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Solid Design: Leo Fender's telecaster

Solid Design: Leo Fender’s Telecaster

Open through June 3, 2012

In early 1949 Leo Fender started seriously designing a standard guitar model for his Fine Line of Fender Electric Instruments. At first the guitar was called the Esquire, then the Broadcaster, and finally the Telecaster. Sixty years later it is one of the most popular guitars in the world, an instrument built for working men and women musicians who defined the blues, country, and pop styles.

“Solid Design: Leo Fender’s Telecaster” will showcase this instrument, the first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar, an instrument that changed music history. Numerous examples from the early years will be on display. There will also be a noticeable celebrity component in the images and presentation, including Telecasters once owned by stars. The exhibit points to players such as George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Roy Buchanan, James Burton, Don Rich, and Mike Bloomfield. These musicians—Tele players all—created some of the most potent music imaginable.

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