Paul McCartney's Rickenbacker Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jwb1231970, Sep 18, 2017.

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  1. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    [​IMG] i prefer this bass to the hofner, wish he still played it.
    It was his main bass in the studio from 67-87 in guessing. It was the only bass on the road during his solo career up until the 1979 shows. Continues using it in the Broadstreet film, tv appearances through 1987, in the Once Upon a Long Ago video and poses with it on the cover of All the Best (also 1987)

    Then it's gone, retired never to be used on stage again, tv appearances, tours, etc. I miss that bass that was such a trademark of Paul's. Rest In Peace
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  2. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    It likely made its debut on Rubber Soul; perhaps on Michelle or The Word, but almost certainly is present somewhere on Revolver. By the time the White Album came out, he had procured a left-handed Fender Jazz that you can hear on Yer Blues, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Glass Onion (note the "chunk" in these parts). Paul generally played his basses with the neck pickup soloed, but pictures of him playing the Rick 4001 show the pickup selector in the down, or bridge pickup setting. The theory is, Rick made Paul a right-handed bass in '64 (we know this to be true) and when discovering him to be left-handed (this was early in '64 when they started making the bass, so they didn't know...) they made a lefty but used a right-handed wiring harness which resulted in the down position being neck pickup (we assume these facts to be self-evident).

    These days, it's simply too heavy for a man of 75 to be touting on stage. The Hofner is super light.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  3. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I think the Hofner also is representative of the Beatle legacy he's all about now. Love just once to see him strap on the Rik one last time
     
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  4. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    I get that it's heavier than the Hofner, but McCartney could still play it on a few songs live on stage.

    He doesn't have to do a full show with it, but he could switch it in and out with the Hofner.

    Would make so many songs sound even better.
     
  5. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
  6. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    There have been discussions on other forums about how much wear and tear this bass has had over the years. It may be that it's not in playing condition for the type of high-level shows we're talking about.
     
  7. applebonkerz

    applebonkerz Forum Resident

    His was the inspiration and aspiration for me finally buying mine 39 years ago. :thumbsup:
     
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  8. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

  9. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    I understand what you're saying, but c'mon this is Paul McCartney we're talking about...I'm sure he can afford one!

    I'm just not a fan of the Hofner, it sounds muffled doesn't have that pop, snap, thump and boom that the Rick or the Wal have.

    Watch and listen to the video of Wings performing Coming Up live on their very last tour. McCartney's bass playing and sound is awesome!

    I also absolutely love the booming bass of Wings Over America!

    To me in all of McCartney's music, his bass playing should be up in the mix and booming! Not out front, but up in the mix.

    We're talking about one of the greatest bass players in history, if I was a producer of his music, I'd make sure that his bass playing was clearly heard!

    How could his producers over the years miss that?!
     
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  10. Equine Guest

    Equine Guest Forum Resident

    Location:
    UT
    I love the binding free Rickenbacker basses like Paul's, they do not dig into your arm like the models with binding will. I have a friend who says that playing a Rickenbacker bass is like trying to play a chair made out of antlers, but I have always found them quite comfortable. (Sans binding). As others have stated, I am sure weight is an issue for Macca these days, and why tote around a 9-10 pound instrument when the Hofner cuts that in half. Even a song or two with a real fatty can ruin your evening. I had a Fender Jazz that weighed 12 lbs, even two songs a night was too much. It was great for recording, provided I was sitting down, and letting it rest on my lap. But the Rick tone, if that is what you are after, where else are you going to find it? I love the way it sits in the mix on the Beatles recordings he did with it. So unique.
     
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  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Does not play well with fascists or southern rock.

    Location:
    London, England
    Conversely, I absolutely hate them from an aesthetic perspective. The hard defined lines of the binding on a 4001 or 4003 are part of the appeal for me and one of my favourite guitars.

    The 4003s and whatever that is in the photo above just look like imitations or junior guitars, all soft and squishy. When I've seen Suede, Mat Osman has a 4003s, and it just looks wrong.
     
  12. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    Rick is my favorite bass of the period - all my favorite players from the era played a Rick. It's not exclusive to Paul, his contemporaries could go crazy on the Rick... I would say it will be my first bass but I'm way too broke and not good enough.
     
