Syd Barrett’s 1964 Fender Telecaster

This guitar first appeared sometime in late 1967, probably intended as a backup and eventual replacement for Syd’s Esquire. But by the time the guitar started seeing any usage time, Syd was already going through personal problems and was less and less present at the band’s live gigs, so this guitar never really had the time to become notable.

Syd’s Telecaster was likely made sometime in the early to mid-60s and featured a white body finish and rosewood fretboard. The guitar is essentially a more versatile version of the Esquire which was Syd’s previous guitar, as it features additional pickup in the neck position.

Although the bridge pickup is the same as on the Esquire, the wiring and the toggle switch serve a different purpose on each guitar. The switch on the Esquire modified the tone of the pickup by making it bassier in the forward position while enabling the use of the tone control knob in the middle position. With the switch in the rear position, these tone controls were bypassed entirely for a “hotter” lead tone.

Guitar with David

When David Gilmour replaced Syd as the touring guitarist, Syd let him use this guitar as a spare. At the same time, David played an identical white Telecaster given to him by his parents for his 21st birthday. There’s a pretty cool photo showing both guitars taken during the Bouton Rouge TV show in early 1968.

Syd allegedly received his guitar back during the Saucerful of Secrets studio sessions, but he didn’t seem to use it anymore from that point on.


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