Discover the Dark and Mysterious Past of Fender’s Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline

PARANORMAL CABRONITA TELECASTER THINLINE
(Image credit: FMIC)

To the uninitiated, the Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline looks like a perfectly normal guitar. However, as its name suggests, several things about this design are far from normal. 

As the sun begins setting on Fender’s 75th anniversary year, we go back – way back – for a dig through the vaults to see what we can unearth about the origins of this new model.

Sunburst Finish

The Stratocaster was the first Fender solidbody to be issued with a sunburst finish as standard. And though the regular finish for a Telecaster was blond, back in the day, it was possible to custom-order one in sunburst for a 5% upcharge. However, those Teles are exceedingly rare.

Dual pickup Fender Esquire

1950 dual pickup Fender Esquire pictured at the Songbirds Museum, Chattanooga, TN (Image credit: Future)

The guitar pictured is a one-off sunburst twin-pickup ‘double Esquire’ that was built in 1950 at the request of a factory visitor who spotted the experimental work in progress.

This is likely the first sunburst guitar of its type.

Jazzmaster Pickups

Some of Fender’s most interesting instruments were highly experimental false starts that eventually morphed into iconic guitars, including this Jazzmaster prototype.

Prototype Fender Jazzmaster

Prototype Fender Jazzmaster pictured at the Songbirds Museum, Chattanooga, TN (Image credit: Future)

Much like the Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline, this guitar has a maple fretboard and black pickup covers, rather than the rosewood 'board and white pickup covers of a regular Jazzmaster. Notice the control knobs are lifted from a Telecaster.

PARANORMAL CABRONITA TELECASTER THINLINE

Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline (Image credit: FMIC)

Gold Pickguard

When the Jazzmaster was released as Fender’s top-of-the-range model in 1958, it came with a gold-colored aluminium pickguard as standard – much like the gold-colored ‘guard featured on the Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline.

1958 Fender Jazzmaster

1958 Fender Jazzmaster pictured at ATB Guitars in Cheltenham, UK (Image credit: Future)

By the following year, the gold ‘guard had been replaced by a celluloid nitrate type – either a 4-layer (w/b/w/faux tortoiseshell) or 3-layer (w/b/w), depending on finish – making these early Jazzmasters a rare sight.

Thinline Body

Roger Rossmeisl (1927-1979) is an unsung hero of the guitar-building world. Hailing from Germany, he first arrived in the US with a job offer from Gibson, although later found himself developing Rickenbacker’s breakthrough designs.

1969 Fender Thinline Telecaster

1969 Fender Thinline Telecaster pictured at ATB Guitars in Cheltenham, UK (Image credit: Future)

Having jumped ship to fellow Californian firm Fender, Rossmeisl set about creating some of the most innovative designs of the late 60s, including the Telecaster Thinline (released in 1968). 

Interestingly, the f-holes on these guitars are exactly the same as those found on the Rossmeisl-designed Rose Morris Rickenbackers.

PARANORMAL CABRONITA TELECASTER THINLINE

Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline (Image credit: FMIC)

Click here (opens in new tab)for more information on the forthcoming Fender Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.