Rare Guitars: Jeff Buckley’s 1983 Fender USA Telecaster

The late guitarist's main axe until his untimely death.

Jeff Buckley Telecaster

Diving deeper into Matthieu Lucas’ astounding collection of rare guitars, we take a look at Jeff Buckley’s 1983 Fender USA Telecaster.

Over two decades on from Buckley’s death at the age of just 30 in 1997, the loss of such an astonishing talent still feels, in artistic terms at least, like one of the great unresolved cliffhangers in the history of popular music. Unfinished studio recordings and demos such as The Sky Is A Landfill and Jewel Box hint at a songwriter and performer capable of both explosive drama and aching fragility, who was just beginning to spread his wings.

Although Buckley also used a Les Paul Custom and a Rickenbacker, this 1983 Telecaster – loaned to him by a photographer friend Janine Nichols in 1991 after all of his valuables were stolen from his Los Angeles apartment – was the guitar that remained his number one: from the East Village coffeehouse gigs at which he made his name, throughout the recording of Grace and right up to his untimely death. After his passing, Buckley’s family returned the guitar to Janine Nichols, who sold it in New York.

It was in the possession of a British collector for around six years until Lucas bought it in October 2017. It definitely resides in the ‘not for sale’ section of his collection.

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Click here to check out other rare guitars in Lucas’ collection.

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