Rickenbacker 4001/4003

Yes, it is classy to display a motorbike with a bass propped against it. They both produce thunder.

It's no secret, I am a fan and lifelong ( my life as a semi-professional musician, of sorts) user of the Thunderbird bass guitar But if any instrument comes anything close to second of being on a fave list, it would be the Rickenbacker 4001. Like the T-bird, it features a neck through body construction and a unique body style that is easily identifiable by sight. But most importantly, it has a distinct sound that sets it apart from the herd of other bass instruments.

For twenty years, 1961 -1981, the 4001 was the"deluxe model" of the 4000 bass series. Sporting the crest wave designed body shape and neck-through construction, twin truss rods, triangle inlays and 2 pickups, each having separate volume and tone knobs plus a pickup selector switch. The 4003 replaced the 4001, the main difference being the truss rod system and neck inlays. Most everything else remained the same as with the previous incarnation. 

L to R: Chris Squire "Yes", Geddy Lee "Rush" Kieth Brammer "Die Kreuzen"

Not only iconic in it's appearance, the"Rick" has a very pronounced, unique voice. Sporting a upper mid-range growl, this instrument helped form the sound of such bands as Rush and Yes. And although I put it second on my all time favorite bass guitar list, quite a few of my favorites players have wielded the "Rick" over the years.

L to R: John Curley "Afghan Whigs", Rick James " I'm Rick James, bitch", Lou Barlow "Dinosaur Jr."

I could go on all night and day about players I dig that have used a "Rick"; Lemmy, Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Hook, Cliff Burton, Bruce Foxton, Kim Gordon....seriously, on and on. But maybe that's one of the reasons it's my second fave, many people have tamed the "Rick" but only a handful effectively manage the beast called Thunderbird!

Oh yeah, let's not overlook how the 4001 has found it's way into pop/sci-fi culture. If you dare, check out the extremely bizzaro, yet disturbingly, entertaing manga to anime, FLCL "Fooly Cooly or Furi Kuri". Featuring the Vespa riding, 4001 packing character, named Haruko Haruhaha. And Scott Pilgrim, which has raised the level of attention to the much secreted and underground world of Bass Battle( the first rule of  Bass Battle: you do not talk about Bass battle....the second rule of Bass Battle. You do not talk about Bass Battle).






...et cetera