BillyRadd Music

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mad About Mildred

It all went down last summer, but it seems like just yesterday.

One of my wonderful daughters sent me a BluRay DVD of a concert given in Madison Square Garden with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. And, what a rockin' show it turned out to be.  During one wonderful tune, Steve picked up a jet black Telecaster and, of course, showed us all how to play the thing while singing in his soulful voice.  Another great performance by one of my favs.  

But, what really caught my eye (and ear) was his Black Telecaster.

That's when the latest obsession took over my mind like a gnawing desire.  I had to have that guitar.

I immediately went to the Fender web site and found that Steve's Black Tele was most likely a one-of-a-kind custom guitar, possibly even commissioned personally by or for him.  The foolish idea even flashed across my mind to try contacting him directly.  But, alas, Steve had quit corresponding with me a few years ago (sarcasm) and any Telecaster he owned would probably be out of my price range by a factor of 10 (truth).

But, undaunted, I found one that was a pretty close match on the Fender site and within my price range, a Classic Series 72 Telecaster with Rosewood fretboard, one Super-Coil Telecaster bridge pick, one Fender Wide Range humbucking neck pickup, and vintage-style bridge and tuners.

I went to my favorite online supplier, Musicians Friend, and found a great deal on a used one in mint condition. With a few clicks of my mouse, my credit card info and address, it was on its way to my hot little hands.

When my friend, the local UPS delivery driver padded up my driveway holding a large conspicuous box labeled Fender over his head, I tried to hide my anticipation.  It felt like Christmas and I was 5 years old waiting for Santa again.

"Hey, Boss (he calls me Boss). You gotta stop ordering this heavy stuff, " he joked.

"Er, no," I replied happily as I took the box from him.

"Didn't think so," he quipped over his shoulder as he hussled back to his big brown box on wheels.

I quickly opened the box, withdrew the Tele already nestled in its "free" gig bag and admired its classic lines.  She is one heavy black beauty, but she rings like a bell, this Telecaster.

Later that same day I was talking on the phone to my "brutha from the same mutha" who lives in California and shares my love for good old rock 'n roll.

"You should give it a name, like BB King's guitar, " he said, which, by the way, is a custom-built black Gibson ES-335 made just for BB.

"What does he call his guitar?  Is it Mildred?", he asked innocently.

I couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes, but the name stuck.

Lucille is already taken.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Bill. Love the name, love the guitar! The other night on Palladia, my favorite TV station, they did a concert tribute to the Fender Stratocaster. At 1 a.m, I grabbed my Stratacoustic and began playing along with Joe Walsh, through "Funk 49" and "Rocky Mountain Way"! Gotta love those Fender moments!