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Dragon Telecaster Re-created

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I have to say, on hearing here that the cheaper dragon telecaster's artwork is a sticker, decal material is a complete bummer. Hey i do not even play guitar and do not have a man cave to display such a visually cool guitar. But if someone wants to hang that guitar on the wall of an entertainment room and its got lighting...with a decal look, i am imagining it looking very cheesy. As per talking about skateboards in the lz vans thread....jeez there have been mass produced skateboards with silkscreened artwork with basic quality paint for decades now. 

Seriously, i hope they get out ahead of this and say how the sticker,decal on the cheaper model is a durable product, or maybe its got thickness to it, to resemble the quality and visual effect of paint.

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There are water based paints with acrylic paint in them, that basically have the durability of old fashioned oil base paints. This is blowing my mind that its a sticker. They have to explain the benefits...maybe its more durable and has better color retention?

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10 hours ago, kirchzep27 said:

There are water based paints with acrylic paint in them, that basically have the durability of old fashioned oil base paints. This is blowing my mind that its a sticker. They have to explain the benefits...maybe its more durable and has better color retention?

..cost savings.

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The sticker is just easier for the manufacturer. They don't have to pay a guy to hand paint it. They just have a computer print a bunch out. The entire ordeal in that regard is messed up and reflects one reason as to why modern guitars don't compare to those made in the past in terms of tone and even appearance (but I guess appearance is subjective).

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Posted (edited)

Fender's Promotional Video really really adds more to the mystery of the Dragon Telecaster than it answers.... 

Paul Waller:  "Jimmy actually invited us out to his house out in London to Spec the guitar out, usually the other way around when we work on a project like this.  As I'm taking the guitar apart, I realize that it's kind of an Odd ball.  We are calling it a 59', 1959.   The date stamp on the neck is February of 1958, which is a very early version [Tele] with a Rosewood board on it.  So we haven't seen very many of those.  But in 59' they had done a top load only without the option to string through, this [guitar] actually had both.  So it's hard to say whether it was an early production guitar of the 59 [model] that made its way to Europe, or it was a parts-caster that got assembled after the fact with left over parts...and everything indicating the tell tale signs on the body had been erased or sanded away during the striping process."

In summary the video shows pictures of:
1) A neck dated Feb 58
2) A neck plate stamped along the bottom with serial #50062.   According to the serial number dating resources I've read plates stamped along the bottom with this serial number were made in 1959 -1960
3) The bridge pickup shown is a Grey bottom which were made beginning in 1964.
4) There are two pickup switches in the video that are clearly 80's Oaks Grigsby 3-way switches as found in the 82 Fullerton model and later on USA reissue Strats and also reissue and USA Standard Teles.   What they clearly are NOT... are 1452 switches as found in 1959 telecasters.   The switches shown in the video could possibly have been from 1969, but most likely the mid 80's.

1101017786_ScreenShot2019-01-23at3_50_21PM.thumb.png.6a66ee55ab171afea36a991a8a7e4fb9.png

1390698821_ScreenShot2019-01-23at3_49_31PM.thumb.png.9e13629d01743e4d5324cf5887079bc4.png1980397848_ScreenShot2019-01-23at3_49_42PM.thumb.png.b95c3f1c3d376a8cbeff3b74b6472a9c.png

5) A body that had been striped to the point of showing no typical visual dating clues like pencil markings in the pickup cavity or neck pocket.   At least the convincing grain pattern is seen that has slightly shifted as they do after sanding matches photos of the Dragons famous grain pattern.

The parts Paul Waller saw in England included: A 1958 (Neck), a 1959 Plate, a 1964 or later grey bottom Pickup, 1959 Bridge, and two 1969 or 1982 switches.   
I highly doubt that is the Stairway Guitar.

