Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) announced the global launch of the Limited Edition Terry Kath Telecaster, honoring the legendary “Chicago” guitar player’s legacy with a collectible, limited run guitar created by the esteemed Fender Custom Shop. The ‘Shop’ is distinctly honored to pay tribute to such an acclaimed pioneer by recreating Kath’s custom Telecaster® guitar—which was played throughout his live performances with Chicago and truly embodied the notion of “custom” long before the Fender Custom Shop was founded. Master Builder Dennis Galuszka has replicated the guitar in exacting, every scratch-for-scratch detail, from the Pignose stickers to the gaff-tape-sealed rear body route and every other custom element. With up to 50 units made worldwide, the Limited Edition Terry Kath Telecaster is a guitar for the ages and a meticulously crafted homage to one of the true guitar greats of our time.
“Terry Kath is one of the most incredible guitar players that ever lived,” said Mike Lewis, Vice President Product Development at Fender Custom Shop. “His iconic playing style paved the way for many guitar players and has inspired other legends through the years. When his daughter, Michelle, told us they wanted to entrust the Fender Custom Shop to recreate Kath’s famed, fan favorite Telecaster guitar from Chicago, we were honored. Fan’s had been making their own versions of this guitar for years, but this time master builder Dennis Galuszka replicated every single detail – from the synchronized Strat® guitar tremolo with sawed off Tele bridge plate to other custom elements of the body adorned with stickers and other personalized touches.”
The late Terry Kath has been praised by fans and guitar greats alike for his brilliance as an absolute playing powerhouse. Kath, who Jimi Hendrix once cited as his favorite guitarist, fused sophisticated songwriting ability with his soulful vocals to launch Chicago Transit Authority in 1967. The band shortened its name to Chicago in 1969, achieving worldwide success and 2016 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A consummate innovator, Kath created mind-blowing, never-before-heard guitar tones by experimenting with unorthodox guitar/amp configurations. His instinctive command of his completely original tone is heard on memorable tracks such as “25 or 6 to 4”, “Free Form Guitar”, “Introduction” and others.
“When I was growing up, riding around in my mom’s Pinto with the radio on, I definitely knew Chicago.” Galuszka said. “It wasn’t until later in life, as my appreciation for music became sharper, that I first learned about Terry Kath through guitar friends. From that point on, I was able to hear the music with fresh ears. Who knew one of the all-time greatest guitar players created the soundtrack of my childhood!”