I built this Joe Strummer relic project, partly for the hell of it - but also as a gift to a close mate, and lifelong Strummer fan. I've had a good deal of fun playing the guitar in, and I'm genrally pleased with the way the build has gone. The guitar will be moving on soon - so I've got a last chance to look it over, and make any final tweaks and adjustments.
A Joe Strummer telecaster, relic project seems to be a bit of a "right of passage" for self-builders. It's somewhat liberating to be able to put a guitar together whilst having a bit of freedom to "rough up" the finish along the way. Over the last month or so, I’ve managed to finish both the Jaguar and the Strummercaster. It'll be interesting to see how they match up against each other.
Seems like it's setup week in Garageland. Both the Jaguar and Telecaster projects are nearing completion at the same time. With thoughts turning to possibilites for the next project, it's time to setup the Tele and see if it sounds in keeping with its' looks.
The Telecaster control circuit is about a basic a circuit as exists for electric guitars. There's an additional modification in this case - the addition of a treble bleed - but the circuit is simple, and ideal for a relative beginner in guitar electronics like me, to get to know how things get connected
The pickups need to be screwed into place so they can eventually be wired into the guitar circuit. There are a few bits and pieces of hardware to follow up as well, before I need to move on to building and connecting up the switching circuit.
I've had the Stratocaster finished and playable for about a month now. I did the project to build a new guitar, but also to learn a bit in the process. So what did I end up with? How well does it play? What do I want to change?
Surely there's room on the planet for just one more Strummer replica Telecaster? For me - the Fender tribute series just don't cut it for proper, authentic gnarliness. Can I make one myself, that's authentic looking? Truly fucked up, yet still playable?
This is the real exciting bit. How is it going to play??
It's almost an alchemical experience. Wood and wire finished and shaped, and all to accept a simple electric circuit. With it, a guitar becomes electric and, as Frank Zappa puts it, "the guitar can be the single most blasphemous device on the face of the earth" - "The disgusting stink of a too loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time".