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As many of you know, the history of the Fender Telecaster dates back to 1951 when Leo Fender revolutionized guitar building and music with the introduction of the first-ever mass produced solid-body electric. Over the years, these guitars sold so well that they exist in essentially the same form to date. Flash back to the summer of 1967: The Summer of Love, where the colors were bright and the styles were simply psychedelic. CBS era Fender guitars were bold to begin with, but in 1968 they did the unimaginable…
You might think that there is no correlation between the Borden Chemical Company and Fender, but in this case you thought wrong. During the 1960s, the world was going through a major cultural change. The Summer of Love and the “flower power” trend was taking over the pop culture scene. During this time, the political climate was dark and the music scene was rebelling, albeit peacefully. People ached for something bright and Fender was looking to put something new and exciting out on the market. It was then, in July of 1968, that Fender officially announced their newly available “Blue Flower” and “Paisley Red” Telecasters & Telecaster Basses in their price list.
Above: The original 1968 flyer introducing the "Blue Flower" and "Red Paisley" finish options on the Telecaster and Telecaster Bass
We were lucky enough to come across a new-old stock roll of the Paisley finish Cling-Foil from an old shop in California. Seeing this material in its natural state with a true silver background just goes to show the age on these guitars where the silver has turned to gold under the yellowing of the clear coat.
These extraordinary prints were nothing short of unique, especially on a guitar that was so traditionally simple. They were only available on the Telecaster & Telecaster Bass as they were solid planks of wood and took to the contact paper well due to their lack of contours.While some players of the time, including James Burton, played them, the overall success of this finish was less than Fender had hoped. The texture and thickness of the Cling-Foil unfortunately did not maintain the clear finish easily as the material didn’t have a stable hold on the paint. Due to these issues, the production of these pieces only lasted about a year. These instruments have become increasingly difficult to come across today in pristine condition as there was only an estimated 75 of each color Telecaster made and only 25 of each Telecaster Bass made.
Enjoy a few photos of this stunning bass!