Take a walk through this brief historical photo gallery which outlines the beginnings and design progression of the Rickenbacker guitars that rocked the world. Photos and captions by Ron O''Keefe

"In the mid у50s, Rickenbacker turned from production of its stapleяlap steel guitarsяand started to produce рelectro-Spanishс guitars that featured the patented рhorseshoeс pickup used in the steels. Spurred by the success of the early Fender and Gibson electric guitars, Rickenbacker rapidly expanded its electric guitar line to produce several models of guitarsяincluding the Combo, the Capri and the full-bodied or рF-bodyс modelsяeach possessing unique characteristics. The Rickenbacker frenzy went into full gear in early 1964 when the Beatles appeared on nationwide U.S. television on the Ed Sullivan show. Aspiring guitar players wanted the guitars the Beatles were playing, and John Lennon and George Harrison were both playing Rickenbackers. The rest is history, briefly recounted by a walk through the following photo gallery of the beginnings and design progression of the Rickenbacker guitars that rocked the world. (All photos courtesy of Ron OуKeefe)"

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less