Rickenbacker Guitars: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fireglo

Martin Kelly and Paul Kelly
Rickenbacker Guitars: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fireglo

At long last, Rickenbacker gets the treatment it deserves, with this glorious large, comprehensive, and colorful history of the guitars, basses, amps, players, and more. Richard R. Smith’s groundbreaking work set the scene back in 1987, and this new book completes the picture.

The book is packed with 336 pages plus hundreds of photos, including specially shot studio images of scads of rare Ricks from stars including the Beatles, Tom Petty, Paul Weller, and many more players and collectors. The book delves deep into key aspects of Rickenbacker history with background stories and development details of the Frying Pan and pioneering Spanish guitars; the early solidbodies; the Capri series; and of course, the famous 12-strings and basses.

The sections on the Capris, as well as the full-bodied F series guitars, cast new light into the shadows of these models’ stories. Rick amplifiers get their due too, with a full chapter devoted just to the Transonics – including a jaw-dropper historical photo of a four-cabinet monster with two side-mounted heads. Those were the days!

Simply put, this book is a masterpiece.

This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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