John Mayer’s Fender Custom Shop Tele/Strat Hybridaccess_time First seen circa 2004
This guitar appeared sometime in mid-2004 [John Mayer at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, April 15, 2004], although it is possible that John already had it for a few months prior. As far as one can tell, it was only used for live performances for the song ‘Something’s Missing’, although this is not definitive and still needs further research.
When I used to play Something’s Missing [from Heavier Things, 2004], I had this Strat-Tele that Chris Fleming built. It became the allocated guitar, with the tuning for that song [E B E F# B E]; it comes out of the coffin and I’d play it for Something’s Missing, then it went back in and stayed in that tuning. Then when I stopped playing Something’s Missing, it was like – this is a great guitar for other things; tune it back into standard… [John Mayer interview – Music Radar]
As noted in the title, the guitar is a hybrid between a Stratocaster and a Telecaster models, built by master-luthier Chris Fleming. The Stratocaster seemed to have been used as a base, since if you ignore the upper half of the body all the features are taken directly from that model. The model features three single-coil hand-wound 60s style pickups, a 5-way pickup selector switch, and a Fender S-1 switch that turns the bridge pickup on and off in any position.
A fun fact – John’s Tele/Strat is actually the first model to ever leave the factory. According to Chris Fleming, John bought it online on his own initiative from a Fender dealer. [Chris Fleming discusses his Tele®/Strat® hybrid]