The guitar photographed in 1961 with its original owner John Owen (with Jeff Beck to the right of him who later "borrowed it" as he bought it new) was most likely not a FRANKENSTEIN parts-caster.

beckdeltones.jpg.7c42126cf0cd418c9f8abbdf1500e479.jpg

The original guitar owned by John Owen was mostly likely a Mid 1959 or early 1960 Telecaster.  
I suspect other than the new paint job it was as new that was used on Stairway and then LATER modified.

Steve Rosen:  "Was the Telecaster the one Beck gave to you?"
Jimmy Page: "Yes. There was work done on it but only afterwards. I painted it; everyone painted their guitars in those days. And I had reflective plastic sheeting underneath the pick guard that gives rainbow colors."
Steve Rosen: It sounds exactly like a Les Paul.
Jimmy Page: Yeah, well that's the amp and everything. You see, I could get a lot of tones out of the guitar, which you normally couldn't. This confusion goes back to those early sessions again with the Les Paul. Those might not sound like a Les Paul, but that's what I used. It's just different amps, mike placings, and all different things. Also, if you just crank it up to the distortion point so you can sustain notes, it's bound to sound like a Les Paul. I was using the Supro amp for the first album and still do. The "Stairway To Heaven" solo was done when I pulled out the Telecaster, which I hadn't used for a long time, plugged it into the Supro, and away it went again. That's a different sound entirely from any of the rest of the first album. It was a good versatile setup. I'm using a Leslie on the solo on "Good Times Bad Times". It was wired up for an organ thing.

Guitar Player magazine, July, 1977

The work described in the 1977 interview that was done on the guitar "AFTERWARDS", could have been a re-wiring of some kind and many suspected an out of phase option.   What's evident in the above pictures are modern tone caps, green wire, possible a replacement pickup, replacement switches and funky magnetized rubber spacers on the bottom of the pickup.   What can't be made out is how the pickups are wired and what the values of the caps are etc.   Also when this "WORK" exactly was done is doesn't really matter, because from pages own words in 1977 this work was done on the guitar AFTER Stairway.   So it is highly possible that the guitar during the LZ I & Stairway solo was a stock 1959 -1960 guitar with 1959 pickups and what is known as the Dark Circuit: a 1uF Phone Book aka Chicklet cap & .05mF Tubular Cap with a 1452 switch as found in 1959 -1961 telecasters as shown below.

1864045980_ScreenShot2019-03-02at3_09_49PM.thumb.png.55bf97a82ec9e3e1588e3596f53362a7.png


This video raises the more questions for me than it answers:

  • Why didn't Fender show any video footage from Jimmy's house other than inserted photos?   They flew all that way and took no video?  
  • What is with that Grey bottom bridge pickup?   Wasn't the bridge pickup destroyed in the "Friend of Page who took it on himself to ruin the paint job myth"?
  • If the bridge pickup was destroyed, then is this pickup a replacement bridge pickup?  If so, what's the point of measuring it?
  • Whats with those 4 things brown things stuck to the bottom of the pickup that look like rubber magnetized spacers?  Do they alter the sound, stablize the pickup in the cavity or focus the eyes away from that grey bottom?  I doubt they were on the pickup when Stairway was recorded, but they really intriguing.
  • Is this Feb 1958 neck the original Stairway neck or the Dragon replacement neck? 
  • If this was the original neck why wasn't the Brown B Bender guitar shown without a neck?  
  • If this really is the original famous Stairway neck that was later installed on the Brown B-Bender, did Jimmy take it off the B-Bender just to replace it onto the body of the Dragon, or is that a temporary thing for the photo shoot of the Sundragon amp?
  • If so, one of those two guitars will now need a replacement neck.   My guess is that the Dragon body here got a replacement Feb 58 Neck and the B-Bender still has the original Dragon neck.
    The Stairway neck most likely was a 1959 thin D shape and NOT an Oval C shape that was measured and applied to the custom shop Dragons.

Fenders marketing literature even had listed on the specs of some of guitars in this run a thin D profile listed, as is typical in 59 replica builds.

