Well, a photo like this doesn’t come across often — Deke Dickerson with a Telecaster. So maybe a couple extra words might be helpful.
Deke is never featured on this page because Deke doesn’t play a Telecaster. That said, this middle-aged old fool who fun-blogs about Telecasters is a huge fan of Mr. Deke Dickerson. This is my guy. I’m a total fanboy.
And for many good reasons.
First, as they say, “that boy can play”. Lightnin’. Fried chicken. Boomchickaboom. One of the best players going.
Second, Deke keeps actual rock and roll music alive.
It’s with some degree of sadness I wrote that last sentence. For decades rock and roll, or something close, defined popular music. Now, different styles, with less connection to original Sun Records rock and roll dominate popular music.
Of course, Deke might not totally agree with my assessment because he keeps other styles alive as well. In fact, it seems more than clear that Deke is heavily influenced by the western swing and country guitar legend, Joe Maphis and probably considers himself more country than rock.
If you see Deke Dickerson perform you get rock and roll, western swing, rockabilly, surf and classic country music. Dick Dale, Elvis, Johnny Cash, George Jones are never far from one of his shows. He is keeping those great artists and styles alive every day.
Third, Deke is our master historian. He checks in with all the old talents. Like, literally checks in with Larry Collins and before he passed, Scotty Moore as well as dozens of other artists long forgotten. He goes to their grave sites, visits their widows and archives their precious equipment. These old musicians love Deke because he honors them. They gratefully pass on mementos and gear because they know he will care for the history they represent.
Deke will go to every garage sale, every swap meet and every estate sale if there is a chance of acquiring old recording equipment, old amps and anything else that hits his sense of nostalgia. He knows what to do with it too. He’ll slowly warm up an old amp, or carefully repair a rare piece of equipment.
It’s not like I’m some sort of stalker — I basically just follow him on social media and go to see him if he shows on the East Coast. What I can tell you, is he fucking cares about music history and those precious styles he covers. He’s also a blistering hot guitar player and songwriter. I’d say “mad respect”, but back when Sun Records was just starting, they’d probably just tip the cap.
Deke does not typically play a Telecaster, although he is clearly not averse to them. Deke’s a big guy, and a Tele looks small and breakable on him. He has his own model guitar made by Hallmark, that looks a bit like the hearty offspring of a Telecaster and a Mosrite. To me, this makes sense given Deke’s musical influences and imposing size.
Keep an eye out for Deke in your town and check out some of his music and musings. Followers of The Cult of the Telecaster will not be disappointed.
The Strat in the Attic by Deke Dickerson
The Strat in the Attic II by Deke Dickerson
Photo of Deke at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 2018. Photo by @scain