Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

General Rickenbacker discussion

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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (Happyface) » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:05 am

I was waking from the Central Square subway stop in Cambridge, Mass back towards our apartment closer to Harvard Square in 1976. Every day I walked that route without casting an eye in the window of the Central Square pawn shop, For some reason I did that day and spotted a 1967 Walnut Glow 4005 in the window.

I didn't much like the color, but I was intrigued, since, to be honest, I was unaware of that model. I walked in and was told it was $500 or $600. Not cheap for the time. Especially for a newly married guy in an entry level job.

But my wife was a sweetie and realized how much I missed the gear I had sold before our marriage and gave me the OK.

(A year later we moved up the coast and I found a local ad for a Sunn 2000s for like $200 which was a pretty decent pairing.)
Currently: Tuxedo

Past holdings: 1967 4005, Blackstar, 3000, CS, Alembric, Tuxedo, 360-12, Blackstar, 360-12, 1982 4003, Shadow, 4003 SnowGlow
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (skychurch) » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:44 pm

I've been playing guitar on and off since I was 4 (now 63). I have always loved other instruments, especially the bass.

When I was in high school, I played in a band with a friend who played a Rickenbacker bass (that was something like 1973/74). I've wanted one ever since.

In 2013, I bought my first bass and it was a Rickenbacker 4003. I bought a GK MB Fusion 500 along with a GK 115MBE-II to go with it. I wish I had bought this 30 years ago. I absolutely love the sounds I can get.

I still sound like a guitar player, playing bass but I'm getting better :-)

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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (redamber) » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:48 pm

As someone who was a teenager in the 1960s and lusted after owning a Rickenbacker for most of my adult life, I finally took the plunge about 12 years ago and bought my first Ric. In truth, I did little or no research beforehand and bought it purely on looks and something of a whim.

Anyway, what I ended up with was a February 1993 Rickenbacker 260 'El Dorado' solid-body in absolutely mint 'NOS' condition (with original case), sourced in Germany. To this day, it is as pristine as it was when I acquired it. Interesting to note that the circular/oval labels now attached to new Rics were in use about 25 years ago!

After I got my first Ric, I contracted a serious bout of RAS and my collection mushroomed exponentially - some of my Ric guitars have featured in my earlier posts on the RRF. Sadly, my guitar-playing skills have never quite matched up to my collecting enthusiasm, but I have really enjoyed widening my horizons to include the semi-hollow models, Signature Rics, 'Colour of the Year' (COY) models, limited-edition & 'one-off' Ric guitars, '325' short-scale Rics, mandos, etc.

I have now embarked on the slow process of down-sizing my collection, but I think my 260 FG El Dorado will always have a favoured place in my heart, having been at the start of my Rickenbacker journey.

260 FG El Dorado Resize.JPG
Santa visits only once a year, but Santa Ana delivers Rics all year round.
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (emjayw) » Tue May 22, 2018 2:36 pm

My first actual hands-on Rickenbacker experience was in late 1965 when I sang with a college cover band at Kent State University in northeastern Ohio. My bandmate (later my roommate too) was a young (17 year-old) Joe Walsh fresh in from Montclair NJ. Joe was an amazing player even at 17 going on 18 and brought 2 Rickenbackers with him to Kent State. He had a Mapleglo 360/6 as his primary guitar and a Mapleglo 450/12 for the jangly stuff. (Beatles, Byrds etc.) Joe stayed at my house over Christmas break in '65 and flew home for a few days at Christmas leaving his beloved Ricks in my care. I really loved that 450/12. Nothing else sounded like that! I learned my first full Byrds song on that guitar (I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better) Many years later I ran across a well used '86 620/12BT and snagged it. It became my go-to guitar in several bands and never failed to cut through any mix. In 1996, I purchased a 325V63. It was neat but the Accent tailpiece and I didn't get along so I swapped it for a trapeze from RIC. In 2006, I sold the 325 and bought a new 360/12 Mapleglo from Fuller's in Houston TX and traded away the '86 620/12. (Big Mistake!) After playing in a Jangle Band around the Fort Worth area for several years (Back Pages) I retired from gigging at 63 and just jammed around the area. The 360/12 left me in a trade in 2013 and was replaced with a well-made USA Hamer Eclipse 12. That guitar was solid as a rock but never excited me like a solid body Rick. A month ago, I attended the big Dallas Guitar Show and ran across a like-new 2009 Mapleglo 620/12. This was the guitar I'd been after for over 40 years! Full-width position markers, vintage-style keywinds and already well setup. I couldn't pass. It is now becoming "Mine" with vintage knobs, TRC and un-humped upper guard from Pickguardian. The PO had super thin Ernie Ball .008's on it but I'm going back to my own custom set of .009-.040's. It has found a home with me and I feel like this is my final Rickenbacker 12! Thanks for listening, Mike in TX
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (Mandolindave) » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:05 am

