In case you’re wondering what Miami has to do with this fabulous rock history artifact, a little Fab Four history is in order. In February 1964, The Beatles were hanging in Miami, enjoying the weather and getting ready for their second live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The guitar on which this week’s instrument is based was shipped direct to John Lennon from the Rickenbacker factory in California. Lennon promptly retired his road-worn ‘58 Rick and the following day was seen rehearsing with the new axe on the Sullivan set, which he later played live on the show. The new Rick had become his main stage and recording electric guitar.
Similar to Lennon’s first 325, the ‘64 edition had a slimmer body and a 5-knob layout that included a balance control mounted on the two-ply pickguard. The new guitar was fitted with Rickenbacker’s newly designed Accent vibrato tailpiece. You can check out multiple views and all the specs here.
Brian Baggett of Private Reserve Guitars has fun showing off the surprising versatility of this iconic instrument.
The 325C64 we’re featuring here is a dead-on replica of Lennon’s guitar. Its short 20-¾” scale and semi-hollow design makes for a very comfortable instrument that’s easy on the shoulder. The trio of single-coil pickups offer a surprisingly wide range of tones beyond the classic jangle and chime with which Ricks are forever associated.
Despite the feverish demand for Rickenbackers, the factory continues to produce these iconic instruments in the USA, using the same materials and techniques with which the original were crafted. As a result, there is a perpetual backlog, making this exceptional instrument a very worthy collectible.
Two of our Guitar Advisors offer their impressions after auditioning the Rickenbacker 325C64:
Beside the obviously cool association with the Beatles, this is one of the only high-end production guitars on the market that is short scale. That gives it a unique feel and sound. It's both jangly and chimey and nails the earlier Lennon guitar sound!
Picking this thing up really inspires you to play a little outside of your normal comfort zone. It takes a little getting used to, but the short scale is super fun to play and you really can't find another guitar that sounds and feels anything like this one.
We invite you to call one of our Guitar Advisors at 866-926-1923 for an in-hand tone report, photos, or to schedule a Skype session to personally audition this wonderful piece of rock ‘n’ roll history.