Rickenbacker 375F and 360/12F
Rarity and Rickenbacker go hand in hand. Compared to Gibsons or Fenders, all vintage Ricks are rare. The model 375F, however, is sublimely rare, even for a Rickenbacker. Made in extremely small numbers from 1959 to '62, the 375F was Rickenbacker's ne plus ultra in terms of features, with three pickups, deluxe appointments, and a special long-plate Ac'cent vibrato on a full-size single-cutaway body. Compared to a '50s Strat or Les Paul, they're practically non-existent!
Official production figures are three in Fireglo, three Mapleglo, and one Autumnglo. The pair of 375Fs you see here represent two-sevenths of the total production run!
Why, then, are these neither the most sought-after nor the most costly Ricks? Well, the most desirable Ricks today are those most reminiscent of Rickenbacker's glory days in the mid '60s. The 360/12 O.S. of Beatles fame, the 4001-S bass used by all English Rick players, and the "John Lennon" model 325 are tops on most wish lists, followed by the more-common 330- and 360-style guitars featured by most '60s bands at one time or another. The entire F (for "full body") series was mostly forgotten during the Beatles era — the more distinctive "swept-wing" double-cutaway Capri style having proven wildly popular. The more-traditional single-cutaway models never caught on, and no influential artist ever made significant use of one.
A pair of Rickenbacker 375F models.
Though, in terms of sound and quality, these guitars are equal to any Rickenbacker, most people don't know about the F series. Considering how few 375Fs there are, maybe it's a good thing only truly fanatic Rick fanciers seek these models so rarely seen. If one is your dream, grab it if you ever see it.
The model 360/12F is a slightly different, though related, animal. A product of Rickenbacker's late-'60s burst of creativity that produced the Banjoline, Bantar, convertible 12-string and such, the 360/12F joins the successful 360/12 neck and hardware to the mostly forgotten F-style body. With a blunter cutaway and less attractive control array, these late-'60s F models lack some of the grace of their earlier cousins. Reportedly produced from the late '60s through the early '70s, these must be chalked up as another rarer-than-rare Rickenbacker. – Peter Stuart Kohman
Bonamassa Boosts Team Josie
Joe Bonamassa has been added to the list of contributors to this year's Team Josie Relay for Life raffle, co-sponsored by Vintage Guitar magazine. Bonamassa recently donated an autographed Jim Dunlop JB95 Wah and autographed Dunlop JBF3 Fuzz Face to this year's event.
Team Josie, an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team sponsored by Vintage Guitar magazine, will participate in its fifth annual benefit walk, June 1 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Each year, the magazine works with a guitar builder and several of its advertisers to raise donations in the weeks leading up to the event. To date, the team has raised more than $32,000 via pledges and an annual raffle of guitar-related gear. This year, the raffle will feature a Hamilton Headless model donated by Schaefer Guitars.
The Hamilton Headless has a 25" scale, mahogany body with maple top, a 1 21/32" nut width, a zero fret, Schaller adjustable roller bridge, Steinberger gearless tuners, Kent Armstrong 12-pole humbuckers, rosewood fingerboard, and rosewood-and-pearl-inlaid knobs. Other prizes include a Joe Bonamassa autographed set of Jim Dunlop JB95 Wah pedal and a Dunlop JBF3 Fuzz Face, four guitar straps from Souldier Straps, a bridge from Stetsbar, and a wooden guitar stand from Katahdin. Raffle tickets for the June 1 drawing are available for $50. Entry deadline is May 25.
Team Josie was named in memory of Josie Alise Greenwood, who died in April of 2007 after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She was three years old. Josie was the daughter of VG webmaster Joe Greenwood and grand-niece of VG publisher Alan Greenwood. Readers can support Team Josie, view the prizes and purchase raffle tickets by Clicking Here.