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status quo: francis rossi's legendary green fender telecaste

£100,000 - £150,000

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Status Quo: Francis Rossi's legendary green Fender Telecaster guitar, late 1965, original 'F' neckplate and screws, stamped with serial no. 110959 , the front of the ash body with Francis' famous custom green finish, sides retaining some of the first black re-finish, natural back, original 60s' CTS volume pot and replaced tone control, original three-way selector replaced by five-way, Seymour Duncan bridge and neck pickups and Lace Sensor middle pickup, chrome Tune-o-matic bridge with Gotoh tailpiece, bridge plate reduced in size, replaced laminated scratchplate retaining original screws, maple neck capped with maple fingerboard, black dot markers, re-fretted with Jumbo frets, neck stamped 3AUG65B , headstock with replacement Kluson-style machine heads, three Patent numbers, silver-script Fender logo and two replaced string guides, with black leather Richter strap, in flight case inscribed Francis No.1 and with serial number, also with F.R and *1 stencilled in white, and affixed with various transit labels, guitar 38½in long 'The green Tele served me extremely well for almost 50 years and I'm always amazed when I look back and realised what a chequered history we had together...' -Francis Rossi- Provenance: From the collection of Francis Rossi. This guitar was purchased in Glasgow, second-hand, by Francis for £75 in 1968 and used extensively for both live and studio work for the next 47 years until its 'retirement' in 2015. During that time it became one of the most instantly-recognisable instruments in rock music. Originally a standard sunburst model, it has been heavily modified over the years. Soon after acquiring the guitar, Francis removed the finish entirely for a natural finish (which was in vogue in the late 60s), but then changed his mind and painted it black. However, still unhappy with the way it looked, he decided to sand the front and back down and use some green furniture paint that he had to re-finish the front, leaving the back bare wood. This is how the guitar has remained ever since. The original sunburst finish is evident where the neck sits in the body and also a yellowish residue can be seen under the areas of black paint. Several explanations have been proffered as to the origin of the hole drilled in the body, the most likely being that this was done by Francis to allow the lead to be threaded through it when onstage in an attempt to prevent it being ripped out of the jack. The pickups/bridge have also gone through various changes, as documented in photographs and footage over the years. Status Quo's roots go back to 1962, when Francis and schoolmate Alan Lancaster formed The Scorpions. They then became The Spectres and in 1965, during a summer season at the Butlins holiday camp in Minehead, Somerset, Francis met Rick Parfitt and they became close friends. After several lineup and name changes, Rick joined the band in 1967 and shortly thereafter they adopted the name The Status Quo. They released the psychedelia-influenced single Pictures Of Matchstick Men in January 1968, which became the band's first Top 10 hit. In 1969, they became Status Quo. With a new name came a change in musical style and their March 1970 single, Down The Dustpipe was what Francis has described as '...the first record to feature our soon-to-be trademark boogie shuffle.' It was also the first single that the now-green Telecaster was used on and, together with the faded denim and T-shirt outfit the band adopted, became an integral part of the look that characterised them throughout the 1970s. The statistics of Quo's half-century career are impressive. It is estimated that the band has played over 6,000 concerts to a total audience in excess of 25 million, travelling some 4 million miles and spending 23 years away from home. A momentous point in their career came in July 1985, when they were the first rock act to appear at the 'Live Aid' concert at Wembley Stadium, opening with the now-anthemic Rockin' All Over The World . Dubbed the 'global jukebox', the event was one of the largest-scale TV broadcasts of all time, with an estimated audience of almost 2 billion, nearly 40% of the world population at the time. On 21st September 1991 the band entered the Guinness Book of Records by playing four UK concerts, in Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London - in just 11 hours and 11 minutes. That year also saw the band honoured with the prestigious BRIT Award for 'Outstanding Contribution To The British Music Industry'. In 2013 they released their 100th single, having achieved another Guinness World Record in 2010 for the most number of UK hit singles - 66. They have spent more than 415 weeks (7 1/2 years) in the British Singles Chart. In 2014, they notched up their 500th week in the UK Album Chart and September 2019 saw the release of their 33rd studio album, Backbone , which entered the UK Album chart at No.6. Only the Rolling Stones have had more albums in the British Album Charts. By 2018, their total worldwide record sales exceeded 118 million units. In 2009 Francis was recognised for his services to music and charity by the award of an OBE in the New Year's Honours List.