Here at the Music Zoo, the staff is lucky enough to see some incredibly cool instruments come through our doors on a weekly basis. Whether it’s a mojo-filled guitar that a customer has brought in for some maintenance work, a new and exciting one-off Custom Shop piece, or an all-original vintage guitar that one of our in-house elder statesmen has brought in from their own personal collection – we’re always eager to crowd around and examine something we’ve never seen before. This guitar is sold, but we wanted to share the photos with you of this amazing work of art.
Which brings us to this guitar – the Fender Custom Shop Western Boots Telecaster Set. This set is number two out of only two sets of guitar and boot duos made by the Fender Custom Shop, this one created by Fender Masterbuilder Alan Hamel. The guitar was originally displayed at the 1995 National Association of Music Merchants convention, and bought by Robert Galassi of Ossining Music in Ossining, New York. Fast forward to 2013, and the guitar has been consigned at the Music Zoo, and we’re ecstatic about it.
We got excited about this piece before we even opened up the case, as the case is covered in a fabric with a western cowboy motif, and on top of that, every bit of leather has been tooled with designs and patterns – even the handle! It’s a sure sign that nothing has been overlooked in this set, in terms of aesthetics.
Uncasing the guitar is a bit overwhelming, as we really didn’t know which aspect of the guitar to admire first. Right off the bat we were struck visually by the multi-color kidskin covering to the alder body, but as we examined further we saw that there wasn’t a piece of hardware on the guitar that wasn’t intricately engraved, even the strap pins! The body is double bound with calfskin lacing, and the pao ferro fretboard has been inlaid wires made from hand-twisted and hammered sterling silver and jeweler’s bronze.
The counterpart to the guitar are these cowboy boots made by Renicks Boots, with the design and leatherwork by Hamel in collaboration with Nicholas Gutierrez, all the colors and patterns matching the leatherwork of the Tele.
The accessories made with the guitar are just as impressive, with a tooled leather and engraved buckle strap, and a tooled leather belt with a heavy-duty engraved Fender Custom Shop belt buckle.
The Western Boots Telecaster Set was so impressive, and left such an impression on people that it was featured in the Fender Custom Shop Guitar Gallery book, by Richard. R. Smith and published by Hal Leonard in 1996. It was also pictured in an article about the Fender Custom Shop that was published in Men’s Perspective magazine in August of 1996. And now, in 2013 it will also get one more bit of praise and recognition, as a mainstay in the Music Zoo Hall of Fame as not only a Telecaster, but a fine piece of art that we will never forget.