Hugh Cornwell doesn’t get relic’d gear: “I mean, the guitar is made to look like it’s been used, and it’s battered and beaten up. And suddenly, it’s 10 times the price?”

Relic lovers, look away.

Hugh Cornwell Performing

Image: Robin Burns / Alamy

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Ex-Stranglers guitarist and Tele junkie Hugh Cornwell has made it clear that he is not a fan of relics, saying “it’s not for me.”

The punk icon was speaking to Guitar World when he revealed that the concept (and appeal) of relic guitars is something that escapes him.

Asked about the last time he had shopped for a guitar, Cornwell replied, “Well, I’m constantly looking for these different colour Teles. But I’ll tell you one thing that I stopped and looked at because I was scratching my head.”

“It was one of these relics,” he said. “I can’t fathom what the attraction is about a relic guitar.”

“What’s that all about? I mean, something’s messed up. So it’s not for me. I think I looked at a relic guitar because instead of being under 500 quid, it was over three grand and I thought, ‘What’s the appeal about that? Why would anyone want to buy that?’”

His lack of love for the concept of artificially aged guitars aside, the musician also offered his best guitar-buying tip in the interview, one that could be summed up with the phrase “be careful of the description.”

“I’m interested in buying Fenders and sometimes in the description it will say it’s a Fender, when in fact it isn’t,” Cornwell said. “It’s a ‘parts’ Fender, which has been made up from different bits that don’t all belong together, like a hybrid.”

“I want the guitar that came out of the factory, with the body and the neck and the pickups – because that’s the one they put together. And that’s the one that was intended to be out there. So I’d be very careful to check the origins.”

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