Hal Leonard Publishes 'The Rickenbacker Electric Bass - 50 Years as Rock's Bottom'

It provides hundreds of color photos and descriptions, along with the history to sort out the legend from the lore.

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Ever since the mid-'50s, Rickenbacker basses have been establishing the musical bottom for rock, jazz, and funk. Rickenbacker's iconic 4001 bass is just one of nearly 40 distinct models produced in the last six decades. Players and collectors have longed for a reference for the different models, features, finishes, and details. "The Rickenbacker Electric Bass 50 Years as Rock's Bottom" provides hundreds of color photos and descriptions, along with the history to sort out the legend from the lore.

"I took a 'field guide' approach to the content, not just providing the history and photos. Each model is illustrated with an 'identifying features' page that uses close-up photos and callouts to point out 'field marks' of that particular Rickenbacker bass model," says author and Rickenbacker aficionado Paul Boyer.

This book is for people like Boyer: bass players and collectors. But musical instrument dealers, pawn shops, and auction houses will also find the book of great help when assessing instruments. "There have been several books on Rickenbacker guitars," Boyer explains, "and some of them include mentions of the basses. There are lots of books on electric basses, and some of them include mentions of Rickenbacker basses. But my book is the only one devoted only to Rickenbacker basses."

"The Rickenbacker Electric Bass - 50 years as Rock's Bottom" traces the history of the iconic guitar, from its prototypes through its explosion of popularity in such bands as the Beatles, Yes, Deep Purple, and Motorhead. Lavishly illustrated with archival shots, this is a must-have book not only for anyone who plays the Rick but for all bass players and those interested in the instruments played by rock heroes of the '60s through the present.

About the author: Paul D. Boyer is a retired magazine editor and photographer and, obviously, a Rickenbacker Bass enthusiast. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Paul and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wisconsin, not far from Milwaukee. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving four years as a still photographer and combat cameraman. After a career as Senior Editor for FineScale Modeler magazine (Kalmbach Publishing Co.) for 24 years, Paul retired and started work on The Rickenbacker Electric Bass in 2006.

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12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    christianonbass
    I am proud that there is something America still does best: making guitars. Along with the Strat, the Les Paul, the J and the P basses, Rics are an American icon. Thank you Rickenbacker for 50 years of Bass making excellence!
    DystoCreativity
    Isn't Rickenbacker a Canadian company, though? Meh, at least that's what I recall - my mind has been failing me today, though. That aside, I may have to pick up this book - it'll likely be a good while before I have a chance to play one of these amazing instruments, let alone purchase one, but dang it if I can't admire some pictures.
    christianonbass
    Nope. Started in California during the 30s as a company making electric Hawaiian guitars by a Swedish immigrant engineer named Richenbacher (changed to RickenbacKer later)and a man named Beauchamp. I had to Google though!
    DystoCreativity
    Huh. Silly me, then. I could have sworn Mr. Richenbacher was a Canadian fellow... Where did that come from, I wonder? I am quite familiar with Beauchamp, though - that guy had his fingers in all the pies in the early electric instrument scene.
    christianonbass
    It didn't come from US History class heh heh (Eddie Rickenbacher, the ace WWI pilot). Like I said, I had to look it up myself. It's always good to have people check their "Facts". There seem to be too many "Experts" online
    PoorePlaysBass
    The Ricky 4001 is my dream bass. I;m sure this book is absolutely amazing, seeing how it's such a comprehensive guide to the best basses ever.
    KingV911
    Every time I see one my mind immediately thinks of Cliff Burton. That neural connection was thoroughly bonded during my teenage years of looking through the liner notes of Ride the Lightning and watching Cliff 'em All on VHS.
    Mootallica
    Currently own a 1998 Rickenbacker 4003s5. A beautiful piece of artwork it is. The only problem is finding parts for it. They just simply dont make 5 string parts anymore.
    djwilder60
    The only parts RIC doesn't make for the S5 are the bridge pickup and the bridge insert. The rest of the parts are standard RIC bass parts.