Friday, August 13, 2010


I got this guitar a while back in yet another trade with Billy Ray. He bought it new in February of 2006 literally on the way to a recording session with me and our good friend and longtime bandmate Ricky Ray. They picked it up at the MusicMasters store in Austin, where THE VICTOR worked. THE VICTOR, a longtime friend of Billy Ray's and a guitar genius himself, picked it out as a good sounding one and set it up for him. From there they drove straight to the cabin south of Blanco on the road to Kendalia.

It was one of the Blanco Twin Sister's Cabin jams. We had a friend who had a great log cabin, two story with a cathedral den, and it just resonated with warmth and seemed to absorb just the right amount of sound to make not only playing enjoyable to the players because of the great sound that could be had at low and moderate volumes but made for excellent recordings as well.

This guitar, made by Fender owned Squier, is a copy of the great Telecaster Custom fused with the Telecaster Deluxe of the early 70's, and like the one pictured above, my guitar is blonde and has black P90 pickups. It's an asian guitar, costing about $250 new at that time, but is of amazing quality for such an inexpensive guitar. The neck is great, the finish on the guitar is very good, the electronics are marvelous for the cost of the instrument, and most importantly the pickups and the body of the guitar sound great.

I never really thought about owning a guitar with P90 pickups before Billy Ray threw this in to balance out a trade we made for a refurbished Fender old time tube amp and a genuine Fender Stratocaster. I kinda got the better end of the deal with the twin guitars, and ultimately he traded me back the amp for another amp I had that he liked better, and the amp he has now from me is worth about a grand, so I think the deal actually ended up even steven.

Point is, I often forsake this guitar when I'm writing or recording songs at my home in favor of the Stratocaster. It's an easy thing for me to do. I've loved the sound of a single coil guitar since I first heard Buddy Holly and it's just continued since then. But I pulled it out tonight, and it was sounding nice through a practice amp. So I thought I would give some credit where credit is due. Sometimes, very cool things can be had for reasonable bucks.

Two of the best sounding guitars I have ever heard were a '63 Lake Placid Blue Strat and a Tokai Strat '57 Strat copy. The Lake Placid Blue Strat supposedly ended up with Stevie Ray Vaughn about 1985 or 1986, and the Tokai went to an unknown owner. Both of these guitars were owned by Mikey Ray, who went into a Charvel phase in the mid-80's thanks to Eddie Ray Van Halen, and traded these guitars for newer, hipper models that he also soon tired of.

So every now and then I pull it out the Squier Tele Custom II and tune it up and have found it is a great guitar for playing rhythms. Running it through an 40 year old Class A tube amp with no effects, it gets a great sound. I'm not much of a lead player, but what I can pull off has sounded mighty nice, and I'd be interested to hear what this guitar/amp combo would soundlike with an Ibanez green Tube Screamer pedal for punching in leads. Bet it sounds awesome.

I wouldn't have chosen the blonde color on the guitar had I bought it new, but it has grown on me greatly since I got it. The neck is really tele-like and is very smooth but is unfinished, and it has a great natural wood feel to it. My hand glides along it well.

So for a drummer like me who occasionally plays (at) guitar, bass and keyboards for home recording and songwriting, it's a great guitar. I'm not likely to ever be performing on guitar, so it's fine for it's purpose. And it has a good vibe to it. It led to some mighty nice songs at the Blanco Cabin Jam weekend we had back in 2006, and the digital recordings from that event feature this guitar ringing through strong.

I do own some decent guitars and basses, but also own a couple of Squiers for some low cost variety. Their "high end" products are very popular among real people with families and such, and in the past few years they have had the vintage and the classic vibe series of guitars and basses made vintage-like, but for only about $300.00.
Here's what a sales site says about this guitar:

Squier Telecaster Custom II P90
The Telecaster Custom II P90 by Squier is a superb sounding, mega-affordable tonal temple, with a combination of two classic designs - the '72 Telecaster Custom fused with the Telecaster Deluxe - offering traditional design with some awesome mods.
Two fiery Duncan Designed P-90 Soapbar pickups provide the twist, delivering smooth, bluesy tone that can be altered using the independent tone/volume controls. With a choice of black or a beautiful blonde finish on a lightweight agathis Telecaster shape body, other features of the Squier Telecaster Custom II P90 include a maple neck and fingerboard, medium-jumbo frets, and a 3-ply black pickguard.
The Squier Telecaster Custom II P90 Features:
Agathis Body
Maple 'C' Shape Neck and Fingerboard
2 x P-90 Duncan Designed Pickups
3 Way Switching System
Chrome Hardware
Black Pickguard
Telecaster body
The Squier Telecaster Custom II P90 is a stunning all round guitar.


  1. Do you shoot any of your guitars like W. S. Burroughs used to shoot his paintings?

  2. No, I've never had the urge to shoot any guitars, amps or drums.

    As an aside, this guitar did get traded some time back to an old lead guitarist I played in. He stopped by the house for a visit and fell in love with the P-90's, despite the fact that it's a Squier. He traded me a very nice trapper length Rossi 1892 .357 rifle for it in like new condition. The Squier is now residing in the Panhandle region of Texas, and although the new owner also has many firearms, I feel sure he won't be shooting it either.

    Thanks for stopping by.