Gibson Melody Maker, Harmony H22 bass, Vox Ultrasonic
1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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Fender Rosewood Telecaster

Solid body electric guitar

1972 Fender Rosewood Telecaster

A Rosewood solid body?

In the late 1960s a number of companies were trying out rosewood as a potential body material. Among the best known are the solid rosewood Stratocaster presented to Jimi Hendrix, and the rosewood Telecaster presented to George Harrison, both in 1969. Harrison used his for the final Beatles album, Let it be, and the film of the same name, most famously playing it on the Apple studio roof concert, before giving it to Delaney Bramlett shortly afterwards. Steve Cropper of Booker T and the MGs was another rosewood Tele player of the early seventies.

This period had spawned a number of new Teles; the paisley models in pink and blue, the Telecaster thinline, and now the rosewood version. The rosewood and thinline were the work of Roger Rossmeisl (a designer for Rickenbacker until 1962, then with Fender - he also designed the Coronado) and Phillip Kubicki.

Rosewood had been used for a very long time for fret boards, but only when used to make bodies was the gorgeous natural grain really apparent. The body itself was made of a rosewood front and back, with a thin maple sandwich between the two. Some later instruments had some hollowing out to reduce weight. The neck again was rosewood, without a separate fretboard (although the prototypes did have this).

Regular production continued until 1972, however there have been numerous reissues of this classic guitar ever since, from Fenders numerous factories worldwide.

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