Rickenbacker 331 Light Show Ser. No. KJ662

The Rickenbacker Company has created interesting, innovative instruments since the time it was founded in the first half of the twentieth century.

The Rickenbacker Company has created interesting, innovative instruments since the time it was founded in the first half of the twentieth century. One such instrument was the Model 331 electric guitar, which is more commonly known as “the light show guitar.” This is how the original 1970 leaflet described the super-psychedelic masterpiece:

“The Model 331 combines a fine musical instrument with the thrill of a light show. Internally lighted by a set of frequency modulated lamps, this instrument will shimmer with infinite color and pattern variety. This instrument also features stereo output, Hi-gain pickups, and 24 frets. The three modulation channels are variable with a sensitivity control to make this patented instrument a beautiful performer in the stage situations professionals encounter.”

The guitar had the same body as a 330 but with a bound neck and a translucent plastic top. The body had colored lamps built inside; different colored lamps lit when a different frequency was played (red for treble, yellow for mids, and blue for bass).

This example from the collection dates to October of 1971, and has an improved circuit and a heavier duty outboard transformer from earlier versions.

An all-analog polyphonic amplitude synthesizer that alters the attack and decay time of any sound source without sacrificing the fidelity of the original tone.

Read MoreShow less

Kenny Greenberg with his main axe, a vintage Gretsch 6118 Double Anniversary that he found at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville for a mere $600. “It had the original pickups, but the finish had been taken off and the headstock had been repaired. So, it’s a great example of a ‘player’s vintage instrument,’” he says.

On his solo debut, the Nashville session wizard discovers his own musical personality in a soundtrack for a movie that wasn’t, with stops in Africa and Mississippi hill country.

Kenny Greenberg has been Nashville’s secret weapon for decades. He’s the guitarist many insiders credit with giving the Nashville sound the rock ’n’ roll edge that’s become de rigueur for big country records since the ’90s. It’s the sound that, in many ways, delivered country music from its roots to sporting events.

Read MoreShow less
Andy Wood on Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" | Hooked

The hot picker recalls receiving a mix CD of must-know guitarists and the Grammy-winning track was the one that "hit him like a ton of bricks."

Read MoreShow less
x