The world’s first solid electric is still going strong.
The Esquire, introduced in April 1950, was Fender’s first solid‑body electric guitar and featured a slab ash body and a single pickup. Later that year a neck pickup and truss rod were added to the spec on a model that was named, first, the Broadcaster, before being rechristened the Telecaster mere months later. The first examples hit the shops in mid‑1951 and cost just under $190 – around £1,350 in today’s money. The genius of Leo Fender’s design means that it can be easily tweaked to result in models very different from the original streamlined instruments. Take Slipknot guitarist Jim Root’s (pictured) signature Telecaster. Its mahogany body and dual EMG pickups provide a huge tone that would be impossible to achieve with a traditional spec Tele. Due to the Telecaster’s versatility and elegant design, it’s rightly regarded by many as their ‘desert island’ guitar, and every guitarist should own one.