2005 Fender Esquire Custom Shop Limited Edition

Photos taken in 1967, in Abbey Road studios, show Paul McCartney playing a Sunburst finished Fender Esquire 6 string guitar with a Rosewood finger board.
In 1946, Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, or "Fender" for short. The company grew to become a major manufacturer of guitars, basses and amplifiers. From an early age, Leo Fender always tinkered with electronics. In his teens, he would repair radios as a hobby. Although Fender went to college to study accounting, he continued his tinkering with electronics such as building several Public Address systems. After losing his accounting job during the Great Depression, Fender started a radio repair business in Fullerton, California. Many of his clients included local musicians, from whom he learned about the popularity of electric lap steel guitars. Fender briefly teamed up with Clayton Orr "Doc" Kauffman, an inventor and lap steel player and the two patented a lap steel guitar they began selling in a package with an amplifier designed by Fender. The two inventors soon amicably parted ways and Fender established his own company.
Fender realized that he could improve on the amplified hollow-body instruments being used at the time by designing a simple thin solid-body electric guitar with a faster neck. In 1950, he released the first of his innovative guitars, the Fender Esquire. More changes to it would follow, such as the addition of a neck pick up and wring and a new model name of Broadcaster then Telecaster. Additional new guitar designs such as Stratocaster, Precision/Jazz basses and various amplifiers would be added to the line up cementing the popularity and collectability of Fender instruments.
Close examination of various photographs of McCartney’s mid-1960’s Esquire reveals: an unbound ash body; maple neck with veneer rosewood finger board; pearloid finger board dots; 12th fret dot markers spaced close together; silver spaghetti with black trim peg head logo; DES and two patent numbers; double-line Kluson tuners; butterfly clip string tree; pick guard: white plastic W/B/W three layer laminated plastic; 1 pick-up with 2 metal control knobs and a 3-way selector switch with “top hat” style tip; strings anchor through body; nitrocellulose sunburst finish.
McCartney reportedly acquired his Esquire in 1966, sometime during the Beatles “Revolver” recording sessions. Enthusiasts believe it can be heard on such songs like “Taxman,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Good morning, Good Morning” and “Helter Skelter” amongst others. Although it was a right-handed model, he had it modified for left-handed playing. This included restringing it, adjusting the bridge for correct intonation and moving the strap button to the opposite horn.
The 2005 Fender Esquire Custom Shop Limited Edition presented in our collection is similar to McCartney’s guitar.

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Paul McCartney in the studio in 1967 with his Fender Esquire.

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