This partscaster build I am calling the “Gretschcaster.” It is basically a Telecaster with some design ideas from my two Gretsch 6120 guitars. I have been thinking about this one for a long time. I wanted a Telecaster that had a Bigsby and I love Gretsch guitars. So it should be a great match.
I started with an order at Warmoth for a custom Telecaster Thinline body with “F” Hole and binding plus a neck with binding and Ebony fingerboard. Orange of course as you may have guessed. Ordered several bodies from Warmoth in the past. They make quality stuff. This will be my first Warmoth neck that I have ordered, however. I will be mounting a Bigsby B5 Telecaster kit and using some genuine Gretsch parts. Should have the Gretsch vibe without a fully custom build that I would have to pay a top luthier the big bucks for (as much as a good used car).
G.E. Smith plays some prime Michael Bloomfield licks on the’63 Fender Telecaster used by Bloomfield in the ’60s, including when he appeared with Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Bloomfield used the guitar to record the self-titled first album by The Paul Butterfield Band and Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” For Smith’s turn, the guitar is plugged into an early-’65 Fender Concert and a Fender reverb unit. READ THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE GUITAR (including why it has that bizarre second cutaway), IN THE SPECIAL FREE Digital October ’15 issue of “Vintage Guitar” magazine.
Dan Erlewine first saw this Tele back in the 1960s, before Mike Bloomfield recorded with it on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited album. That was also before Bloomfield and Dylan were booed for going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. And before Bloomfield recorded the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album with this guitar. There’s a lot of history in this Telecaster!
Country, Swing, Rockabilly and early Rock and Roll had players using quite a few Gretsch and Fender Telecasters. So what if you combined features and appointments from both in one guitar. Well Paul Waller Masterbuilder from the Fender Custom Shop has taken the concept and has built these over the last few years. I think he did an amazing job. See the videos.
Marty Stuart purchased Clarence White’s original Parsons/White B-Bender and gigs with it all the time. Great to see this iconic guitar played. Especially by a great player like Marty. If you look close you can see Marty use his shoulder to use the B-Bender. It is very subtle the technique he uses to string bend.