I own two original 1959 necks.   They both are Thin D shaped.  As Robbin Ford describes his, they feel like an Old ladies wrist when holding them at the nut.   As is well known about JP's Les Paul that was given to him by Joe Walsh, it had a thin shaved neck.   I think "Excalibur" was a THIN D sword and it is still in the stone.   But that Stone is the Brown B-Bender.

My suspicion is in order to sell the Custom Shop Dragon, you really need to make people think that every effort went into replicating the Stairway Guitar down to the very last exact detail.
But the paint job doesn't exist to compare the illustration to, the pickup most likely doesn't exist so measuring a grey bottom 64 is sort of a moot excersize considering 59 spec hand wounds ended up into the custom shop and the neck is most likely the wrong year and shape.   So that doesn't make for much of a story on replication, does it?

At lease the top loader and grain pattern survived.

Let's not forget Jimmy also designed the ZoSo sigil himself.    
oh wait... I think Honorius of Thebes stylized the Artephius sigil in Le Dragon Rouge.

 

Edited by TheEyeOfZoro

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On 3/2/2019 at 3:53 PM, TheEyeOfZoro said:

This video raises the more questions for me than it answers:

 

 

  • Why didn't Fender show any video footage from Jimmy's house other than inserted photos?   They flew all that way and took no video?  
  • What is with that Grey bottom bridge pickup?   Wasn't the bridge pickup destroyed in the "Friend of Page who took it on himself to ruin the paint job myth"?
  • If the bridge pickup was destroyed, then is this pickup a replacement bridge pickup?  If so, what's the point of measuring it?
  • Whats with those 4 things brown things stuck to the bottom of the pickup that look like rubber magnetized spacers?  Do they alter the sound, stablize the pickup in the cavity or focus the eyes away from that grey bottom?  I doubt they were on the pickup when Stairway was recorded, but they really intriguing.
  • Is this Feb 1958 neck the original Stairway neck or the Dragon replacement neck? 
  • If this was the original neck why wasn't the Brown B Bender guitar shown without a neck?  
  • If this really is the original famous Stairway neck that was later installed on the Brown B-Bender, did Jimmy take it off the B-Bender just to replace it onto the body of the Dragon, or is that a temporary thing for the photo shoot of the Sundragon amp?
  • If so, one of those two guitars will now need a replacement neck.   My guess is that the Dragon body here got a replacement Feb 58 Neck and the B-Bender still has the original Dragon neck.
    The Stairway neck most likely was a 1959 thin D shape and NOT an Oval C shape that was measured and applied to the custom shop Dragons.

Great post.  My '59s have that thin D profile JP would definitely prefer, my '58s/'60s are not that shape.  This may be an oversimplification but didn't he have three Teles and swap the parts many times?  In this pic the blonde '66 (with ARMS strap) seems to have the '59 neck.  The background is hard to see but could include '66 and '58 necks.  In other pics the '66 has the maple neck, yet other pics the brown Tele has the maple neck.  One would think JP would know but I feel like Fender could be mixed up.

2oEGj4I.jpg

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On 3/16/2019 at 11:47 PM, AntLantic Records said:

Great post.  My '59s have that thin D profile JP would definitely prefer, my '58s/'60s are not that shape.  This may be an oversimplification but didn't he have three Teles and swap the parts many times?  In this pic the blonde '66 (with ARMS strap) seems to have the '59 neck.  The background is hard to see but could include '66 and '58 necks.  In other pics the '66 has the maple neck, yet other pics the brown Tele has the maple neck.  One would think JP would know but I feel like Fender could be mixed up.

2oEGj4I.jpg

Great photo. Was this Coverdale-Page era?

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3 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Great photo. Was this Coverdale-Page era? 

Yeah these pics were floating around I forget where, CP era as far as I know.   Here are the others

e8vY2v5.jpgNXlqsvs.jpg5bAOJBp.jpg2oEGj4I.jpgPL6mWCd.jpg

2oEGj4I.jpg

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Sorry if this is an out-of-date question,but has the limited edition of 50 dragon Fender Telecasters  been released yet,or has it not and they are still taking orders?

