Bob Weir on His Very Special Tele

March 15, 2006

“I was adopted, and I finally dug up my birth father about ten years ago. I also discovered I had a half brother named James Parber who was a professional guitarist, but he checked out from spinal cancer before I arrived on the scene. We were just about to go into rehearsals for our first tour as The Dead when my dad gave me James’ old guitar, which turned out to be a ’56 Fender Telecaster. I was mesmerized. It was instant love. The guitar cut through all the traffic in that band really well. The Telecaster sound is all the information you need, and no more, and its slightly more asymmetrical overtone scale made me listen to each note a little differently. That was my main guitar for a number of years. I took what I learned about pickup configuration and scale length from the Telecaster, combined it with the mini-archtop design of my custom Modulus, and came up with the blue Modulus that is now my main guitar. Then, I had my man at Modulus duplicate the Telecaster, because I’m thinking about keeping the original safe at home. I didn’t find that guitar—it fell out of the sky and landed on my lap.”

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