Monday, May 10, 2004

I went on the Rickenbacker Guitars website last night. For all you non guitar types Rickenbacker guitars were used by a bunch of mid 1960's groups. Much of the high end guitar sound on the album A Hard Days Night is from a Rick 12 string that George Harrison played. Of course the most well known Rickenbacker sound is Roger McGuinn from The Byrds. That jangly sound in all their songs - you might think especially of the opening riff for Mr. Tambourine Man - was from a Rickenbacker 12 String. Rickenbacker guitars are also responsible for the signature sound of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Needless to say, one of my dream guitars is a semi-hollow body Rick 12 string electric.

Any other Rick lovers out there?

I am also a Fender Telecaster lover. For my money it is the most comfortable electric to wear and to play and one can draw whole host of verstile sounds from the guitar.

On the Rickenbacker website are signature guitars. One was the John Kay version. John Kay, by the way, was the lead singer for Steppenwolf. He is the one responsible for the growly lead vocals one hears on "Born To Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Rock Me" (my personal Steppenwolf favorite). There was a link to John Kay's website and, you guessed it, Steppenwolf is still touring. Yes, 'tis true, John Kay is 60 years old and he is still stalking the stage wearing sunglasses and growling, "Close your eyes girl. Look inside girl. Let the sound take you away." Turns out Kay was actually born in Germany. His father was killed on the Russian front. A few years after the war he and his mother escaped from East Germany to West Germany. In 1958 they emigrated to the USA. And yes Virginia, the band is named after the Hermann Hesse novel of the same title.

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