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. “