CORONA, Calif. (July 29, 2007) — Fender is proud to unveil a special 250-instrument Limited Edition run of the Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster as part of the Fender Custom Shop’s legendary Tribute Series. It’s a note-perfect replica of the 1961 Tele® that Summers used to help propel the Police to untold heights of worldwide pop superstardom.
Hit after hit was recorded and performed on it—“Roxanne,” “So Lonely,” “Walking On the Moon,” the breathtaking “Message In a Bottle,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “Synchronicity II” and “King of Pain.”
When talking about the guitar, Andy once said, “When I start to play it, something stirs within me … it shakes me … I find that I can’t stop playing it; this guitar sparks something in me and I have to have it.”
The prototype, built by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka over the course of a year, is currently in use with Andy now.
“It’s a fire-breather,” Galuszka said. “It’s mighty. Andy really, really loves it.”
So much so, in fact, that Summers played number one of the 250 replicas when the Police once again electrified the music world by reuniting on Feb. 11, 2007 to open the 49th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Even more exciting, Summers will play the replica during the momentous 2007 30th anniversary worldwide Police reunion tour, one of the most hoped-for and eagerly awaited events in pop music history. It promises to be a thrilling musical event featuring one of rock’s most innovative guitarists playing a spot-on replica of one rock’s most distinctive guitars.
Summers bought the original guitar for $200, in the early 1970s when one of his guitar students offered to sell him the beat-up 1961 Fender Telecaster® that had obviously been modified by a previous owner.
The guitar features the same “eccentric” modifications that the original had when Summers first bought it, most of which were unchanged throughout the nonstop work and excitement of the Police years:
- Ferocious humbucking neck pickup.
- Bridge pickup mounted in the body rather than in the broken brass (not chrome) bridge plate.
- Control plate-mounted mini-toggle phase switch.
- Body-mounted preamp on/off mini-toggle switch (the original preamp “died,” Galuszka said; the Custom Shop has recreated the Police-era preamp).
- Rear-mounted overdrive unit controlled by a third knob below the two traditional Telecaster volume and tone controls.
- “Soft” brass bridge pieces.
- Schaller® tuners.
The alder-body, maple-neck guitar also features an immaculately recreated highly worn finish, with extensive chips, scratches, dings and nicks identical to the original, and, as Galuszka noted with a grin, “Getting lacquer to crack is no small feat.”
Pick it up, and it’ll take you back. The unforgettable slashing staccato opening chords of “Roxanne” (back pickup, no distortion); the off-the-wall solo in “So Lonely” (out-of-phase position, plus overdrive), the space jam of “The Bed’s Too Big Without You” (front pickup plus Echoplex), and so much more.
The Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® guitar will begin shipping to Fender Custom Division Showcase Dealers throughout the world in the third quarter of 2007.