The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Ed Bickert’s Blonde Fender Telecaster, 1965


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For many years, the late, world renowned Canadian jazz guitarist Ed Bickert used this mid-1965 blonde Fender Telecaster on countless sessions, club dates, and recordings. This guitar was his main instrument from 1965 until his retirement in 2000. Ed Bickert died on February 28, 2019.

This iconic guitar was not a stranger to The Twelfth Fret, as Ed Bickert was a customer and had The Twelfth Fret maintain and modify the guitar, adding a Gibson humbucking pickup in the neck position. As Ed used this guitar constantly, it periodically required refretting, and this work was performed by Grant and Russ Lackey at the original Twelfth Fret Repair Shop on Kingston Road.

This historic instrument is now available for sale. It is a Fender Telecaster with blonde finish, dated to June 1965, and retains most of its original finish. The six-saddle bridge and Gibson humbucking pickup in the neck position are the non-original parts.

Here’s Grant MacNeill on meeting Ed Bickert and working on his telecaster:

“Hello, Grant MacNeill here from the Twelfth Fret Guitarists’ Pro Shop in Toronto. I first met jazz great, Ed Bickert here in my workshop, shortly after I opened in 1977.

On his first visit, when he took this this lovely ‘65 Tele out of the gig bag, his daughter, who was along for the ride said “Daddy, are you going to paint your guitar?” But Ed was never interested in cosmetic changes. Though, over the years, he had plenty of routine service work done.

Ed put in 50 hours a week on this guitar so he had major fret-wear. I refretted the guitar twice. Then later on, here in our shop, Luthier Russ Lackey refretted it again possibly two more times. We used a correct-to-period, narrow-width fretwire and Ed was pleased that we could retain the original look and feel.

As you can tell, the guitar has tens of thousands of hours of honest-wear-and tear. The white-ash body is typical medium weight with entirely original finish…or what is left of it. The fretboard is a lovely, dark rosewood with original pearloid dots. The 12th bass-side dot is partially gone due to the light sanding process for the many refrets.

The maple in the neck is exceptionally straight grained and the finish on the back of the neck is entirely worn away.
Early on, I installed the 6-saddle bridge to improve on intonation, since Ed went to lighter weight strings with a plain G.

The Allan key adjustor taped to the pickguard is for height adjustment. And taped to the back, exactly where he put it, is Ed’s spare pick.

Ed used the bridge cover, or ash-tray as it is often called, as an actual ash tray at all his gigs. He Dymo-taped Bickert on it, so it would not go astray.

There is a deep wear-mark on the lower bout that matches the metal seat-rails of the commercial office chairs that Ed sat in for the countless sessions at CBC, Manta Sound and Sounds Interchange.

Around 1979, Ed asked me to convert the guitar to a Dimarzio pickup. Dimarzio was the popular pickup at the time. It was definitely a move in the right direction, but Ed was not completely satisfied as the pickup was a touch too dark sounding. I changed over to a Gibson humbucker and he loved it.

I’ll tell you, I was pretty nervous working on Ed’s guitars. But he was always appreciative and a true gentleman to deal with and I was honoured to have had his trust. He is remembered fondly by all who knew him.”

Price: $32,500.00 USD
  • Model: Telecaster
  • Year: 1965
  • Finish Blonde
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: L89521, built during 1965 in Fullerton CA, neck date B JUN 65
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 04/10/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Instrument Weight: 8.184lbs 3.72kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 647.7mm
  • Nut Width: 1.656in 42.06mm
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