Rickenbacker Guitars / Model 1996 Rose Morris / 1964 / Fireglo / Guitar For Sale

1964 Rickenbacker model 1996 Rose Morris fireglo for sale

This is a very cool short-scale guitar with three pickups, measuring 20.75" in scale length. It features a one-piece maple neck with an unbound, 21-fret rosewood fretboard finished in lacquer. The guitar is equipped with three "toaster" single-coil pickups and has a hollow maple body with an f-hole. It also includes an Ac'cent vibrato tailpiece. There is some fret wear present.

The pickguard of the guitar has been signed by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, with the signature saying "To Rolf from Roger McGuinn." In 1997, the previous owner ordered a new upper pickguard and tremolo arm directly from John C. Hall, the President of Rickenbacker. These replacements are also included. The lower pickguard had been cracked but has been glued back together.

The model 1996 RM was imported by the British importer Rose Morris between 1964 and 1967. It is a 3/4 size guitar built similarly to the US model 325. The 1996 RM was later reissued in 2006 as a special order, closely associated with John Lennon and The Beatles. These models were frequently used by Lennon during performances on shows like the Ed Sullivan Show and Saturday Evening Post-era. They were also used by John Fogerty and other notable musicians.

The guitar retains its original Kluson Deluxe tuners. There is a worn finish on the edges of the body and some belt buckle wear. John Lennon's original model 1996 with the serial number DE519 (from May 1964) from Ringo Starr's collection was sold at an auction at Julien's Auctions in 2005 for $910,000 USD. This specific guitar, DG875, was made two months later and is available at a fraction of the cost of Ringo's guitar.

Regarding Lennon's guitar, it is a 1964 Rose-Morris Rickenbacker, model 1996, commonly known as "The Beatle Backer." Lennon received this guitar from Rose-Morris, the official UK importer of Rickenbacker, when his 1964 Rickenbacker 325 was damaged during a Christmas performance. The incident turned into an opportunity for Rose-Morris to capitalize on the Beatles' fame. They provided Lennon with a new fireglo-finished 1996 model, the British equivalent of the 325. Rose-Morris used this association with Lennon in their advertising campaign, featuring him alongside the 1996 guitar. Lennon played this guitar during the remaining 1964 Christmas shows and it can also be seen in photographs taken in his home music room in 1967.

In 1968, Lennon gifted the guitar to Ringo Starr. During a period when tensions were high among the Beatles, Starr briefly left the bandmates who were recording The Beatles, also known as the "White Album." When Starr returned with new material he had written, Lennon presented him with this Rickenbacker. Lennon believed the guitar would suit Starr well and wanted to encourage him to write more songs, as mentioned by Andy Babiuk in his book "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio."

Oscar Guitars, Sweden  

Contact name:
Oscar Björklund
Vintage guitars, amps and other stringed instruments
Opening hours:
M-F 12.00-18.00 Sat-Sun 12.00-16.00

Oscar Guitars is today Sweden's largest specialist guitar store with a focus on vintage and used string instruments, pedals and amplifiers. In the store there is a constantly changing exhibition of stringed instruments from all ages and manufacturers, some call it a museum where everything is for sale. 

The store is based on a vision that began full-time in 1997 and today, 25 years later, we are one of the the most famous vintage guitar shops in Northern Europe.  


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