There are two kinds of people in the world
Bruce Springsteen passionately declines an interview
In 1950, Fender unveiled to the world the Telecaster, a versatile model of electric guitar that would go on to break ground in the world of music and become the guitar of choice for many of the instrument’s most recognisable and skilled aficionados. This was followed, four years later, by the Fender Stratocaster, a guitar with a tone and build that differed enough for guitarists of all abilities to pledge allegiance to one model or the other: an in-house rivalry of which there was only one guaranteed winner: Fender. In 2004, 50 years after the release of the younger sibling, as he prepared for a celebratory feature on the life of this legendary guitar, Los Angeles Times journalist Randy Lewis contacted Bruce Springsteen and asked if he would agree to an interview about the Stratocaster. Springsteen, who had played guitar since childhood, responded with the following letter, written on this day in 2004.
June 2, 2004
I would like to be a part of your story on the Fender Stratocaster but, alas, I cannot. The Stratocaster is a great and iconic instrument. When Bob Dylan strapped one on in the mid-sixties (yes, it was a Stratocaster that was supposedly booed so lustily at Newport) or when Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner on one at Woodstock, well...that settled that. However!...There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that play Stratocasters and those that play Telecasters...and the twain rarely meet. Ron Wood… Stratocaster… Keith Richards… Gibsons, Tele’s, etc. The Strokes...a young man on a Stratocaster and a young man on a Gibson… Nils Lofgren, Steve Van Zandt...Strat’s...BOOOOOOOSSSSSSSS MAAAAAANNNN...TELE TIL HE DIES!!!
There are some, similar to those who change political affiliation late in life, who for some reason switch. Jeff Beck...Master of the Tele...Master of the Strat...but, they are rare. Robbie Robertson, who also had an affinity for both guitars, gave me a beautiful Strat I play on occasion in the studio… However, when that big Rock N Roll clock strikes twelve I will be buried with my Tele on! So... When you do your article on the Telecaster please by all means give me a shout. Until then, I wish you good luck on your article on the Fender Stratocaster. A guitar that has contributed greatly to Rock and Roll, a fine and wonderful instrument… It’s just not a Tele.
PS. The guy standing next to the big black guy on the cover of Born to Run is wearing a Telecaster (actually, a Telecaster body with an Esquire neck).
Bruce was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert late-2021 and he brought his beloved Telecaster with him. You can watch him talk about it from 90secs in: