keith richards tele setup

keith richards tele setup

As many of us are aware, Keith’s main standard tuning guitar from 1975 to around 1988 was a black Telecaster Custom. I believe he picked it up on the Stones’ ’75 Tour of the Americas, and he began using it heavily on the ’76 Tour of Europe. It was subsequently a big part of his sound during the late ’70s Paris Pathe Marconi sessions that resulted in “Some Girls”, “Emotional Rescue” and “Tattoo You”. It was also his main stage guitar on the Stones tours of America and elsewhere in ’78 and ’81-’82. There is great footage of him playing it during the concert film “Let’s Spend The Night Together” from the ’81 US tour, including the infamous scene where a fan jumps onstage and Keith swings his Custom at him. Tele Customs are apparently are also great for self-defense! Anyway, Keith also used his Custom for the Chuck Berry film “Hail, Hail Rock And Roll!” in ’86 and during the sessions for his ’88 solo debut “Talk Is Cheap”. It was notably missing from his gear on the 1989 “Steel Wheels” tour and during the ’90’s Keith was seen peforming with Music Man Silhouettes and Gibsons (Les Pauls and 335s) as much as his open G tuned Teles. Keith has stated on his Website that the weight of the Custom accounts for it’s absence from the stage. However, I have seen recent footage and pics of him playing both his original black Custom, as well as a white one on the Stones’ current tour. My point is that I think it really says something about the Tele Custom if Keith Richards favored one for so long, using it alongside his ’50s Teles, both on record and onstage. I certainly love my ’72 Custom and Deluxe Re-issues. Even though there are some differences, I think Fender has done a great job retaining the spirit of the originals with the re-issues.

Leave a Comment