Blimey! This is certainly a head-turner. The daring pink paisley finished first appeared on Telecasters and Tele Basses in 1968 after the pattern became fashionable among hippies during the Summer of Love. The finish is achieved by literally pasting paisley wallpaper onto the guitar body (the Tele slab body made it easier to apply as opposed to the contoured body of a Strat) then lacquering over the top to create a tough gloss finish.
The paisley guitar has since taken on a life of its own with players such as James Burton, Brad Paisley (of course!) and Noel Gallagher inspiring others to take on this bold psychedelic style. Today, original ’60s Paisley Tele’s are highly sought after and fetch prices upwards of £10,000. The paisley pattern didn’t appear on a Strat body until 1987 when the Japanese arm of Fender brought out a limited run. Since then, Fender have rereleased the Paisley and its cousin, the Blue Flower, in limited runs over the years extending it to other Fender models and even amps!
Our Guitar of the Month, the Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt (Dale Wilson) Relic Stratocaster Pink Paisley / Gold, imagines that the Paisley finish was applied to a Strat of the same era the original Paisley Tele was released. The late ’60s style Strat is notable for its larger headstock and other more subtle changes such as the Fender headstock logo, neck shape and tuners. Having handled many different Fenders from different eras, I can tell you this Masterbuilt really does feel like a genuine late ’60s Strat. Some Relics, while having that lovely worn-in feel, still feel new. There is a quality in the DNA of this guitar that feels properly authentic – the neck, playability, the hardware and plastics, the feel of the lacquer and the detail in the ageing are all convincing. The concept may be fantasy but the execution is authentic.
Dale Wilson has had a passion for guitar building since childhood and built Dobro, Rickenbacker, Guild, Gretsch and Benedetto guitars before moving to Fender Custom Shop in 2005, finally becoming a Master Builder in 2011. His passion and skill is clearly evident is this and other models we’ve had at Guitar Village.
Model: Custom Shop Masterbuilt (Dale Wilson) Relic Stratocaster
Colour: Pink Paisley / Gold
Weight: 7.30 lbs / 3.31 kg
Body: 2pc Lightweight Ash with Pink/Gold Paisley Finish
Neck: AAA Flame Maple w/Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
Neck Profile: Large “C”
Fingerboard: AAA Flame Maple
Fingerboard Inlays: Micarta Black Dots
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5” (241mm)
Nut Width: 1.650” (42 mm) – Bone
Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)
Frets: 21 Vintage Style
Pickguard: 63-69 Strat Relic
Tuners: Schaller Relic Tuners
Bridge: American Vintage Stratocaster Tremolo Relic
Hardware: Relic Nickel
Pickups: Hand-Wound 1960’s Strat Single-Coils
Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1 & 2, 5-Way Switch
Case/Gigbag: Fender Custom Shop Hardshell
Accessories: Certificate of Authenticity & Accessories