My late, bass player/friend/brother in law found me a Fender XII, that I never really liked. He moved, I went to visit him in California, and he took me to a music store that had the first Rick 12 string 360 ( $$$$$$$$$$ ), that was supposedly, originally, a custom order for a country picker from Cali. The store owner hollered at me for trying to take a photo. Rickenbacker made a second one, that was supposedly hand delivered to Harrison, by the then bosses son. ( That's the story I heard...dunno if it's true ).

When I got home, the new Guitar Player mag was waiting. The centerfold featured the same Rick 12 ( 00000001 or whatever ) I had just seen in California. No wonder the store owner didn't want me to take a photo.

Years later I was working in Manhattan, and on the way home I detoured by 48th street. A smaller music shop had a reissue " Harrison " model in the window, with the Toaster pickups!!! Less than 60 seconds later, I was handing the clerk my credit card, and stated, " I want the red one in the window". (They tried to pass off a different one, that wasn't as pretty.). I loved that guitar...SO pretty...a piece of art. It was stolen, along with my Country Gent.

I brought her to a first gig at a local bar, and to tried to impress the stand in drummer from The Looking Glass ( " Brandy your a fine girl" ) by cranking the gain and doing a solo. I was so surprised how cool it sounded. I never used a 12 string like that before. It was like I could see the sound. Yeah..... the solo lasted probably a bit longer than it should have. After the first set, the bar manager handed me a pen and a calendar.( they had to call in another bartender) I feel like the Rick 12 was a major star of the show. And yeah....she could jangle.

So now I'm looking for a nice girl, who owns a Rick 12......and a boat. Blonde or brunette, either one really ( the pool or the pond )
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (jcreasy) » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:25 am

Original Poster,

Was the Atlanta dealer Atlanta Discount Music?

My first Rick was a 70's 360 FireGlo with Grover tuners. I got it in about '82 from Atlanta Discount. Bryan Adams' Cuts Like a Knife, Squeeze's Tempted and the Romantics' What I Like About You were all burning up MTV. I got mono that Spring, so I stayed home from school and tried like crazy to play that thing.

Unfortunately, I traded it for a Strings and Things Custom. The guys at Atlanta Discount tried to talk me out of it but I was a stupid kid.

The FireGlo on mine kinda went into a melon color in the center with no yellowing and I always thought that looked cool.

Current Number 1 is a neat story too. '90 JetGlo 360. My girlfriend (now wife) slipped up from Savannah where I was living and working a Summer job to buy it from Atlanta Discount. My dad was (and still is) a control-freak pill and didn't want me spending money on guitars. Still have it. Modified to full width position markers and toasters. I also have Pickguardian cut me a checkerboard pickguard for the top that I use every now and then. I've been thinking about going gold and a Bigsby, but who knows.

My son doesn't play, so it will probably go to my cousin when I die.
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (tcsmit29) » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:44 am

jcreasy wrote:Original Poster,

Was the Atlanta dealer Atlanta Discount Music?

No, it was store called Rhythm City in Buckhead. It was a 'small-ish' store inside an old building. The place was crammed full of gear. The walls were covered in guitars and amps were stacked almost to the ceiling. You could barely walk through the pathways. I remember the old plank flooring creaked when you walked on it. It's crazy how the mind remembers small details like that.
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (J_B_Sessoms) » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:37 pm

In 1964 The Beatles and thousands of screaming teen-age girls hit the states like a tidal wave just about the same time puberty really got its hooks into me. I didn't just love The Beatles, I wanted to BE The Beatles. The first Rickenbacker I saw was, of course, John's 325 on the Ed Sullivan Show. The first Rickenbacker 12 string I ever saw was George's guitar from the baggage car scene in A Hard Day's Night.

