitars. I also think it is helpful and interesting to know the history behind the guitar, the innovators and builders like Leo Fender, George Fullerton, Les Paul, J.A. Stauffer, Adolf Rickenbacker, Ted McCarty, Ned Steinberger, Nathan Daniel, Jim Marshall, Ted McCarty, Orville Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, Ernie Ball, Bob Taylor, Paul Bigsby, Seymour Duncan, Lloyd Loar, Seth Lover, Tony Zemaitis, John Hall, Floyd Rose, Semie Moseley, Mike Tobias, Rick Turner, Joe Veillette, John D’Angelico, Jimmy D’Aquisto, C.F. Martin and John Monteleone just to name a few.

My first guitar (like may others in my age range) was a terrible acoustic that could make your fingers bleed with action so high it was beyond believe I could have learned anything. Glad that today there are so many great playing guitars at reasonable prices to choice from as it was not always that way. I went through quite a few guitars before my first good one. Early Japanese electrics, Silvertone (Sears Roebuck) branded Danelectro that then finally my first Fender Telecaster. A bought a used 1971 Fender Telecaster purchased from a neighborhood person that I found for sale in the classified section of the local newspaper. So was my start of chasing down guitars!

I was dumb enough a few years later to sell my first gem Telecaster to a cousin (that STILL has it) and used the money to purchase my first NEW good guitar, a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Special. This guitar was my number one (and only electric) guitar for quite a while. Unfortunately it was stolen from my home many years ago. In the days before eBay (or the web), it took many years to find another good one of these guitars.

Well I am happy to say that both vintage 1971 Fender Telecaster and the 1974 Gibson Les Paul Special in excellent condition has been found and added to my growing collection. Both of these guitars were purchased directly from vintage guitar dealers. I have a passion for guitars and especially Telecasters as a Fender Telecaster was my first “good” guitar.

My humble background saw me playing guitar (rather poorly) in a “garage band” at a young age. I was quickly interested in audio production and electronics. I worked in two NYC recording studios as a production assistant and sometimes maintenance engineer. I studied audio/video electronics in school and once owned a audio/video production business where I did some live sound for events and offered multi-camera video recording and editing. These days I work full time as an video engineer.

Albert Lee one of my guitar heroes

Mr Albert Lee one of my guitar heroes

GE Smith Master of the Telecaster

GE Smith Master of the Telecaster

The Great James Burton – Guitar Legend

Bill Kirchen – Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods

Some of my favorite players are Telecaster players past and present like Don Rich, Buck Owens, Bill Kirchen, Roy Nichols, Clarence White, Redd Volkaert, Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton, JD Simo, Vince Gill, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Bryant, James Burton, Brad Paisley, Mike Campbell, Tom Petty, Steve Cropper, G.E. Smith, The Hellecasters-Jerry Donahue-Will Ray & John Jorgenson, Bill Frisell, Jim Campilongo, Albert Lee, Muddy Waters, Brent Mason, Luther Perkins, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Marty Stuart, Arlen Roth, Tommy Tedesco, Keith Urban, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Edge, Chrissie Hynde, Johnny Hiland, Nancy Wilson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Sheryl Crow, Mike Stern, Joe Strummer, Pete Anderson, Sue Foley, Susan Tedeschi, Mick Ronson, Ted Greene, Prince, Ray Davies, Mike Bloomfield, Bruce Springsteen, Andy Summers, Ray Flacke, Richie Kotzen, Howard Roberts, John Scofield, Scotty Anderson, Doug Seven, Gary Potter, Albert Collins, Wilko Johnson, Jerry Reed, Chet Akins, Ed Bickert, John 5, Tommy Emanuel, just to name some. Even Les Paul owned a Telecaster! Gift from Leo Fender as I recall.

Les Paul another one of my guitar heroes with his Telecaster

Les Paul another one of my guitar heroes with his Telecaster

Clapton with a Telecaster and a Pignose amp

Clapton with a Telecaster and a Pignose amp

Jimmy Page proves the Tele is not only for country players

Jimmy Page proves the Tele is not only for country players

Even Elvis liked the Telecaster

Even Elvis liked the Telecaster

Grand Ole Opry honors the Telecaster

Grand Ole Opry honors the Telecaster

I also have big interest in Gibson, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, Martin, Taylor, PRS, Danelectro, Harmony, Kay, etc. I guess if it has six strings and sounds good I am interested. I have an especially soft spot for big twang… Fender, Gretsch and Danelectro.

1950 Broadcaster Tribute, 1953 Roy Buchanan “Nancy” Tribute, 1955 Esquire Tribute, 1971 Vintage Fender Telecaster

1950 Broadcaster Tribute, 1953 Roy Buchanan “Nancy” Tribute, 1955 Esquire Tribute, 1971 Vintage Fender Telecaster

I guess you can call it my “mid-life” crisis, an obsession or even worse description. Years back I went from fixing, repairing my own finds and an occasional friend’s guitar to custom building what some call “partscasters.”

Added a '49 Snakehead Prototype to my Tribute Guitars

Added a ’49 Snakehead Prototype to my Tribute Guitars

Custom building your own guitar from premium parts allow you to have the perfect features and specifications in your “dream guitar” without the extremely high cost of the Fender Custom Shop or another source. There is no way to discount the skills of a good luthier, but with some research and practice you might be surprised what you can accomplish on your own.

With the Internet, guitar forums and eBay finding help, information and quality parts and vendors could not be easier. I hope anyone finding this site will be inspired.

We are in the midst of a guitar renaissance these days. There are so many great brands and models to choose from at all price points. From custom built “one man” luthiers to the major manufactures turning out great guitars. Even many of the reissues are quite great players. It was not always like this. The entire “vintage” market rose due to the major brands quality issues and being “tone deaf” to players needs back in the 70s and 80s.

Carved Flame Walnut, Hot Rod Sparkle Carved Flame, Flag Sparkle Carved, Buck Owens/Don Rich Silver Sparkle Tribute Telecasters

Carved Flame Walnut, Hot Rod Sparkle Carved Flame, Flag Sparkle Carved, Buck Owens/Don Rich Silver Sparkle Tribute Telecasters

Basically I do not build guitars to sell and do not function as a store of any kind. Notice I do not have any advertising on my site. I usually will sell a guitar so I can chase another one I am interested or need space. Reverb and eBay is where I have sold most of them or sold locally to a friend. I have not sold many, but we all should realize we are merely the custodians of these guitars and most will live on well longer the we do. Sooner or later all good things must end and we all will eventually part from our prized instruments. Hopefully we can enjoy them while we have them.

My opinions and information are only my own. Contact me if you have a question.

Will Ray Jazz-A-Caster, MIM Carbonita Thinline, MIM Limited Flame Thinline, Custom Charlie Christian pickup, MIM Vegas Gold Baja B/G Bender Telecasters

Will Ray Jazz-A-Caster, MIM Carbonita Thinline, MIM Limited Flame Thinline, Custom Charlie Christian pickup, MIM Vegas Gold Baja B/G Bender Telecasters

Remember, there is nothing you can not play on a Telecaster… or a…. Gretsch!

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