Teisco – Famous Players

       (By Jimmy Noise / Oct 2013)





Who Used Teiscos???


Many great guitarists started with a Teisco as their first guitar.  Many great guitarists continued to use a Teisco when they were famous. When you think about the fact that they didn’t just have them for the pretty colours, you realize that this group of guitarist have Teiscos by choice, because of the unique sounds that these guitars can create.


This list is slowly growing as we discover more Famous Players, but currently includes in no particular order;



Rye Cooder



Teiscos: TG-64 / Spectrum 5 / SD-4L


Rye Cooder is a long time user of Teiscos and the most known to do so.  These are the only three models that we have been able to confirm that he has, but he could have more.




David Lindley




Teiscos: Spectrum 4 / ET-460 / ET-440 / ET-312 / ET-220 / TG-64 / EG (Slide)


David Lindley is known for using multiple Teisco models. 




Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen



Teiscos: ET-440 / Spectrum 5


Eddie’s first guitar was a Teisco ET-440. The four pickup models would have been one of the top models available around this time. In later years he used a Red Spectrum 5. You can see Edie playing the Spectrum Guitar in the video clip “Finish What Ya Started”.




Mark Knoffer




Teiscos: Spectrum 5


Mark Knopfler plays has a sunburst and white Spectrum 5. He has used the white Spectrum 5 on tour. He used the Spectrum 5 model in the studio on 'Postcards from Paraguay' and 'True Love Will Never Fade' for example.




Hound Dog Taylor




Teiscos: Spectrum 5


Hound Dog Taylor is often said to play Teiscos, however he mostly played Kawai instruments that are often confused with similar Teisco models. But in his younger years he did use a blue Spectrum 5.




Bob Dylan





Teiscos:  K-4L


Bob Dylan used a Teisco K-4L in the video “Most of the Time”. 




Kazu Makino - Blonde Redhead



Teiscos – TB-64u / TG-64


Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead uses of the TB-64u. This is her main instrument. The band also used a modified TG-64. The photo on the right is a TG64 that the band sold in 2012 to raise funds for the Japanese earthquake appeal. The guitar was used on some of their recordings.





Yoshiko "Ronnie" Fujiyama  - 5,6,7,8’s



Teiscos – EP-1L


Yoshiko "Ronnie" Fujiyama, of the 5,6,7,8’s uses a Teisco EP-1L. The 5,6,7, 8's are an all-female Japanese rock trio from Tokyo, Japan. Their music is reminiscent of American surf music, rockabilly and garage rock. The's made an appearance in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill Volume 1.




Takesi Terauchi – Blue Jeans





Teiscos – MJ-2L


Takesi Terauchi appeared in Japanese movie “Wakadaisyou” during the mid 60’s. He is playing a Teisco MJ-2L.




Counting Crows




Teiscos: EP-8T / WG-2L


The above two Teiscos were used by the Counting Crows. The Instruments were signed by the band and sold to raise funds for charity.




Daniel Jones – Silverchair




Teiscos: ET-320


Daniel Jones can be seen playing a Teisco in the video clip “Straight Lines”.




Flea – Red Hot Chilli Peppers





Teiscos: NB-4


Flea can be seen in the video “Higher Ground”, playing a Teisco NB-4.




J Yuenger – White Zombie




Teiscos: Spectrum 5


J owned a couple Spectrum 5s. The clear one is a 1990’s re-issue. He never played the originals in public, but is sometimes seen with the Schecter copy that was made in the same shape.




James Iha – Smashing Pumpkins




Teiscos: K-2L


James can be seen playing a K-2L in the video “Rocket”. It is often written that the guitar is a K-3L of K-4L, but we have clearly identified the model as the as K-2L. It is also rumoured that James has other Teisco guitars; however we have not been able to find any supporting documentation.




Tito Jackson – The Jackson Five




Teiscos: SS-4L


Tito can bee seen with a Teisco SS-4L. This may have been his first guitar. It is difficult to see the brand name that was used on his model from the pictures.




Jon Schmersal – Brainiac / Enon




Teiscos: TG-64


Jon Schmersal used a modified TG-64. The model he used is one of the rarer versions that didn’t have the monkey grip.




Pete Shelley – The Buzzcocks




Teiscos: E-100


Pete Shelley of the legendary punk band the Buzzcocks, played a Starway E-100 guitar. This was his first guitar purchased from Woolworths in the UK.


The guitar was damaged at some point with the top part of the body breaking off at the glue joint. Pete continued to play the guitar and actually made the guitar a bit of an icon.


The guitar was used on some of their earliest recordings around Christmas of 1976. These recordings were used for a four-track EP, released in 1977, called Spiral Scratch. The EP was the first punk album to be self-released





Glenn Campbell




Teiscos: T-60


In the early 60’s Glen Campbell’s main guitar was a Teisco T-60.




Jackson Brownewith





Teiscos: TRE-100


Jackson Brownewith can be seen playing his TRE-100 in concert.




Johnny Paycheck




Teiscos: NB-4


Johnny Paycheck played bass in the George Jones’s  Band.




Thurston Moore – Sonic Youth





Teiscos: ET-220

Thurston used the ET-220 for a short period in 1985. It was used with an alternative tuning during the live shows.




Joshua Homme – Queens of the Stone Ages




Teiscos: V-2



Joshua can be seen playing a modified V-2 in the video of “Little Sister”. The pickups have been changed to humbuckers.





Vance Brescia - Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone





Teiscos: EP-8L


Vance acquired his Teisco from a music shop that had it bolted to the wall for decoration. He swapped them another guitar to hang in its place. He is impressed with this model for its sonic attributes and light weight.




Dan Auerbach – The Black Keys





Teiscos: Models currently unknown. Has either has Silvertone 1437 or a 759-1437-1 and possibly more.


Dan Auerbach stated in an interview that he uses Teisco on a lot of his recordings. He doesn’t feel that the guitars are up to the harsh treatment of being taken out on tour, so we have not been able to find any pictures.




Billy Gibbons – ZZ Top





Teiscos: Models currently unknown.


It’s rumoured that Billy owns some Teiscos, but no details are available.




Buddy Holly





Teiscos: Unknown


To be confirmed. It was written on a guitar forum that Buddy Holly had a Teisco.





If you know of any additional Famous Teisco Players or missing pictures for the above, then please contact us so we can add them to this list.





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(Last Revised: 19th of Oct 2013)


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