Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Rickenbacker

11 January 2012


Richard Smith
256 pages, Centerstream Publications; 1st edition (September 1, 1987)

The only book of its kind to chronicle the history of the company that in 1931 introduced electric instruments to the world. Rickenbacker collectors will find this book invaluable, as it contains accurate, recently-discovered facts previously unavailable to researchers. The book will help collectors date their instruments and determine their authenticity. Also featured are all of the available production records for collectible Rickenbacker instruments.
It has a great section on the early models (pre-1950) that covers the steels RIC made really well. It also covers the modern era (1950s - 1988). The book does contain several errors, mostly 'wrong' model identifications for the photos - this does not take away from the enjoyment of the book...

There has been many models introduced post 1988 (when this book was written), and of course these are not covered. The book is big and thick, and most of the pages are B&W. Photos flow in the book with the text. There are a handful of full-color pages in the center of the book. This is one of the great references for the Rickenbacker lover, and perhaps the only one covering the steels.

Pete Townshend, in Rickenbacker:
"The delicate body shape, the lightness of the woodwork, the carefully constructed craftsmanlike neck all contribute to a guitar that is utterly different in every way from all other makes. I often feel that Rickenbackers are like violins rather than guitars, modern and delicate".

Pete Townshend in his Belgravia flat.

Pete Townshend, in Rickenbacker:
The guitars on the wall in the famous 1966 picture by Colin Jones of the Observer were all taken by a roadie to be repaired by his father. I never saw them again.