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Great video. No absolute proof, but despite Jimmy having large hands, He much preferred thin necks. Who knows. This

sticker business.....hope the fake dragon model gets the recent Supro treatment, where $700-$1000 priced guitars are

now selling for 1/3 the initial price. Won't happen, does Fender even have a MIM above $700-$800 ? This just adds on

feelings that Page is once again kind of ripping his fans off. However I haven't tried one yet, but usually player models

by Fender are very well made, and play great. I'm not optimistic, hopefully I am proven wrong.

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3 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

Great video. No absolute proof, but despite Jimmy having large hands, He much preferred thin necks. Who knows. This

sticker business.....hope the fake dragon model gets the recent Supro treatment, where $700-$1000 priced guitars are

now selling for 1/3 the initial price. Won't happen, does Fender even have a MIM above $700-$800 ? This just adds on

feelings that Page is once again kind of ripping his fans off. However I haven't tried one yet, but usually player models

by Fender are very well made, and play great. I'm not optimistic, hopefully I am proven wrong.

you realize that you contradicted yourself several times here?

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Some of the things I said were speaking to Zep fans who basically know Zep from A to Z. Now of course I could explain

every detail in each scenario, but that would be a serious energy drain. I mean, sure, I critized the cheapest Dragon as probably not worth the price, but I want to try it anyway. I also looked at the specs, which looked a bit dodgy for a $1500

guitar. So I'm not all in, why would not being 1000% into the guitar be a contradiction ? Have you or anyone else out

there bought a guitar which turns out to not be worth it, although it has certain things that are great, but basically is

not reliable live ? These situations have many shades of gray, not just black or white.

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I never went for the recreation guitars as they represent the artist at that time, not me in any way really. As Jimmy's Dragon Tele is my favorite axe of his, I am thinking of making my own version of the guitar but uniquely me. Who knows, maybe I paint the blessed virgin getting felt up by god or something, with a big baby jesus on the headstock as a bonus.

WINNING!!!

 

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Well neither have I gone for " the recreation" guitars. It is true, probably 50% or more of the signature artist guitars are mainly for a certain sound or genre. Like one of EVH's current line has just one volume knob and one p/u. Very hard to see

that working in a Jazz group, or even a cover band.

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For me there are just too many problems with this project in being able to believe that Fender and Jimmy were able to recreate the guitars unique physical characteristics resulting in tone and the original painting.  

It just seems that the drawing and the parts were just not available to recreate from.    The idea that Fender flew all that way to get specs seems silly when the bridge pickup (really the only one he played, ever see him play this guitar with the Neck pickup selected?) and the 58 neck just doesn't seem to me to make sense as being the original.   So if its a different neck and pickup the feel and tone are just not going to be the same but rather a guess.

The bridge pickup was supposedly ruined with the famed "my friend painted over the original drawing" myth.   Who was this person?   Barrington Coleby?   The other famed artist friend who also  fell our with Page who seems to have no verifiable proof of existing other and a handful of Forum associates on here.   Let's just say, to ruin the only known art piece of the famed studio musician / Art college student?   Lets just say people get knocked off for shit like that.   Just sayin'. 

I once heard a story originating from Eddie Krammer about how crazy Jimmy got when Robert just touched one of Jimmy's guitar during the Hedley Grange photo shoot.  If Jimmy was on tour this guitar wouldn't just be laying around for a house guest to have access to.   The bridge in this Fender Video is not 58-61 pickup, its a post 64.    A 58 Oval C Neck, yet even some of the early marketing literature on the Dragon mentioned thin D.  Probably because the other 59's tributes typically have thin D necks.  

But the big issue I have is with the way the Dragon was painted.    Everyone knows painting with stencils is way more accurate especially with paints and allows for very accurate sharp edges and corners.  If you look at high resolution images of the Dragon telecaster, there are sharp wedge shaped corners and very thin yellow lines between many of the objects in the drawing.  Something that appears to have been omitted in both the hand painted custom shop version and the sticker version are the thin yellow lines.   My guess is that Jimmy doesn't seem to remember the original process of how the guitar was stenciled, have access to the original stencils and thought it would be easier to go this paint by numbers process.   

