Said Red Molly to James: “That’s a fine motorbike.”

Richard Carpenter is an excellent songwriter, and like most songwriters, goes through life not getting the recognition for his work. But the royalty payments help ease that suffering of the ego. One of the main reasons the Grateful Dead have been so successful was their association with prolific genius-level lyricists from the very beginning. Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh weren’t slouches by any means, and their solo albums prove that, at least with Jerry and Bob “Ace” Weir. But for the main complex arrangements that were meant for public consumption John Barlow and Robert Hunter, as well as a few others in the circle, were there and ready all the time, and quietly helped produce some amazing work. Barlow had an exceptional life beyond his insane success as a songwriter.

Richard Carpenter is another prolific wordsmith, and artists regularly dip from his well. Del McCoury is a fine man and artist and songwriter, but his touch on 52 Black Lightning is indelible. And as good as it is, I think it would even be better done with a baritone or meatier instrumentals. I’d like to hear Eddie Vedder give it a go.

So anyway, that brings me around to this guitar of mine, whose name is “Red Molly.” A 2018 Fender Telecaster Professional electric guitar with a maple neck. No tremolo. I am the original owner and will care for it as such.

I’m not a maniac about Fender guitars, electrics or even certain models. But this is a guitar I’ve always wanted for several reasons. It’s bright red, which is a given. But it also takes me down roads that have been walked by The Smiths, and a zoo of other notable players of varying genres that have used this make and model. The sound and tone is unmistakable, and with a beefy maple neck, it’s super-fun to play. You can do anything with it. It’s also pretty light, compared to my Les Paul. But the build quality, fit and finish, sound, playability, and craftsmanship make it a stunner. It plays itself, and it takes you for a ride you don’t forget.

red fender telecaster maple neck


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