By Brian Ives
Yesterday, the L.A. Times published a tongue-in-cheek letter that Bruce Springsteen had sent to the newspaper about ten years ago. The letter was typed in response to their request to interview him for a feature celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster.
“I would like to be a part of your story on the Fender Stratocaster,” he wrote in a letter dated June 2, 2004. “But, alas, I cannot.” While noting that “The Stratocaster is a great an iconic instrument,” he points out that, for the most part, “There are two kinds of people in this world, those that play Stratocasters and those that play Telecasters.”
“And the twain rarely meet.”
Within the Rolling Stones, he reminded the Times that while Ron Wood often plays Stratocasters, Keith Richards is more of a Telecaster man (and he also plays Gibsons). In the E Street Band, he writes that Nils Lofgren and Steven Van Zandt enjoy Strats but, “BOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSS MAAAAANNNN… TELE TIL HE DIES!!!”
Later, he mentions the rare guitarists who play both (notably Jeff Beck), and he admits that he occasionally uses a Strat in the studio, but says “When that big Rock N Roll clock strikes twelve, I will be buried with my Tele on!” and invites them to include him in their article on the Telecaster.
Bruce adds in the post script: “The guy standing next to the big black guy on the cover of Born To Run is wearing a Telecaster (actually a Telecaster body with an Esquire neck).”
Bruce Springsteen (most likely with his Telecasters) and the E Street Band (with their sizable guitar collection, which will certainly include some Strats) kick off a U.S. tour April 8 in Cincinnati, two days before the E Street Band is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.