The new book Rickenbacker Guitars – Out of the pan into the firelight will be published by Phantom Books on November 29. In celebration of the famous electric guitar model’s 90th anniversary, it was written by Martin and Paul Kelly, who traveled the world to collect 350 original examples of the guitar that helped shape rock music.
The instruments, including all seven surviving Rickenbackers owned by The Beatles (which she played on their Stories 1964 debut on The Ed Sullivan Show) are beautifully photographed for this comprehensive study. The guitars made by this small family business were crucial to the sound of heroes like Rush, motor head, the jam, Fugazi, the Byrds, Creedence Clearwater Revival, BRAKE., the stone roses, The WHO, Yes, and of course The Beatles themselves.
From the frying pan in the Fireglo tells the story of how the guitar was made and developed in early 1930s California by George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker. It describes how the unsung German luthier Roger Rossmeisl helped turn the company’s designs into truly legendary instruments.
There are new interviews with Rickenbacker supporters like Roger McGuinn, Peter Buck, Susanna Hoffs, Johnny Marr, Mike Campbell, Geddy Lee and Paul Weller, as well as existing commentary from John Lennon, George Harrison, and Tom Petty.
First orders can only be made through the Phantom Books website. The book is the sequel to that of Martin and Paul Kelly Fender The Golden Age 1946-1970, first published by Cassell Illustrated in 2010.
The new book will be available as a standard softback for £35 ($47) and as a Limited Edition Super Deluxe two-volume edition for £175 ($235), of which only 800 copies will be available worldwide. This edition comes in a custom embossed slipcase containing the 336 page book in a textured hardback with endpapers signed and numbered by the authors.
The Super Deluxe also uniquely includes a second 160-page book of reprints from the 1933-1969 Rickenbacker catalog. These extremely rare artifacts are being reprinted in their entirety for the first time. The slipcase also includes an embossed card wallet and three specially produced posters: one featuring all seven surviving Beatle Rickenbackers, a second featuring six famous 330 guitars played by Paul Weller with The Jam, and a replica of a 1960s store poster.
Roger McGuinn is enthusiastic about the book: “The attention to detail is amazing! I’ve been playing Rickenbacker guitars for over 50 years and had heard some of the history but learned so much more from Rickenbacker Guitars – Out of the Frying Pan into the Firelight. Thank you for such a wonderful history of my favorite guitar!”
Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles adds: “There are few things more satisfying than the shimmer of an open chord played on a Rickenbacker through a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp. Of Rickenbacker Guitars – Out of the Frying Pan into the Firelight, Martin and Paul have given us the definitive history of these magical instruments.”
Geddy Lee of Rush says: “In 1967 I watched The Beatles make history by playing ‘All You Need Is Love’ live on satellite television, and the whole time I was fixated on the rather odd-looking piece of 4-string furniture. Paul McCartney kept in his mittens. Of course I now know it was a Rickenbacker 4001S Bass, and I would have to wait until 1973 before my dream of owning one could come true.
“As a favor to all musical instrument enthusiasts, Martin and Paul Kelly have combined art and information to create the definitive book on Rickenbacker in all his profound and quirky incarnations. It is a feast for the eyes and a must-have reference for this fascinating and historic music brand.”
For the latest music news and exclusive features, visit uDiscover music.
uDiscover Music is operated by Universal Music Group (UMG). Some of the artists featured in uDiscover Music articles are affiliated with UMG.