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1959 Fender Telecaster
Jimmy Page, ca. 1967
General Specs
Body: Single cutaway slab ash body
Finish: Blond with nitrocellulose lacquer (1959-1967), Paint stripped and handpainted dragon by Jimmy Page (1967-1971)
Neck: One-piece maple neck
Fingerboard: Rosewood with pearloid dot inlays
Frets: 21
Bridge: Top-loading bridge w/ adjustable chrome saddles
Headstock: Logo removed
Tuners: "Double line" Kluson Deluxe
Hardware: Chrome
Pickguard: White Bakelite, then handmade black single layer ABS pickguard, custom "metallic" pickguard for Dragon Tele era.
Pickups: Flat pole single coil (chrome cover on neck pickup)
Controls: Master Volume knob, Master Tone knob and 3-position toggle switch
Years in use: 1966-1971
Website: http://www.fender.com/ 
The 1959 Fender Telecaster, dubbed the "Dragon Telecaster", has a pretty wild life, although it ended in tragedy.

It was originally purchased in 1961 by John Owen for £107. It soon landed in the hands of Jeff Beck, his bandmate in the pop band, The Deltones. Beck brought the guitar with him to the Yardbirds in 1965 as a backup to his Gibson Les Paul. The original white Bakelite pickguard and switchtip of the Telecaster crumbled off and Beck had replaced it with a homemade black pickguard.

When Beck abandoned the Yardbirds in August 1966, the Telecaster was left behind for Jimmy Page to use (with its original white pickguard). By March 1967, eight reflective circles appeared on the front body of the guitar, perhaps as a nod to Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd, who donned a similarly-decorated Fender Esquire guitar in January 1967 for a recording session for the movie Tonight Let's All Make Love in London.

In late 1967, Jimmy Page stripped the Fender Blond paint off and handpainted a green, red and orange psychadelic dragon on the front of the ash body and replaced the pickguard with a pickguard made of clear acrylic with a sheet of diffraction grating film underneath.

Jimmy Page brought the Dragon Telecaster to Led Zeppelin and used it as his primary guitar until late April 1969 when he bought the Gibson Les Paul 'Number One' from Joe Walsh.

In addition, the Dragon Telecaster was used on Led Zeppelin in October 1968 and used for the guitar solo on Stairway To Heaven in late 1970.

In a 1998 Guitar World interview, Jimmy Page said the following about the fate of the Dragon Telecaster.

"I still have it (referring to the Dragon Tele), but it’s a tragic story. I went on tour with the '59 Les Paul that I bought from Joe Walsh, and when I got back, a friend of mine had kindly painted over my paint job. He said, 'Ive got a present for you." He thought he had done me a real favor. As you can guess, I wasn't real happy about that. His paint job totally screwed up the sound and the wiring, so only the neck pickup worked. I salvaged the neck and put it on my brown Tele string bender that I used in the Firm. As for the body... it will never be seen again! (laughs)"


Photos

1959 Fender Telecaster
Jeff Beck
1959 Fender Telecaster
Jeff Beck
1959 Fender Telecaster
The Yardbirds, October 1, 1966, Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle, England
1959 Fender Telecaster
Jimmy Page, ca. March 1967
1959 Fender Telecaster
Jimmy Page, September 7, 1968, Egegård Skole, Gladsaxe, Denmark
1959 Fender Telecaster
Jimmy Page, March 14, 1969, Stockholm Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden
1959 Fender Telecaster
Jimmy Page, May 2, 1969, Rose Palace, Pasadena, California
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

October xx, 1968 - Led Zeppelin is recorded
October 19, 1968 - Final performance as the New Yardbirds
October 31, 1969 - Led Zeppelin II is released in the US
October 17, 1969 - Bonham is thrilled to play Carnegie Hall where Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa have performed
October 23, 1970 - Led Zeppelin III is released in the US
October xx, 1970 - The press lash out at the band over the Led Zeppelin III acoustic content
October xx, 1971 - Page and Plant venture around Thailand and India after the Japan tour
October 18, 1972 - Zeppelin rehearse at the Rainbow Theater for a UK tour
October xx, 1973 - Each member performs an individual film sequence for their concept film
October 31, 1974 - Swan Song hosts a party for the launch of its UK division
October xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin decide not to tour and concentrate on recording new material
October 20, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same premieres at New York’s Cinema One
October xx, 1977 - Jimmy starts assembling a Led Zeppelin live album from recordings as far back as 1969
October xx, 1978 - Jones and Bonham record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios
October xx, 1978 - Rehearsals for In Through The Out Door in London
October xx, 1979 - All nine Led Zeppelin albums enter the Billboards Top 200 -- no other band has ever achieved this
October 10, 1980 - A private funeral is held for John Bonham at Rushock church in Worcestershire
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