Fender & Rickenbacker: Still Stringin’ Us Along

Retro Staff 1  Comment

The Fender Jaguar. The Rickenbacker bass. Chances are, even if you don’t play the guitar, you’ve heard the names Fender and Rickenbacker. They’ve been around for a long time, and if you like music, you’ve listened to songs played on these brands of guitars.

1974 Rickenbacker Bass

1974 Rickenbacker Bass

While Rickenbacker is legendary primarily for its bass guitars (such as the ’74 featured here-a favorite of RUSH lead vocalist Geddy Lee), the company actually manufactured the world’s first electric guitars, back in 1932. The brand’s loyalists include (on electric guitar) Pete Townshend of The Who. Tom Petty, Suzanna Hofts of The Bangles, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, and John Fogerty, whose work gets covered here, 45 years after it debuted in April 1969. But the enduring appeal of the Rickenbacker is still it’s legendary line of basses, with artists such as Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, John Deacon (QUEEN), John Entwistle (The WHO), Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), John Taylor (Duran Duran), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), and a rather popular singer/songwriter by the name of Paul McCartney, from a little English band I’m sure a few of you have heard of, who rock out on ’em.

Some musicians are attached to their instruments like they’re a limb—a part of their body they weren’t born with, but may as well have been. Fender’s list includes a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Who’s Who which includes Eric Clapton, surf guitar legend Dick Dale, Bob Dylan, The Edge (U2), David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Johnny Marr (The Smiths), and the man who set the world on fire when he set his Strat ablaze at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Jimi Hendrix.

Of course, many players play several models of guitar, such as the Strat, Jaguar and Telecaster, but there’s a reason many top players find the model they love and remain loyal to it. When it ain’t broke—don’t fix it.

Fender Jaguar

Who wouldn’t want to jam with some vintage strings? That’s an Ovation in the middle.

In 1969, the year the featured Fender Jaguar rolled off the line, John Fogerty and his Creedence Clearwater Revival bandmates recorded “Bad Moon Rising”, which is number 364 on Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Songs of All Time. There’s a reason this track remains popular today, showing up in movies, being played by bands whose members hadn’t even been born when it was first released, and classic rock stations worldwide, nearly 50 years after it first dropped. We hope this cover takes you back, but really, we just wanted a chance to show off the guitars.

Last updated: May 07, 2014
Filed under: Retro Museum Tagged with: music