Country star Brad Paisley, who many regard as a guitarist first and foremost, has joined the ranks of pickers with their own signature guitars with the creation of Fender’s new Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster.
Modeled in several respects after a 1960s Tele that he owns, the new Road Worn model was designed to meet Paisley’s specifications, including a silver sparkle lacquer finish, a lightweight body, a custom wound ’64 Tele bridge pickup, and an enhanced “V” neck shape for a comfortable grip. The top of the body’s upper bout is worn and there’s a nick or two and some body wear, all meant to simulate years of use. It’s topped off by a paisley pickguard. Paisley talked in detail about the new axe at the NAMM show in downtown Nashville last weekend.
“The reason I play a Tele is because my favorite music of all time was played on a Tele,” Paisley said, as he unconsciously ripped off licks on one of the new Teles the way most pickers do when they have a guitar in their hands. “When I began my career, I had a ’68 paisley Tele that I used on almost every track of the record in the late ‘90s, with a Vox AC-30, and that was my thing. Merle Haggard, the Desert Rose Band – John Jorgenson, when I heard him, I said, ‘That’s the sound I want to go after.’ It’s been a long time coming for me to do something with Fender. They have some really great people there, and that’s what it’s all about, to me. The reason to work with Fender is the people, because I could always just buy a Telecaster. They care, and all the guys I’m working with are guitar players.”
Paisley said that one of the primary motivators in designing this guitar was that he wanted to help create something that wasn’t out of the financial reach of the average or aspiring player, because he remembered what it was like as a young man trying to afford a professional axe. “You can’t go out and buy a vintage Tele at this price point,” he said of the $1199.99 list price. “I set out to create a guitar that was accessible for the vast majority of young people out there, who I hope to inspire to change the world with musical dreams.”
You can see Paisley demoing the Road Worn Telecaster at Summer NAMM below.