  13. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Same here (well, Geddy Lee was a bit of an inspiration as well). Wish I still had that old 4001...as it is I am just about ready to splurge on a purple "Chickenbacker" bass (Chinese Ricky knockoff for a tenth of the price of a real one) as a Christmas present for myself.

    Hey, one listen to "Too Much Blood", Wyman rocked out on that Steinberger!
     
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  14. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Then try one of these...how bad can they be, and like I say, they're about a tenth of the price of a real one:

    Wholesale rickenbacker bass Gallery - Buy Low Price rickenbacker bass Lots on Aliexpress.com
     
  15. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    Great song. Didn't know it was a Steinburger.
     
  16. ash1

    ash1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    bristol uk
    :laughup: that's got to be a contender for quote of the day. Your friend is wise and very funny.
    While I've no doubt Paul could use his Rick if he wanted to or get it fixed up to playable condition should it require, as the owner of two basses, a Hofner Violin bass (the budget Hofner bass I might add) and a Burns bass, the Hofner gets used every time and I dare say for the same reason Paul uses his Hofner - 1. It represents all things Fab and 2. You don't need a team of roadies to help you pick the ****** up and then break your back playing it and I'm 26 years younger than Paul. As he also spends the whole show singing it's easy to see why he'd go for the "bass made out of balsa wood". At 75 I'm sure the Rick combined with 3+ hours of singing is not a good combination from a physical point of view and I remember him complaining in 1980 in a Musician interview (as heard on The McCartney Interview LP) about how heavy the Rickenbacker was in comparison to the Hofner he'd just used again in the Coming Up video.
     
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  17. drasil

    drasil Former Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    as in our conversation in the hofner thread this february, the bass pictured is his fretless mapleglo 4001, which only appears on a scant handful of tracks, mostly on back to the egg.

    I'm sure you're instead referring to the iconic fretted 1964 4001S in this post, but it's worth noting again that McCartney owns several styles of rickenbackers, including a five-string 4003 SPC blackstar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  18. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    Chickenbacker has been purchased!:righton::D
     
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  19. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Ah, thanks for the correction
     
  20. somnar

    somnar Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC & Amsterdam
    Interesting bit about the condition the 4001s was in by the mid-70s: arnquist

    My favorite bit: "restrung with the strings that it came in with." My guess is that those were the strings the bass had on when McCartney got it.
     
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  21. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Does not play well with fascists or southern rock.

    Location:
    London, England
    Enjoy! Does it have a brand? For a year or two before getting the real thing, I played a (not bad, but extremely heavy) Rockinbetter

    [​IMG]
     
  22. ohnothimagen

    ohnothimagen I don't suffer fools or trolls gladly...

    The one I just bought looks just like that one, except it says nothing at all on the headstock, just a blank white piece of plastic:laugh: I hope it sounds good...you know, like a Rickenbacker should.
     
  23. Vinyl Socks

    Vinyl Socks Forum Resident

    Location:
    DuBois, PA
    Macca can afford a left-handed 1959 Les Paul Standard (he owns one of the two ever made)....so yes, he can afford a new Ric 4001.
    Oh, yeah...and his publishing catalogue...put that on the "affordability" list, too...
    :D
     
  24. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    I've never had an issue with the binding. I anchor my right thumb and my right elbow is a good 2-3 inches away from the body of the instrument. Not only is this good from an ergonomic perspective (avoiding the binding and establishing a neutral wrist position), it also allows me to be "on top of" the instrument, which helps with articulation, speed and dexterity.
     
  25. AndyK235

    AndyK235 Forum Resident

    I love Paul's playing, but I much prefer the tone of a J-Bass to a Ric. Shame he didn't make the J-Bass his primary studio bass. But maybe the Ric fits his own sound better. Or he liked the feel better, and that helped the flow of his bass parts. But none of that really is a big deal to me. As long as it is McCartney playing on a workable bass, it is going to sound good. His Ric bass parts on the later Beatles records are some of the best bass parts I can think of, particularly the flowing, melodic Pepper era stuff. What is more important to me than model of bass is the strings. I much prefer the sound of flatwound strings. (Then again, John Entwhistle was an early user of roundwound strings and I love his playing too. )
     
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