Francis Rossi’s Status Quo telecaster has sold at auction for the staggering sum of £118,812 yesterday (17 December 2019). The guitar first appeared on the 1970 single Down the Dustpipe, and then featured on almost every Quo recording since, up until 2015.
The Telecaster features the original ‘F’ neckplate stamped with serial no. 110959, its ash body sporting Francis’ famous custom green finish. It’s loaded with some modified electronics, including a five-way switch to choose between the, Seymour Duncan bridge and neck pickups and Lace Sensor middle pickup.
In a 2014 interview with Total Guitar, the Rossi revealed he originally purchased the instrument second-hand as a replacement in the late 60s. The Tele initially sported a sunburst finish, which Rossi later refinished a number of times before finally settling on green Ronseal. Rossi also shared in the aforementioned interview that he hasn’t always been fond of the Tele. “Everyone seems to think this is a wonderful guitar,” he said. “I’ve got a love/hate relationship with the thing. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t.”
The guitar, along with some replaced electronics and the green re-finish, features the notable modification of a hole drilled into the lower end of the body. The Status Quo guitarist explains that it was a failed attempt at ensuring the jack cable stayed plugged in during performances. “People think it’s for the knob, but these [jack cable and plates] used to fly out, ‘cause weren’t very secure,” Rossi explained.