The JV Telecaster, Fender Japan & John Jorgenson - ASK ZAC - 40

April 17, 2020

Crop of photo below showing JJ with JV Tele. Notice position of logo and string tree

This episode of AZ was inspired by finding a 1983 JV bound 62 reissue Telecaster recently, and from a past Truetone Lounge interview with John Jorgenson in 2017. In the interview, Jorgenson mentioned that he used a "JV Telecaster" on the first two Desert Rose Band albums, including the iconic solo to "Hello Trouble." In addition to that, he later told me that he used the same guitar for the Hellecaster's first album, The Return of the Hellecasters, on "Highlander Boogie" and "Back On Terra Firma." After John piqued my interest, I was surprised how hard it was to find info on the JV Telecasters, especially the TL62 models like he used. The best information I could find was from the website 21Frets, older sales listings, and original Japanese catalogs from the early 80s. Here I lay out the beginnings of Fender Japan, the short-lived JV series (1982-1984), John's use of the guitar, and the story of finding my own 1983 TL62 JV Fender Telecaster.

I also want to thank Willem van der Wagen, who hosts a wonderful Desert Rose Band Fan Site, and who has a YouTube channel with tons of great DRB footage. The clips below, except for the Strawberry Festival footage, are from the DRB YouTube Channel.

Photo used for the back cover of the debut of the Desert Rose Band

JJ playing at the Palamino with the JV, now sporting a pearloid guard, and brass saddles

John was kind enough to share his story of going to Japan in 1982, and how he purchased his TL62-65. That story is in the AZ episode linked above. Below are shots taken by Jorgenson of his guitar. Much thanks, JJ!!!!

JJ's JV heastock with early 1982-style positioning of logo and tree in the pre-1956 position. Notice also "Made In Japan" under the logo, instead of on the back of the neck as on later models.

Back of JJ's JV. Notice lack of "FENDER" stamp on neck plate. Another JV indicator.

Flat-pole bridge pickup, that was stock in the JV TL62 for 1982-84. Orig saddles were steel, but JJ changed to brass for a "sweeter" tone

Face of JJ's JV TL62-65 with changed out, pearl guard

Back of headstock with intact "65" sticker, indicating the original sale price in Japan of 65,000 Yen

The original JV Gig Bag. JJ liked them so much he purchased a number of them for his other guitars.

Here is rare footage of the the DRB in 1986, before their first album's release. JJ is using the JV Tele throughout.

Playing "Ashes Of Love" on the TNN show, New Country.

Same taping, this time, "Love Reunited." JJ is using a Boss DC-2 Dimension C.

Spotify Playlist of tracks featuring JJ on the JV Tele. "Homeless," and "Back on Terra Firma" are examples of its neck pickup tone.

Here are shots of the 1983 JV TL62-65 that I found online. As you can see, the original bridge, knobs, and neck pickup cover were missing.

Skull Knobs Rock!

The strange location of the string tree, and the "made in Japan" decal on the back were my indicators that this was probably a JV.

The seller said he found it at a thrift store, and had no additional information. Being that he had limited pictures and information, I knew it was a gamble not having any interior or detail shots. Also the lack of a serial #, as that would have been on the bridge plate.

Luckily, the gamble paid off. When the guitar arrived, it was all-original, except for the obvious items mentioned above. It had cloth covered wiring, full-size MIJ pots, and a pencil date on the neck heel of 1983. I then purchased a new Fender "Pat Pend" bridge, Brass compensated saddles, Flat-top Fender knobs, brass conversion bushings for the split-shaft pots, and a Fender USA nickel-silver cover for the neck pickup.

Post Re-Hab, with my 1959 Fender Harvard. A great match!

7.2 pounds! A great weight for an alder body Telecaster

Slab board, with a 1983 Neck date

1983 JV TL62's tend to have the logo in the correct, post 1956 position, yet have the string tree in the pre-1956 position. 1984 JV's have the string tree position corrected, and by 1985, the JV's are gone.

Original electronics. Cloth wires, full-size MIJ pots, and cloth covered wires

Original MIJ split-shaft pots.

Neck Pocket markings, and the uncovered, stock neck pickup

The original flat-pole JV pickup. All JV TL62's seem to have this pickup. This was also used in the JV TL52-65

One of my sources for info, a listing for a minty fresh 1983 JV TL62-65 with manual, hang-tags, and the other version of the JV gig bag

A shot of the 1983 Fender Japan Catalog showing the TL52 and TL62 models. The TL62 was also available in black! I have only seen one of those. Notice the position of logo and tree.

The ASAT to the right, was given to John by Leo Fender and Dale Hyatt. It replaced the JV as Jorgenson's main stage guitar, until it too was replaced by the silver sparkle ASAT below. The ASAT above was gifted to Brad Paisley by John in 2004.

John's custom ordered silver sparkle 1988 G&L ASAT that was his main stage guitar from 1988 until his association with Fender began in the mid 90s.