Eric Clapton’s 1950s Fender Telecaster

This Telecaster was seen on a few photos taken during the 1974 tour, all of which seem to be from the same concert – at KB Hallen on June 20th, 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark [Eric Clapton 1974 – Barrie Wentzell PhotographyBarrie Wentzell Photography].

Based on the wear on the neck, the guitar was, most likely, a vintage model from the 50s, but beyond that, the guitar is a mystery. It’s unknown whether it was even Eric’s, and whether it was ever used again.

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Peter
Peter
7 days ago

This guitar was used during the whole seventiees for a lot of recordings and stage work according to Clapton. Just do a Google search for Clapton and Telecasters and you see it everywhere along with loads of other Telecasters. The Telecaster has been a staple in Claptons whole career. Its Said the Telecaster is on every Clapton Album from 1963 to 2021. He used another Telecaster as his main guitar on 2 tours in the seventiees ( Japan 1975 and US 1976). According to Claptons Autobiography he did not start to play Stratocasters untill 1974. The earlier solo albums were recorded worh a Gibson Les Paul and some songs on a Telecaster ( see page 179). By 1982 Clapton was fed up with the Stratocaster and signed with a Vompany called Strings and Things. They even made his first signature guitar. Strings and Things had great Humbucker guitars and Clapton was looking for the most powerful Humbucker guitar available. A year or 2 later Fender offers Clapton the biggest amount of money ever to sign with Fender. Clapton answers ” If you can make Me the the Absoute most powerful Humbucker guitar in the world I sign with Fender ”. Fender suceeds in building the easily most powerful Humbucker guitar the world has ever seen and Clapton signs with Fender. Thats the guitar Clapton has used since 1986 and became the Clapton signature Stratocaster in 1988. With its Stacked Humbuckers and incredible 25 DB mid boost its the absolute most powerful Humbucker guitar in the world. Nothing even Comes close. Clapton does not call it a Stratocaster because despite its name and shape its as far away from a Stratocaster you can possibility come. With 25 DB mid boost its 17 times more powerful than a Gibson Les Paul Humbucker wise. With the boost completely Off Its as powerful as a hot Gibson Les Paul if not hotter. A Stratocaster is a single coil guitar. The Clapton signature Stratocaster is the absolute most poweful Humbucker guitar that exists. Even Fender did not know What to call it as its not a Stratocaster but because of the popularity of the name Stratocaster They decided to call it that. Be aware of the guitar if you dont have a very powerful amp. I blew my amp after buying a Clapton signature and immmidiately gave the guitar back. I was not expecting the absolute most powerfull Humbucker guitar in the world. Clapton himself States he only used a Stratocaster for 8 to 11 years. From 1974 to December 1985 but deducting the years he was under contract with Strings and Things.

Rich Davis
Rich Davis
3 years ago

Was this the blackguard telecaster that he gave to keith Richards?

Peter
Peter
3 years ago
Reply to  Rich Davis

He used Teles frequently in the seventies.
Both to record and live. I have seen loads of photos with him playing Telecaster on different places. Japan, USA Europe. Maybe he used it on some songs per concert

Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

This guitar is No mystery at all. Its the 1952 Fender Telecaster which Eric Clapton as a gift from Bassplayer Carl Raddle. Used from 1970 to 1981 on every tour and every album for some songs. It was sold for charity at the price of 90 000 USD in 1999.
The guitar was heavily used by Eric Clapton. Except for a tour in Japan 1975 and a tour of USA 1976 Where he actually played the Telecaster as his main guitar. In Japan it was a blond Fender Telecaster in USA it was this 1952 Telecaster acting as his Main guitar. So he used it probably on almost every gig for 11 years. I See No mystery at all.

Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter

Yes he did not really start properly with Stratocasters untill 1974. Even Then he used a lot of Telecasters, Gibson Explorers and Gibson Les Pauls. The Fender Telecaster he used on every tour in the seventiees and the eightees. The Telecaster was the guitar he played his first 3 professional years on and was reviewed 1969. The Fender Telecaster has been on every Eric Clapton album he has recorded. In an interview for the Book about the Fender Telecaster, he Said it was in his DNA and he buys and plays Telecasters all the time. The book was from 1995. As he he also Said: The Telecaster has been a staple for Me in my whole career. The question he answered on first was : We dont See you very Often with a Telecaster these days. Then he asnswers that he buys and plays Telecasters all the time. The book about Fender Telecasters was really Good.Clapton had 3 pages in it with a big picture of his 1967 Fender Telecaster that has a Humbucker.