I built this Joe Strummer relic project, partly for the hell of it – but also as a gift to a close mate, and lifelong Strummer fan. I’ve had a good deal of fun playing the guitar in, and I’m pleased with the bite of the sound, and the general feel and look of the thing. Maybe it’s, perhaps, a little sharp and “new” in a few places – but it’s quite difficult to relic an object consistently and evenly overall. The guitar will be moving on soon – so I’ve got a last chance to look it over, and make any final tweaks and adjustments before I hand it over.
The Telecaster, Joe Strummer relic project seems to be a bit of a “right of passage” for self-builders. It’s somewhat liberating to be able to put a guitar together whilst having a bit of freedom to “rough up” the finish along the way. Over the last month or so, I’ve managed to finish both the Jaguar and the Strummercaster. It’ll be interesting to see how they match up against each other.
Seems like it’s setup week in Garageland. Both the Jaguar and Telecaster projects are nearing completion at the same time. With thoughts turning to possibilites for the next project, it’s time to setup the Tele and see if it sounds in keeping with its’ looks. Hopefully, it’ll look like an world weary antique – but still play easily, with that Telecaster “bite”.
The Telecaster control circuit is about a basic a circuit as exists for electric guitars. This variation is a step up from the absolute basic “Esquire” type – differing in that it has to incorporate two pickups, and using the three position, blade switch to control the various pickup combinations. There’s an additional modification – the addition of a treble bleed, which adds a little extra to do – but the circuit is pretty basic and ideal, for a relative beginner in guitar electronics like me, to get to know how things get connected.
The pickups need to be screwed into place so they can eventually be wired into the guitar circuit. There are a few bits and pieces of hardware to follow up as well, before I need to move on to building and connecting up the switching circuit.
The “Ignore Alien Orders” sticker on Strummer’s guitar is iconic. Whilst I’m not out to make an exact replica – I want this crucial part of the build to look at home.
With the neck, scratchplate, body and now hardware, all having been “aged”, and with other bits and pieces in various states of preparation – a couple of days focus should see the Strummercaster finally start to come together.