The Money Shot: Brian Ray’s factory black 1963 Custom Telecaster
Here’s one for those of you who like their guitars served extremely rare: a 1963 Fender Custom Telecaster in factory black from the scintillating collection of current Paul McCartney guitarist and former Etta James bandleader, Brian Ray. Residing squarely in the ‘find another one’ category, this double-bound beauty is not only in great original condition but it’s a wonderful playing and sounding instrument, too.
“I got it about three and a half years ago from a reputable dealer in Australia,” explains Brian. “It’s the only one known to exist, as far as I can tell. It’s just a killer guitar. I saw it on Instagram and we went back and forth on the price for a little while. Even though it was so far away… Teles rarely aren’t great from those years. And this is a great guitar and I’m really fond of it.
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“A lot of custom-colour Fenders got down to Australia for some reason. And custom colours were out of favour for many years and were often getting stripped and finished natural. There were so many great guitars that were stripped and then refinished. Because Fender makes a double-bound black Tele now, it seems common, but to find an original one is not.”
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