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Pete Townshend's Rickenbackers

Posted on July 21, 2014

Early in Pete’s career, Rickenbackers were the guitars to have. The British Invasion was led using Rickenbackers (with the Beatles and, in America, the Byrds, being probably the most renowned users of Ricks).

Not only were Ricks his first persistent stage guitar, they helped define the early Who recordings, from I Can’t Explain, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (both likely using the 1964 360/12 “Export” pictured below) and My Generation (a Rose Morris 1998), into the second LP.

Pete used (and abused) various Rickenbacker models, which were imported by Rose Morris. These models were export variations on their American counterparts.

His first purchase of a Rickenbacker was likely a Rose Morris 1998 model in early 1964, either directly from Rose Morris or from Jim Marshall’s music shop in Uxbridge Road, Hanwell, West London. This 1998 was fitted — either when purchased or later by Pete — with a Gibson ES-175 “zig-zag” tailpiece. His second was a 360/12 “Export,” from Jim Marshall’s.

 

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