Mark Vaquer's "Lennon guitars"
Written by Mark Vaquer
Rickenbacker Model 325V59 (modified)
This guitar originally came
Maple and was equipped with a standard Rickenbacker 'trapeze' tailpiece/elongated
jackplate/vintage Grover tuners/& correct rewound pickups with all new wiring. The middle pickup was
disconnected. The guitar was stripped and refinished Jet-glo by myself and
another local Rickenbacker collector who has a guitar shop as a part of his
house. It sat for several months to cure before it was finally rubbed out.
After all of the hardware was reinstalled on the guitar, I discovered that I
had to remove approximately 1/4" off each of the pot stems so that the reissue 'Burns' knobs would fit down on the stems correctly! This was done by
hand using a small hacksaw blade. Once again, be very careful doing this! I
would advise anyone with this problem to remove the pot before attempting
this modification. It is also currently equipped with 'slot head' pickup
cover mounting screws, although I'm not entirely sure that this is correct
for this 'Sullivan' model. I still haven't located a pair of 50's vintage
Rickenbacker strap buttons. I don't know if I ever will, but I'm always searching!! Needless to say, this is the guitar that should be available
from Rickenbacker as the '325V58, Sullivan' model.
A photo from an angle that features the raised pickguard, the elongated jackplate and the reissue 'Burns' knobs. It is really amazing just how much visual difference the extra 1/4 inch body thickness makes!
Another shot that features the correct 1958 325 body thickness and all of the correct body hardware.
This close-up of the body shows the Bigsby tremolo with the correct unpainted black background Bigsby logo, aluminum arm, slot head mounting screws and the aluminum Bigsby bridge.
Rickenbacker Model 325/12V63 (modified)
This is a close-up body photograph of the
'99 325/12V63 with the vintage style bridge (which this peticular guitar
did not have installed from the
This is a picture that features the
325/12V63 headstock as it should have appeared from the factory.
The "Rickenbacker" logo was reshaped into the style that was
installed on John Lennon's 1964 325/12. The top factory mounting
hole was filled in, touched up, and covered with a spot of lacquer. It
was very tedious grinding down the logo plate & took quite a while;
in fact, most of this was done by sanding with a medium grit sandpaper
by hand. If you use a machine grinder on the headstock logo, be
extremely careful as you can ruin it very quickly & these are almost
impossible to replace! Be careful if you elect to use a grinder or
electric sander on yours. The "round" style tuner
bushings that this guitar came with from Rickenbacker have been replaced
with the "correct" style "Hex" style bushings that
Lennon's 325/12 (and Harrison's '63 Fireglo Doublebound 360/12) were
equipped with. If you modify your guitar, be careful not to use the
"oversize" larger hex bushings that are available. These are
not correct!! Take the time to find the proper standard tuner hole size
hex bushings that are currently available via the Internet from most all
guitar hardware suppliers. Otherwise you will have to re-drill the tuner
holes in your headstock which you certainly don't want to do! I
also replaced the factory "RIC Deluxe" tuners with a set of
"straight line" Kluson Deluxe tuners. These were the tuners
that Lennon's '64 325/12 was most certainly equipped with. These
correct tuners have also been reissued and can be purchased quite easily,
via the Internet.
This photograph features the 1958 325 John
Lennon 'Sullivan Show' reproduction that I currently have as part of my Rickenbacker
guitar collection. It is certainly the next best thing to owning an original. It plays great, stays in tune, and has a wonderful sound
unlike any 325V59 that I've ever heard. This guitar was custom made by a luthier years ago to the
following correct 1958 325 specifications:
(Additional modifications were made to this guitar after I acquired it in order to make it an authentic reproduction of the '58 325 that
John Lennon used on the Febuary 9, 1964 Ed Sullivan Show. These additional
modifications are highlighted by an asterisk* )
This photo shows the correct shape 1958 325 headstock along with the correct
logo/tuners/unfinished fretboard/hex tuner
is a full body photograph of the completed 'Lennon' version, modified
325/12V63, serial # 99-52988. After this picture was taken, I
removed the upper smaller white pickguard with the 'Made in the USA'
sticker and replaced it with another one without the sticker. Lennon's
'64 325/12, of course,
This is the headstock of the 325/12V63 before any of the 'Lennon' modifications were done.
Courtesy of Mark Vaquer
© 2000 Björn Eriksson
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