The FenderTelecaster Lover's Modification Site!

Kirk Foster

Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Kirk FosterHi, I'm Kirk Foster from the Patron Saints and Eric made me do's his fault…it's ALWAYS his fault...but those are other stories! The only one you might want to hear is the "walnut Tele era"...since my various projects never seem to have any particular endpoint (and I'm too old to remember when I ever started these things), let's just call it from sometime in the mid 80's thru to the future.

I'd previously owned a new, store-bought REAL Fender '72 blond, maple neck beauty, which remained stock for about five months until I went home to my Dad's shop over a Christmas break from college, took a belt sander to the body and promptly earned disdainful looks from the old man….no amount of explanation would've done any good…..he just wasn't going to "get it"….anyway, I have no idea whatsoever of what happened to that instrument other than I don't think it was stolen (I think I would've remembered that!), but I must have felt I needed another by the 80's. By that time I'd built two basses, a bolt-on and a set neck (which were affectionately Kirk Foster's custom Telenamed 'maple bass I' and 'maple bass II'…imaginative, eh?..but it set the naming strategy) so figured I could handle a slab of something to bolt a Carvin neck to….There was a custom wood trim shop in town that was moving its operation and had a stock reduction sale. I bought more maple and a couple of nice pieces of walnut. The local hardware store's millright talked me out of using my pieces and said he had just the chunk of walnut for me stashed away in a barn.

So I came back in a couple of days and was directed to a dirty, cobwebbed, metallic-blue oversprayed chunk of what looked like a barn beam. Ol' Virgil said "Trust me". So I did. What you see is the result. Those are Fender Lace Sensors, Gold's in the neck and middle positions and what may have been the very first Tele bridge Red that Fender ever made. At that time, the Lace Strats had just come out, but no one, especially the local music store, knew about getting a three-screw Tele bridge unit. Maybe Fender didn't either, it took eight months to get, and I've never seen one since. Got some other generic parts from somewhere (another senior moment) and slapped that sucka' together and was promptly disappointed by the neck. Not that there's anything wrong with Carvin parts, in fact I think they're great! But it just didn't have the shape of the 'ol '72, and it had Kirk Foster's custom Telecloser to a Strat headstock….so off to Warmoth for a "vintage '72" birdseye maple. Now it looked and felt right. And I've even left it that way for about seventeen years……and that's just too long for some of us….Walnut is a very dense wood and this thing weighs eight pounds...and I really like the 'Thinline' look, so my plan is to mill off the top quarter inch, hog out at least the upper side and cap it with a bookmatched flame maple top with cream binding and an f-hole.

And since Eric has every pickup known to man installed in something around here, I figure when the project gets that far along (call me in five years or so), I'll have figured out what to put in it, maybe Rio Grande's, maybe Kinman's, maybe even (gasp!!) P-90's. BTW, anybody know anything about the new Z pickups in the G&L's? They seem like a great idea (from under my engineer hat) and I bet I'd be the only one on the block with 'em...and I'm the BASS player in Eric's band!!!...jeesh!!!!...

Kirk Foster's custom Tele 

Kirk Foster's custom Tele 

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