Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour. The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 85th anniversary.Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately. He used it exclusively from their Ed Sullivan performance all the way thru their breakup on every song in need of a 12-string guitar.
The Rickenbacker 12-string guitar has always been a steadfast factor for any 60’s Rock Music Fans as every band had someone playing one ie George Harrison, Tom Petty & Pete Townsend to name a few. Its ultra rare having only 31 examples made between 1963-1968, most having the exact George Harrison features such as their infamous “Fireglo” finish. That color is stunning showing off its beautiful shaped maple body front & back sporting what has became Rickenbacker folk law…that pretty “sharp” cutaway double bound body w/its crushed pearl inlaid fingerboard over a 3-piece Walnut & Maple neck. Its 2 “Toaster” pickups are powerful w/its intricate 60’s “Ching-Chang” or Rock tones like no other. She’s sporting her original White pickgards w/a matching White Truss Rod Cover. Its 12 Kluson Deluxe tuners work perfectly. It sports 5 chrome capped Black Vol. & Tone knobs. Its got its original adjustible bridge and cool “R” tailpiece. The serial # of “GI” designates it to be from September 1967. What makes this example so special is it’s THE MOST recognized Rick design that the Beatles “George Harrison” played out live in their earliest & most significant days. Owned by its last caretaker, Raul Herrera from Miami Florida, since he bought it while working at Ace Music back in 1987. She’s Exceptionally Clean overall, a completely original & uncirculated example. She comes complete w/her original Silver Tolex/Blue lined hard case.