The amp behind the 362/12 is a late ’60s Rickenbacker Transonic 100.

The electric answer to the ’60s folk revival’s acoustic 12-strings.

Adolph Rickenbacker began a successful Los Angeles, California, tool-and-die business in the 1920s, which eventually provided metal parts for guitar companies like National. When Rickenbacker codesigned and marketed the first “Frying Pan” electrified lap steel guitar, he helped usher in the sound of modern music.

F.C. Hall, owner of Radio & Television Equipment Co. (Radio-Tel), purchased the Electro String Company, which manufactured electric steel guitars, from Rickenbacker in 1953. Hall revamped the business and focused on electric standard guitars rather than steels. By 1963, with a full line of electric guitars in place, Hall decided to create an electric 12-string.

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Photo by Annie Atlasman

Face-melting shredder, studio mastermind, technical innovator, and Guns N’ Roses hired hand.

Bumblefoot (aka Ron Thal) is a monster guitarist. His astounding chops, incredible ears, and innovative techniques are the stuff of legend. He’s also an accomplished singer, songwriter, teacher, transcriber, engineer, and producer. He’s as comfortable onstage as in the studio, and has been producing and recording music for as long as he’s been playing (since age 6).

Thal’s first break came in 1989, when he was featured in Guitar Player’s new talent column. He made more waves with his 1995 release, The Adventures of Bumblefoot, and built a cult following with subsequent albums and tours. But the cat was fully out of the bag in 2006, when Thal joined Guns N’ Roses, replacing outgoing shred master Buckethead. He subsequently toured the world, playing its biggest stages. Thal’s stellar guitar work is all over GNR’s 2008 release, Chinese Democracy, and the band’s live DVD, Appetite for Democracy 3D. He’s also worked with Jessica Simpson, Lita Ford, Guthrie Govan, and many other artists.

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