On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Esquire, "The Ugliest Guitar" (serial no. 1056)

Jeff Beck

Not on view

Jeff Beck used this Esquire in his brief but influential work with the Yardbirds in 1965 and 1966. While the Yardbirds were on tour with the Walker Brothers in 1965, Beck purchased it from the latter’s guitarist John Maus. Among other modifications, the Esquire’s slab body had been sanded down and contoured to imitate the ergonomics of the Fender Stratocaster, exposing the ash woodgrain underneath. On “Heart Full of Soul,” an important song in the development of psychedelic rock, Beck played this instrument with a fuzz pedal to simulate the buzzing harmonics of a sitar.

Technical Description:
Ash body, one-piece maple neck with walnut “skunk stripe”; 25½ in. scale; yellowed blonde finish; bolt-on neck with black dot inlays; silver “spaghetti” Fender logo decal on headstock; one single-coil pickup, three-way tone selector switch, volume and tone controls; chrome and brass three-saddle ashtray bridge and knobs, nickel tuners, black Bakelite pickguard; lower bass bout and back of body contoured, exposing ash wood, neck plate replaced, original white pickguard replaced

Esquire, "The Ugliest Guitar" (serial no. 1056), Fender, Ash, maple, chrome, nickel, brass, Bakelite

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Courtesy of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame