Andy Summers Tele Neck

Andy Summers was just out of college in Southern California in the early 1970s when one of his guitar students offered to sell him a beat-up 1961 Fender Telecaster® that had obviously been modified by a previous owner.
Summers had already had some modest music business success in the late ’60s Britain. Lately though, he’d stuck mainly to his classical guitar studies, and hadn’t played an electric in quite a while. Strangely, however, something about this particular Telecaster grabbed him. As he put it himself in his 2006 memoir, One Train Later:

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.
Summers bought the guitar for $200, and you and the whole world know the rest. Back in London a few years later, he joined a noisy so-called punk outfit called the Police that rose to become the biggest band in the world, thanks in no small part to the deftly innovative and influential sounds Summers conjured from that beat-up Telecaster.

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.”
Now, in 2007, Fender couldn’t be more proud and excited to unveil a very 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.

The prototype, built by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka over the course of a year, is currently in use with Andy now. 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:

Andy Summers Telecaster

Tonight in between spraying coats on my archtop project, I started my next guitar project (and probably the last for a while). I am making myself a copy, as close as I can of Andy’ Summers’ telecaster.

I dont have any alder on hand so I am using poplar for my body. I first laminated a 3 piece body blank (just because I had a few pieces I wanted to use up, and since the finish will be a 3 colour opaque burst I dont care about the grain appearance) and rough cut it out on the band saw.

Then, I planed it to 1 3/4″ thickness and put it through my thickness sander to clean up the faces. Then after retracing the outline, I sanded the edges on my edge sander and drum sander.

(if you want to see rough wood, being jointed and planed check out my other build threads.. this one will be step by step from here on but I did the blank while I forgot my camera at home).

Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster

My review of the Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster. I acquired the Telecaster a few months back and have really got to spend a lot of time with it, in essence to wait until the “honeymoon” period was over to make an objective an honest review of the piece.

 
Background: As you probably already know, the Fender Custom Shop made only 250 of these guitars a couple of years ago to coincide with The Police’s reunion and subsequent world tour. They are all “Masterbuilt” by a builder – Mine was crafted by Yuri Shishkov. Retail on these were a little steep at over 10k, street price at Guitar Center 8k. The tribute series guitars have quite a bit of work in them, and are not cheap as you see.
The guitar comes with a gigantic anvil case with stencils of “Andy Summers” written all over, also comes with Andy’s book (autographed) a box set of The Police’s complete anthology, and a DVD with the history of the Guitar from the man himself.

 

The original guitar was a 61’ Telecaster Custom, and was heavily modified when it was purchased by Andy from a guitar student in Los Angeles.
Review: So here goes…Immediately when you look at the guitar it has the look and patina of a vintage guitar. The relic work is pretty heavy but I think they got the color just right. The body is a very resonant Alder with a light to medium light weight.

 
The neck shape is unlike any I’ve ever felt, especially from the custom shop. It is very reminiscent of a mid 60’s Gibson neck, fairly thin near the nut tapering up to a very chunky “C” shape near the 12th fret.

 

Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® Guitar

Introducing the Fender Custom Shop Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster® Guitar
To be played during massive worldwide Police reunion tour …

Summers and his Telecaster. But is it the original or the replica?
Hard to tell …

Photo by Steve Pitkin 

Andy Summers was just out of college in Southern California in the early 1970s when one of his guitar students offered to sell him a beat-up 1961 Fender Telecaster® that had obviously been modified by a previous owner.

Summers had already had some modest music business success in the late ’60s Britain. Lately though, he’d stuck mainly to his classical guitar studies, and hadn’t played an electric in quite a while. Strangely, however, something about this particular Telecaster grabbed him. As he put it himself in his 2006 memoir, One Train Later:

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.

Summers bought the guitar for $200, and you and the whole world know the rest. Back in London a few years later, he joined a noisy so-called punk outfit called the Police that rose to become the biggest band in the world, thanks in no small part to the deftly innovative and influential sounds Summers conjured from that beat-up Telecaster.

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.”

Now, in 2007, Fender couldn’t be more proud and excited to unveil a very 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.

The prototype, built by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Dennis Galuszka over the course of a year, is currently in use with Andy now. 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.