An original Paisley Fender Telecaster is something that comes around once in a lifetime. This 1968 model is an excellent example, without the price tag of a mint collectors guitar, purchased by us from the original owner! The Pink Paisley and Blue Floral Telecasters were introduced by Fender in 1968 to try and capitalise on the flower power trend that began in San Francisco in 1967, and would go on to sweep the rest of the USA before burning out as the 1970s began. This model followed a similar trajectory, with limited market success leading to them being discontinued by the end of 1969, before finding favour with collectors as an ultra rare slice of '60s Fender history.
The obvious place to start with this 1968 Fender Pink Paisley Telecaster is the spectacular finish. The incredibly detailed sparkling Paisley finish was achieved by applying stickum foil wallpaper to the front and back of the body with a lacquer burst around the edge of the top and sides, and then spraying them with a clear polyester coat. This Telecaster features a slab Alder body and Maple neck with Maple cap fretboard. The neck has a comfortable 'C' shaped profile that is typical of the period, very easy to play with a slightly fuller feel in the upper fret area. The neck heel features an ink stamp that dates to Oct 1968.
The original pickups have seen some changes over the years. The neck pickup was replaced by the original owner some time in the early '70s with a custom made mini humbucker by renowned luthier and pickup builder John Birch, who built guitars and pickups for the likes of Tony Iommi, Brian May and Richie Blackmore. The grey bottom bridge pickup dates to 1967 and features a non original copper base plate and metal spring height adjusters, and has been rewound to vintage correct specs.
This guitar is in very cosmetic condition, and shows some patina and ageing to the finish. The Paisley finish looks exceptional, with a great depth and detail to the pattern. The lacquer edge burst has aged in places, with a gold hue to the front of the body, while the back retains more of the pink look that the guitar would have had from the factory. The neck and back of the headstock sports a small amount of checking to the lacquer, although this is still extremely minimal. There is also the remnants of a 'John Birch Customised' decal to the rear of the headstock.
The original Stackpole pots are present and correct, with one showing a 6612 code and the other obscured by solder. The bridge is correct, although the saddles have been changed, and it has been drilled at some point to accommodate 6 saddles. The Fender decal is correct for the period, raised from the wood slightly with two patent numbers below the Fender logo. The clear plastic pickguard has been cut to accommodate the mini humbucker in the neck position, but appears original. The 'F' stamped tuners are original, along with the 'F' neck plate. The switch is correct for the period, and the jack output retains the original cloth wire. This guitar also includes its original orange lined Fender case.
This guitar has been given a full service and appraisal by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop, and includes a 3 year warranty. Please enquire for any internal pictures.