Frankly it comes off as a close and better than most if not all the other Dragon recreations, but with major flaws.   It was stated in some of the press releases that Page hired an illustrator to created the coloring book outline that was ultimately transferred to the guitar for Page to paint in.    If you overlay the new version to the original it's spatially way off in many areas and when you add the missing color Yellow and the see rounded edges where things should come to a point, the recreation comes across as a bad recreation.   I just don't see myself paying $25K for this.

The Sticker version has all the same issues along with not even being paint.

What was done was the grain pattern matching and two piece offset ash body.   Paul Waller should be commended for this.   But I suspect he did the 1959 shape from a standard modern 59 creation template.  The original Dragon body was smaller.

If one does paint their own Dragon Telecaster, the fruits of that labor,  I suspect will be more revealing than just buying the recreation.

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9 hours ago, TheEyeOfZoro said:

The bridge pickup was supposedly ruined with the famed "my friend painted over the original drawing" myth.   Who was this person?   Barrington Coleby?   The other famed artist friend who also  fell our with Page who seems to have no verifiable proof of existing other and a handful of Forum associates on here.   Let's just say, to ruin the only known art piece of the famed studio musician / Art college student?   Lets just say people get knocked off for shit like that.   Just sayin'.

Barrington Coleby definitely existed - I spoke to him on the telephone and knew his family members and friends.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Cookie0024 said:

Barrington Coleby definitely existed - I spoke to him on the telephone and knew his family members and friends.

Cookie0024, nice to hear from you thank you for responding. 

I am sorry to be just a regular commenting member of the public that has no insider and privileged access to information.   I have read all your posts leading up to the announcement of his passing, and with all due respect to any real people who may be his friends and family the name Barrington Coleby is now a meme in the Mythology of Led Zeppelin.  And the longer it takes to verify his real identity his identity remains in the "legend" "Myth" category rather than fact. 

And as a meme of mystery his legend will continue to intrigue fans the world over and contribute to the success and wealth of those associated to the income of Led Zeppelin.   As a huge fan of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin,  I think it's fair to want to verify the existence of him as an artist and compare his other works to "The Hermit" or "View in Half or Varying Light".    I'ld like to find just one black and white pencil drawing of his that is similar and any real information that he existed.   I've tried to verify his existence in the real world but it's strange how there is no public record of his death and I don't personally see a similarity of the other works in style or color to "The Hermit" or "View in Half or Varying Light".

A false claim about the authorship of art work has proven precedent with Jimmy Page.   Jimmy Page's claims to Dave Schulps in 1977 during the Trouser Press interview, that he drew his own Symbol/Sigil was later proven to be false.   The validation of Barrington Coleby as the commissioned artist of  "The Hermit" or "View in Half or Varying Light",  just not exist.  There is no existing artist discussing the experience of the work.    So when discussing a similar mystery person responsible for the demise of the Dragon Telecaster,  I think it's fair to say there is a recurring theme of a mystery artist falling into this category of creative legend.    Have you spoken to the ceramicist who painted in a Mosaic style over the Dragon Telecaster as well?  I would to know what happened to him and whether this mishap any impact on his ceramic career.

The photograph of the public street artist drawing with Barrington Coleby's name written on the cardboard right next to him was a really nice touch, but reeks of a setup.   In most countries street artists get permits and simply wear them or have them folded up in their pocket so that when Police approach the artist they simply produce the permit.   But rarely have I ever seen a street artist spell his name out and then have questioning with a Police person when it appears the artist doesn't have a permit.  

Your posts and all the photos on forums, twitter etc. don't really amount to proof that this person existed.  
You on the other hand Cookie0024 check out very well and I've determined that you are a close relative to the CookieMonster0025.  

Edited by TheEyeOfZoro

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