My friends and I formed a band, but since "John" and "George" were already taken (and I don't have enough rhythm to be a "Ringo") I ended up as the bass player. At the time, no one in Durham, NC knew what kind of bass Paul played and even if they had, I probably couldn't have afforded it. I ended up with a Hagstrom I bass and a $50 amp I bought from a friend of my dad (old Tweed Deluxe). I actually first held a Rickenbacker in the summer of 1967. Don from Don's Music City in Burlington, NC had a display at the Battle of the Bands in Durham and brought a Jetglo 1966 330/12 to show.

In the fall of 1967, I went off to college. There was a kid living down the hall in my dorm whose name a few here will recognize (those old alt.guitar.rickenbacker alumni) - Marshall Holmes. He had a Fireglo 1965 Rickenbacker 360/12 and a 1965 Fender Super Reverb. Didn't know it then, but those became the first two items on my bucket list.

Marshall turned me on to Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.

Summer 1968, after my freshman year, I got a summer job as a laborer for a landscaping company and saved my money for tuition in the fall. I also saved enough to buy that Jetglo 1966 330/12 from Don's. I've still got it.

I've had (and still have) other Rickenbacker 12-strings, but that 330/12 is still my first love.
John Sessoms
'66 Rickenbacker 330/12
'81 Rickenbacker 360/12 WB
'01 Rickenbacker 360/12 Carl Wilson #476
'12 Rickenbacker 370/12
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Re: Tell me about your first Rickenbacker...

Postby (iiipopes) » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:04 pm

My first Rickenbacker was not mine. Back in 1980, on my first trip to London with my college tour choir, I got some time and went to see all the famous music stores on Shaftesbury Avenue. I saw a 320 in the window. I went in and asked to play it. WOW! All of a sudden, all the tones and riffs that I could not figure out how John got them on the early Beatles records just fell into place. I went home, determined what to do. Mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday the next year. I said a Rickenbacker 320. Through a local small shop, whose owner had a brother who owned larger shop in Texas with purchasing power, got me a brand-new 1981 320 JG. I was in heaven. I still have it. :mrgreen:

While I was waiting for the 320, I was playing bass in my college jazz band on a '75 J-bass (yes - the one from which all the reissues are bassed - pun intended). Like all mid-'70's J-basses, the pickups fried from the internal windings being wound too tight. This was in an era of not being able to get replacement parts. The only replacement pickups out there of any reasonable cost and availability were the first generation DiMarzio Model J's. (They had @ 7.5 kohms' worth of windings and had a little more bite and drive than the current versions). So I replaced the pickups, but I was not totally happy with a J-Bass. I did not like the taper of the neck, and the frets were wearing out, and I lived in a place where there were no luthiers to fix it. Then the same local music store got in on trade a white (cream with the patina) '76 4001. I immediately went and traded my J-bass for the 4001 for $125 difference, at a time when the J-bass was more desirable than a Rick. Ah, heaven - or so I thought. I played the 4001 until I saw the release of the 4002 in the back of that month's Guitar Player magazine. I had to have one. Finally, in 1992, I bought an issue of (then split off) Bass Player magazine (remember - pre internet) and called every store advertising in the magazine until I got to the Bass Place (I think that was it - I don't remember the actual name) in Denver. I sold my 4001 to raise cash, and purchased the 1981 Walnut-glo 4002. I still have the 4002, and still gig with it, even though I wore the frets completely out on it and had to have the entire neck refretted. All these years later there is now a luthier in town who understands Rickenbacker and enjoys working on them.

Then, my Rick-12: I had never played a Rick-12, but being the Beatles and Byrds and Petty fan, I had to have one. In the wake of my first divorce in the summer of 1989, again, I went into the same local music store and said I had talked about it for years - long enough. I wanted a Rick-12. I had cash. He gave all kinds of excuses about cost and availability. I said do your best. He called me the next day, sheepishly. He said I wasn't going to believe this, but a guy walked in, put it on the counter, said he never played it, and wanted a Les Paul. The music store owner did the trade immediately and called me. I went down. It was a Friday. He said take it home, and bring me either the guitar or $750 when he opened up on Tuesday. (He took Mondays off). And that's how I got my 1981 360-12 FG OS WB ckbd.

I play all three of them, 37 years after each was manufactured. I don't know the kharma about 1981, but yes, all three are 1981 models. The J-bass? I know the local bass player who owns it if I ever want/need to borrow it.
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