Glaser Bender Guitars, the first Super-Telecasters and the birth of the Nashville Tele - Ask Zac 74

April 17, 2020

The 3 pickup Tele is commonplace now and is often referred to as the "Nashville" Tele setup. Joe Glaser pioneered it in the early 80s with the help of test pilots, Brent Mason, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner. For Mason, it was hot-rodding his 1967 Tele, for Skaggs and Wariner, Joe made the equivalent of formula one racers from the ground up with eye-catching finishes, flame maple necks, the aforementioned middle pickup, and his patented string benders. These were the very first Super Tele's, made to cover a wide variety of tones and get you noticed. Today, we have the rare opportunity to look at a pair of these extremely rare Glaser-built birds and see and hear what makes them so special that they almost never come up for sale.

This album cover started my quest for a Glaser Super-Tele

Live shot of Ricky with his purple Glaser Bender guitar

Martin, 57 Telecaster, and 2 Glaser bender equipped Mandocasters

Stokes and Thompson's Glasers

John Thompson's 1986 Glaser bender with pearloid guard


Steve Wariner's Glaser Bender features a darker red

Ricky and Steve with their Glaser Benders. CMA Award show, playing the tune "Restless."

Headstock of John Stokes purple "Ricky Skaggs" model Glaser

Wiring of Thompson's Glaser. Switch activates neck pickup.

John Stokes Glaser. Switch for humbucking or tapped for middle pickup.

Stokes Glaser headstock
Glaser's Shop in Leiper's Fork circa 1986

John Stokes and Joe Glaser with John's new guitar in 1986

John Jorgenson, John Stokes, and Fred Newell at Glaser's shop Circa 1986