JOHN LENNON - Rickenbacker question.....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Thomas Pugwash, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. John Simpson

    John Simpson Active Member

    Location:
    St Albans, England
    Both his Rickys are pictured leaning against a wall (maybe an amp?), supposedly in a cottage in Ireland, from a video I believe for "Grow Old along with me".
  2. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    I don't believe that's correct...
  3. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    It is sort of odd that John abruptly ceased playing a guitar he more or less played exclusively for 5 years at least and was never seen with it again.

    OTOH, George Harrison was not much different, he was never seen playing a Gretsch after 1965 either and his Rick 12 string was mothballed after the 1966 tours.

    And McCartney basically retired the Hofner as well, until the Let It Be era. Maybe they made a conscious decision to get rid of the "Beatlemania" instruments?
  4. glenecho

    glenecho Forum Resident

    OK...I'm far from a Beatle-ologist...though I love the band.

    I am a huge Cheap Trick fan.

    Can someone please explain what the "Cheap Trick" sessions are about? Is this the actual band Cheap Trick? My interest is perked.
  5. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    Cheap Trick backed Lennon briefly during the Double Fantasy sessions, there is a version of "I'm Losing You" that was later released, I have it on the single-disc "Onceaponnatime" comp from the Lennon Box.
  6. stereoink

    stereoink Member

    Location:
    thegreatmidwest
    Great story in Andy Babiuk's "Beatles Gear" about what happened to John's original 325...you can find it on Google Books as well.

    Cheers-
  7. JimC

    JimC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
  8. Texastoyz

    Texastoyz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas, USA
    It seems that once George and him got their Fender Strats that broke the tradition of them just using the Rickenbacker and the Gretsch and allowed them to use other brands.
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    (Please stop me if I've told y'all this before), John never wanted to play a Strat much. Why? Because the Shadows had used them and John wanted to stay as far away from that scene as possible. Later the Shadows switched to another brand of guitar (God knows why) and things changed.
  10. Texastoyz

    Texastoyz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas, USA
  11. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pa
    The Ric that Lennon used during the early days of Beatlemania suffered a broken headstock around 1964 and Rickenbacker gave him another 325. So the one he had since Hamburg was regulated to back up status after it was repaired. He later had it refinished and repaired again later.

    You have to remember that the Beatles only "legit" endorsement was with Vox. After Brian Epstein died that deal was no longer valid. But even during Epstein's tenure as manger the Beatles used various amps and guiatrs.

    As far as the Strats are concerned. In 1965 The Beatles were recording "Nowhere Man" and they wanted a really trebely sound. Mal Evans was sent to purchase two strats and he returned with 2 sonic blue strats. One for George and one for John.

    After owning three Rickenbackers I have came to the conclusion that they are not the guitar for me. I have played other 12-strings that in a blind taste test you couldn't tell the difference.

    A lot of the Ric mystique is due to the Beatles and the Byrds. And later on Tom Petty. Actually if I had the cash I would get the Tom Petty model since the neck is wider and has the trapeze tailpiece.

    For those of you that have them, enjoy them. And I will be the first to say that I salute the fact that they are the only major American guitar company that builds their guitars exclusively in the USA. But...

    I personally do not like:
    -the price (unless you use it as your main guitar, or your name is Roger McGuinn I still find the price a little on the steep side. Even used it seems the prices went up. Back in the late 80's you can get a used 360/12 for about $600 in great condition)

    -the neck on the 330 or 360/12 is too narrow.

    -the unstable tuning (but most electric 12-strings suffer from this. Nature of the beast)

    -the bridge (6-string saddle? really?:confused: If you want a 12-string bridge (which should be on there anyway) it will cost you $125.

    -the ridiculous "R" tailpiece

    -the over abundence of laquor on the fret board. It feels like playing peanut butter.

    -unless you play the 12-string throughout the gig it's another peice of gear that can stay home.
  12. Dugan

    Dugan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Midway,Pa
    Here's the video for John's I'm Losing You

    And the audio to Yoko's I'm Moving On
  13. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pa
    In responding to Steve Hoffman's "HUH?"

