Friday, February 14, 2014

Bruce Plays a Telecaster, Not a Stratocaster

Bruce with his Telecaster
Someone at the LA Times dug up this 2004 letter in which Bruce Springsteen explains why he does not want to be interviewed by Times writer Randy Lewis about the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.  You can see an image of the letter here.  

June 2, 2004

Dear Randy

I would like to be a part of your story on the Fender Stratocaster but, alas, I cannot.  The Stratocaster is a great and iconic instrument.  When Bob Dylan strapped one on in the mid-sixties (yes, it was a Stratocaster that was supposedly booed so lustily at Newport) or when Jimi Hendricks played the Star Spangled Banner on one at Woodstock, well...that settled that.  However!...There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those that play Stratocasters and those that play Telecaster...and the twain rarely meet.  Ron Wood...Stratocaster...Keith Richards...Gibsons, Tele's, etc.  The Strokes...a young man on a Stratocaster and a young man on a Gibson...Nils Lofren, Steve Van Zandt...Strat's...BOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSS MAAAANNNN...TELE TIL HE DIES!!!

There are some, similar to those who change political affiliation late in life, who for some reason switch.  Jeff Beck...Master of the Tele...Master of the Strat...but, they are rare.  Robbie Robertson, who also had an affinity for both guitars, gave me a beautiful Strat I play on occasion in the studio..However, when that big Rock N Roll clock strikes twelve I will be buried with my Tele on!  So,..When you do your article on the Telecaster please by all means give me a shout.  Until then, I wish you good luck on your article on the Fender Stratocaster.  A guitar that has contributed greatly to Rock and Roll, a fine and wonderful instrument...It's just not a Tele.


Bruce Springsteen

PS  The guy standing next to the big black guy on the cover of Born to Run is wearing a Telecaster (actually, a Telecaster body with an Esquire neck).