Some Guitars You Just Don’t Need
If you’re just setting out to learn to play the guitar, you do not need one of these: a Rickenbacker guitar. In fact, nobody needs one. But it’s not about necessity with a guitar like this. It’s all about desire.
The California company made the world’s first electric guitars back in the 1930s. And in the 1960s, as the guitar of choice for The Beatles, no less, the brand went stratospheric (not Stratocasteric). For a long time, John Lennon played a Rickenbacker 325 Capri he bought in Hamburg. George Harrison often played the 360 / 12, a 12-string guitar you can hear clearly on a lot of Beatles tracks. Paul McCartney used a left-handed 1964 4001S FG bass. Even Ringo Starr, the drummer, had a Rickenbacker (the 1996, which was the export version of the 325), given to him by John!
People say they’re a bit jangly. I know what they mean, but it’s a great jangle, and good enough for Pete Townsend, Johnny Marr and Tom Petty, as well as the Fab Four.
Paul Weller, more than most, is a Rickenbacker man. Here’s one of his (with his own graffiti on it, which is to slightly ruin a cracking guitar). This one sold at auction at Christie’s a couple of years ago for 10k GBP, a surprisingly low price I’d say.
By the way, like John Lennon giving one of his to Ringo, Paul Weller’s known to have given one of his Rics to Steve Craddock and another to Noel Gallagher. What is it with these great guitarists giving away their great guitars?