Sunday, January 14, 2024

Electric-guitar pioneer Adolph Rickenbacker was born in Basel in 1887

Here's a Basel connection I just learned about: Adolph Rickenbacker was born in poverty in Basel in 1887 as Adolph Riggenbacher and moved to the United States with relatives in 1891 after his parents died. In the 1930s, with George Beauchamp, he patented the first electric stringed instrument and founded the Rickenbacker company, whose instruments were later popularized by The Beatles, among others. Paul McCartney played a left-handed Rickenbacker bass, and George Harrison often played a twelve-string Rickenbacker electric guitar. Harrison's playing then inspired Roger McGuinn to use a Rickenbacker twelve-string with The Byrds, as in the distinctive sound of their version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man". Basel, Beatles, Byrds! (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 14 January 2024)


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