    Rickenbacker never went down the "let's offer a cheaper guitar built overseas" route.

    Unless something happened recently.

    Fender builds guitars in Mexico and the Squire brand is built in Asia.
    Gretsch is built in Japan and the Electromatic line is built in China and Korea.
    Gibson owns Epiphone which is made in Asia.
    Martin Guitars Sigma line is made in Asia

    Rickenbacker has no foreign interests outside of distribution. All of their guitars are made in the US. In late 2006, the license to build Rickenbacker acoustics was granted to Paul Wilczynski, a luthier with a workshop in San Francisco, California.
  14. ataritoobin

    ataritoobin Member

    Location:
    CA, U.S.A.
    It was John's second 325 that suffered a headstock break at the Hammersmith Odeon in '64
    (poorly repaired), and he used the Fireglo Rose Morris "1996" as a backup until it was repaired.

    60's Rics definitely had truss rods (my 1967 320/12 has two), just a different setup than they use today.
  15. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pa
    I thought it was his first one. Oh well. The way companies were throwing free stuff at them it's hard to keep track.
  16. ataritoobin

    ataritoobin Member

    Location:
    CA, U.S.A.
    :agree:
  17. petem1966

    petem1966 Active Member

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I've never played a Rick (alas), but I feel my Casino has a very small, thin neck so maybe he just traded one for the other...?
  18. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    That's the accepted story but it's not true. The photos of John in a red shirt playing the blue strat were taken on February 17th 1965 during the Ticket to Ride/Yes it Is sessions and published in the April 1965 Beatles monthly, six months before the Nowhere man session. There is also a brief mention of Mal buying them in there. I believe the song they first used strats on was Ticket to Ride. I think George Harrison made the claim it was Nowhere Man but of course he forgot the details.
  19. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    Nice job with the correct facts, nikh33. Misinformation abounds out there.
  20. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    In 1988, there was a Ric 360/12, with the pointed cutaways(!) for sale for $350.00 at the guitar shop where I ended up buying a Martin acoustic. Blonde finish, 2 pickups, some wear on the back, but quite nice.

    I've kicked myself daily for 20+ years for not picking that up that day.
  21. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Active Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    So the last time he used it as a Beatle was during their Dec. 1965 UK tour, right?
  22. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    That was the last time he used it onstage but whether he used it in the studio after that no-one is sure. Certainly there are no photos of him playing it, but he is supposed to have used it in the Hit factory in December 1980.
  23. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    John's original '58 325 looks like hell today. In 1973 he had it "restored" by Ron DeMarino which involved stripping off the aftermarket black finish and bringing it back to natural. The original gold pickguard was replaced with a handmade white one.

    http://www.thecanteen.com/ron.html
    http://www.rickresource.com/rrp/lennon325.html
    http://www.rickresource.com/rrp/babysinblack.html

    [​IMG]

    Here's some (poor quality) photos of John's actual 325 (identifiable by the wood grain pattern in better scans) at the 1958 NAMM Show behind Toots Thielman's right elbow. Ironically it was Thielman who inspired Lennon to purchase a Rick after he saw him playing one in Hamburg in 1960, and it was Thielman who accompanied Rickenbacker boss FC Hall to the Plaza Hotel in Feb. '64 to demonstrate their new guitars to the Beatles!

    It may have been a prototype; note that the control layout was revised from two knobs to four before Lennon acquired it two years later. There are something like four 1958 Rickenbacker 325's left in the world today. The model was a poor seller prior to 1964 and almost went out of production, which is why Rickenbacker "dumped it" on a German retailer in 1960.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  24. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Michigan
    It looks pretty good to me; what's your problem with it?

    (Edit) Yeah, the pickguard does look bad, but the natural finish looks nice.
  25. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Well, it's kind of a drag that the iconic black refinish was removed, but the lousy pickguard really looks bad. It wasn't even shaped correctly. Supposedly DeMartino kept the original.

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