For more than fifty years Pete Townshend has been the guitarist, chief song writer, and also singing for The Who. The Who, of course, was once known as the loudest band in the world. Well, they had the Guinness book record for that.
Seriously, Pete Townshend needs nothing in the way of an introduction. But his achievements are so many we hope they'll never be forgotten. He plays any musical instrument he desires. There literally isn't an instrument which he's tried to play which he has not become proficient at. He will always be, first and foremost, a guitarist though.
Pete is not just a song writer, he writes news articles, essays, books, reviews of whatever strikes him. He's even had jobs as a magazine editor. Pete is a bit of a renaissance man.
Mr. Townshend is worth one hundred and five million dollars at this time. He keeps making money, and he also keeps giving it away to worthy causes. He donates to children's charities, addiction rehabilitation charities, and amnesty international. He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. He's altogether an honorable man.
This all said, Mr. Pete seriously grinds my gears. Rather, I guess, he used to indulge in behaviors which I personally abhor. That bashing and breaking of guitars thing he used to do, yeah, I really hate that.
It is really none of my business what a man does with his own property when it's not breaking any laws or harming anyone. The slamming guitars in order to destroy them is straight up stupid, and I think Pete, who is rather old now, doesn't do it any more. Thank heavens for that.
He used to smash nice guitars and have them put back together again. How stupid is that? Guess ol Pete Townshend kept the guitar techs he employed very busy, and he helped to stimulate the guitar parts industry some. What a hero.
Except Pete was never a guitar hero in the way that Eric Clapton, or Jeff Beck, or any of those sorts of guys were.Â In fact, Pete's strongest talent on guitar was that of a rhythm player. Too few out there take serious pride in rhythm playing. Guitar solos got all the glory. That's how it used to be. If guitar is going to make a serious come back in driving popular music, maybe rhythm playing will become the in vogue thing.
The rhythm guitar playing style of Pete Townshend is something you notice. You can't hear an old classic like Pinball Wizard and notice that someone is really doing a lot with the guitar in the song. And doing it damned ferociously. Townshend was also using lots of power chords before others were. He'd use pick scrapping and over driven sound as signatures before others.
Speaking of those power chords, can you imagine music without the amplification of Jim Marshall? Oh sure, England had other great sources. Vox is still a go to brand today. They make outstanding amplifiers. But Pete Townshend and The Who were focused on playing very very loud. Pete kept pushing Jim Marshall to build him louder amplifiers. He did too, and soon enough Jimi Hendrix wanted one too. Then, everyone wanted one. Hell, I used to own one.
When you've had a career as a guitarist which has lasted fifty years you've likely played a hell of a lot of different instruments. When you are Pete Townshend, and had a career of over 50 years playing guitar, you've maybe owned more guitars than anyone else during that time. He smashed lots of them, you know.
Pete's biggest impressions were made, all in all, playing Gibson guitars. Especially his Gibson SG period, which included the original Woodstock festival, and The Who's big Live at Leeds concert too. Before that he'd been a Fender man, before that a Rickenbacker man. In the 1980s, however, Pete was for a time a devotee of Schecter guitars.
Schecter Guitar Research has been around since 1976, was founded by David Schecter and some friends. The company originally just produced parts for guitars. A guy like Pete Townshend busts the neck off of a guitar, well, he needs another neck for it, doesn't he? But the people at Schecter were producing a lot more than just necks. Before they ever even offered a complete guitar for sale, they sold over four hundred parts for guitars.
The guitars Pete Townshend played during his Schecter phase were assembled by his employed guitar techs from parts. I'm willing to surmise with some confidence that Mr. Townshend's usage of assembled Schecter parts helped to launch the company as a major manufacturer of guitars. They are certainly a mass producer today, and known for terrific quality for the dollars spent.
The PT Fastback guitars are very much Schecter's take on a Fender Deluxe Telecaster. These guitars could be described as Tele-Pauls. The two humbuckers, and the layout of the controls all make them very like a Gibson Les Paul. You do need to note, however, the Gibson scale length is shorter than that of a Fender. And these Schecter PTs are like unto the Fender in all ways.
Fret not, Schecter makes many a Gibson clone too, but alas, those tales will be told another webpage to come. Not all PT Fastbacks are alike in specifications. A Bigsby tremolo device is a spec which is above and beyond the pale here. A Bigsby costs some additional cash.Â Some PT Fastbacks have a mini-bucker in the bridge position and a full size humbucker in the neck. Others have two full sized humbuckers and two coil taps, allowing for a guitar to swing both ways, single or humbucking.
Every last one of them is a fabulous deal. This is Asian production. The Japanese bought out Schecter after the Texans did. These guitars are assembled in Asia, then set up in the USA.Â These are alder bodies, 22 frets, your choice of fingerboards and finish. These guitars will be every bit as nice as the Mexican made Fender Deluxe models which sell for a few hundred bucks more than them.
You can see from the image above the Schecter PT Standard is a simpler guitar than the Fastback. Don't be fooled by this. The standard PT generally costs more than the Fastback. We're not talking a big difference in price, but it is there.
Why? Well, you get Grover tuning machines. And two coil tap-able Seymour Duncan humbuckers. So the striped down look comes with some more expensive American made hardware. You should know going in that when you're spending about five hundred and fifty bucks for a guitar like this one, you're not getting a case with it. Cases are sold separately, as an industry rule, in this price range. Hey guess what? Telecaster style guitars can take a lot of abuse, but you'd do better to give them more love. These Schecter PT guitars are some of the best deals anywhere, and are among the very best non-Fender Telecaster guitars with humbucking pickups.