someone said: Rick!
I was surfing the internet and found your website - nice!
Thanks for keeping the "Jaguar" faith 😀
I have been playing electric guitars since I was in second grade and now turning age 55 (gulp) this summer, that is a lot more years than I wish to remember. Fender honored me recently and posted the original photo taken of me and my band holding my new '62 Fender Jaguar (birthday gift from Dad) when we played at The New York World's fair from Newsday (local Long Island, NY newspaper). I "just" turned 13 back then - August 1964.
That original photo is now screwed behind Plexiglas on their wall in the Fender museum in Corona, CA.
Along with many "Jaguar" stories that I have - this one will blow you away;
Sure, we all in the 60's (back then) attempted to modify our Jaguars and Jazzmaster to sound better, get away from that "surf sound" and look cooler. My Jag was the original sunburst and while the psychedelic years were rolling in, clubs that we played at used "black lights" and noticing that day-glo paint lit up and glowed like a Christmas tree, I thought it would be really cool to paint parts of my Jag with dayglo paint, but it was a water base paint and came off...and all over me when I played which made "me" glow too.
My bass player and I found this pink paisley contact paper in a hardware store in Farmingdale, NY and put it under a blacklight when I got home and oh yeah......it lit up!!! So I went back there, bought a few yards of it, came home stripped the Jag of everything and then wrapped the Jag body in the paper (only). Since it was a foil paper the corners creased really nicely but the paper was only about 24" wide so I took two sheets and coordinated the seam (dead center) and adhered the paper to the face of the Jag - and where it wound up on the back, I didn't care, no one was going to see that anyway.
Then I put the guitar back together. When it was done - holy $%#@ - it looked so cool! We had a gig that night and under the blacklights of the stage; that Jaguar lit up, like their were electric lights on it. So many people were amazed at this, even my family came down to the club to see this pink paisley Jaguar that I created.
So here's the kicker;
A good year went by and the seam on the back eventually starting lifting off and back then I wore this big old belt buckle with my bell bottoms and I noticed that the contact paper had lifted and curled, had all of this lint attached to it from my clothes. The back of the Jag looked like it was growing green and blue mold and not real attractive. I took it all apart again and attempted to replace the paper but the adhesive was really strong on the body and all I did was make more of a mess. Nothing was going to help this poor Jag now. So I just left everything apart and pretty much shoveled everything into the case - completely apart, the guitar is in a millions pieces.
My older Sister (Alice), for my birthday said that she would pay for me to have the guitar refinished any color Fender offered. I was going to put it back together but thought...if Fender is going to refinish it, they'll just put it all together anyway, so why bother now. Back then, you had to send all guitars back to Fender in Fullerton for "anything". So from New York, we chose "Gracin's Music" in Freeport (the master Fender dealer) I chose Lake Placid Blue and off my (pre-CBS) Fender Jaguar guitar went. 1-2-3-4-5 weeks went by, we're calling the store....we're getting all sorts of excuses why the guitar isn't back yet. So Gracin's loaned me a Tele for gigs until my Jag showed up as we all assumed my guitar was lost. We got a call at the house about the 6th week that the guitar finally came back, but....to come to the store and see it. (Uh-oh, what now?)
So me, my Sister Alice, and some of the guys went to Gracin's. Pop Gracin opened the case (I had noticed all of these paper "Rail" tickets attached to the handle of the case) and here is my original Jaguar put back together - with the pink paisley contact paper all fixed up!!! And.......NOT Lake Placid Blue???
None of us could believe it! This was joke. Right?
I was relieved that my guitar at least was found, but?????? What the ???????
So OK....Bernie and Pop (owners of Gracin's) called Fullerton (again) when we were there and expedited the guitar to Fender with a promise that when it comes back it was going to be Lake Placid Blue this time and in two weeks.
Sure enough, two weeks later Gracin's called. The guitar is back! (Finally!)
But, we were told that Pop and Bernie Gracin were at the Fender distributor's show in Colorado and wouldn't be back until the next day and they wanted to be there when I swung by and picked up the guitar.
(I don't know why...to give me a certificate for "patience"?)
So.....next day; Me, Alice, the guys, hopped in her car - drove to the store; Pop brings over this "black tolex case" (???) opens it up and there is a brand new Jaguar, Lake Placid Blue with a letter inside signed from Leo apologizing for the serious delay, thanking me for my patronage and to enjoy my "brand new Fender Jaguar".
I have to admit, it looked nice but.......when I plugged it in, it sounded like....#$%@!
The markers on the neck were different. The chrome metal wasn't as thick, and it played like $#%@. When I put it back in the case I had noticed that somewhere it had CBS on it? I asked Bernie what "CBS" was about and he said that Leo sold the company to CBS and these are now the new guitars that they are producing and then told me to sit down; then handed me a promotional flier that he picked up at the Fender show in Denver. A line of Fender Pink-Paisley Telecasters and Precision Basses coming out!!! (Those Bastards!)
That's why "my" Jaguar took so long to get back me. That's why it came back "all put back together" with the Rail stickers attached to the handle of the case. Now, I wanted my old guitar back but there was nothing they could do. I was screwed.
Fender Marketing had sent my pink paisley Jaguar all over the country and used it as their marketing scheme and I was SOL for weeks and all I got of this was a crappy CBS model? My Sister called an attorney, explained everything and he just said that; "I had taken an "idea" and applied it to patented product and there was no legal recourse that I could could take. I have to admit, "it would of been nice" to get a .25 royalty on every pink-paisley Tele Fender produced - gee, I could of retired long ago.
Later on in years; James Burton who played lead for Rickie Nelson and Elvis endorsed the guitar for Fender and made it his. So, here in a nutshell - the success of the pink paisley Telecaster was originally fathered by my pink paisley Jaguar.
Here's a quote directly from Burton's website;
"In 1969, James got a call from Fender, telling him they had a guitar that was screaming his name. When he was performing with Elvis, James was a little hesitant to play the Pink Paisley on stage, because he thought that it looked too bright. But Elvis' "Guys" were pushing him to play the guitar on stage so he did and Elvis loved it."
Rick, I hope you got to the end of this story without falling asleep. If you wish to publish this story on your website please do. Keep the Jaguar faith!!!