'It was a sunny day in old London town today' Or 'Rickenbackeritus'

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Octave Doctor, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. It was a sunny day in old London town today so I knocked off at 1.00 and headed down to Denmark street – where the likes Hendrix and Zeppelin hung out and countless classic rock acts have bought their flying v’s and Marshal stacks through the ages (it was full of bloody tourists as usual) I picked up a few shark fin picks (3 for quid – very reasonable) and browsed the bass racks. As usual in Tin Pan Alley there are more used classic basses that new models and I found myself drawn to this tatty looking Rickenbacker 4001 in a natural finish and a pickup that looked a bit like a badly installed letterbox.

    Now I’m not a great fan of Rickenbacker – I find them a bit ‘tinny’ and there is usually far too much varnish on the fret board but this thing was a treat! Trouble is they wanted 1150 quid (that’s the best part of 1900 dollars to you gum chewing chaps over there in Yankee land) and there wasn't even a case! I asked the shop keeper to tell me a little about the thing and was told it was a early 70’s model that used to belong to Adam Ant.

    Now I have to confess – One of my favourite albums of all time is Dirk Wears White Sox – its a classic (no resemblance to all that stand and deliver or ant music stuff) so I have to say I was sorely tempted. I must have played with this thing for the best part of an hour (the shop keeper was very patient – but then I was wearing my expensive shoes so he probably thought I was worth it) and I was converted. Trouble is I have just forked out a small fortune for a new American precision and I really don’t know very much about Rickenbackers....

    So, my thick fingered friends, do I get myself down to the shop first thing tomorrow morning with next months mortgage payment or do I see this a near miss and never knock off work early again.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
  2. Rickenbackeritis is a virus, and I'm infected.

    If you can talk him down a bit (1150 quid is bloody steep!), and you have the means, what's there to lose? Try it on for a while... these things retain their value quite well, so you can always offload it if you decide it's not your cup of tea.

  3. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    do it!!! just go up there..and say aaww man..heres what i have cash...$850 quid...see what he says..if you have cash in his face he may take it...now give you the bass i don't know :rolleyes: ..

    just try to haggle..what can you loose?

  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you can find out the year by checking out the plug jack - there will be a serial number, something like "ok 4567" from which you can decipher the year from the first letter and the month from the second - ok here being november '75 (the year of my doubleneck 4080, incidentally :D).
  5. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Thats the most "English" post i have ever read!!
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My personal opinion is that Denmark Street is NOT a good place to buy basses generally!!

    They are over-priced and the assistants and shop owners know very little ( I have heard them say things which if posted on TB would get them flamed and ridiculed) and are generally unhelpful - after many bad experiences with the shops there I would now only buy from the Gallery and the Bass Centre in London.

    I don't blame them as such - the 'West End' location means they are in the busiest retail area
    in London and have to cover very high costs/outgoings - so I browse occasionally, but I have never seen a good deal in about 10 years of working in London - and I always end up thinking - what a waste of time - I should have gone to the Bass Centre.

    (This criticism doesn't apply to Argents - which is great for sheet music, books etc. )
  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    For once I'm with Bruce. That area of London is a great place to look at basses. After looking hop on a tube to the basscentre, gallery or both and buy one there.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Come on - get real!! This is exactly what I was saying in my first post - just noticed this bit!!

    Adam Ant - never played anything and was an arrogant poser, who occasionaly intoned over music constructed by Marco Pirroni - I can't believe he ever played bass!

    But I can very easily believe that this is the sort of story that would be "concocted" by the people I have encountered in Denmark Street!! ;)

  9. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Don't understand :confused:
    Why would you want an inferior bass when you've just bought the best? :confused: :eek: :D
  10. Ouchie!

    Probably a good thing that I've started with the inferior Rickenbacker - surely a few years from now I'll have traded it (and my jazz) for a P!

  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I think you'll find that the combination of Rickenbacker and P-Bass don't provide such good shelter as a proper roof over your head... If you're convinced it's the bass for you, then maybe you could get a good p/x for the P-Bass... but the fact that Adam Ant allegedly played it doesn't add any musical value to the bass and isn't worth considering unless you've got the money to become an instrument collector as well as a player.

  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yup - I would actually be ashamed to admit this in mixed company!! :D
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    LOL! This is the most English post I ever read!

    We English tend to notice and actually seem to care about stuff like this!
    I really try to force myself to be less English these days!

    Everyone in unison:
    I WILL spend hours in the shop!
    I WILL turn it up damned loud before I buy it!
    I WILL complain when my meal is completely crap in a restaurant!!

    Yep, Bruce has the word there. Denmark street is a complete and utter rip off. The guys in the shops are not specialists they're salesmen.

    As for buying a bass cause Adam Ant played it, hmm... Sting, or Paul McCartney I could understand, or maybe even that bloke from EastEnders who played bass in that dodgy new romatic band in the 80's?
    He's hardly a bass guru is he?! I mean it's not as if his choice of instrument means it must be a goody? Come to think of it, I never saw him playing bass on TV and I was well into Adam Ant when I was FIVE YEARS OLD!!! :D ;)

    LOL, this would be so improved by changing the word poser for ponce..

    Adam Ant - never played anything and was an arrogant ponce..

    See :D
  14. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    I know someone who was offered a mid 70's Strat in a shop in Denmark Street ...... apparently It might have once belonged to Jimi Hendrix :hmm ;)
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - they rebuilt it from the pieces left after the Isle of Wight Festival - well it was mostly Jimi's Strat...might have been some matches and bits of twig in there.... :D
  16. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    It sounds way overpriced, and it will probably have many problems that would show up, after you paid for it. I know it is hard to pass up Basses
    you want sometimes. You keep thinking.....man should I have bought that ? I think you should compare it to a used car. You have a nice car now,
    so do you really want another, that is going to have problems and you will wind up putting more money into ?. I also dont like the fact it has no case for that price. I wont buy a Bass that does not have the original Hard Case. unless it is like a mim or mij Fender that comes with factory gig bag.And here in good ol USA the mij Fenders
    dont even come with a gig bag,you have to get the clerk to throw one in to close the deal. You should wait, something else will come along, maybe a nicer cleaner RIC. :smug:
  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Wouldn't buy it, not for that price :eek:

    Besides if Adam Ant owned it, it has to be rather bad karma :rolleyes:
  18. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    FWIW, I just received today a MINT 4003, coming from the USA. Total cost approx. 1300 EUR.

    Here's a pic, BTW.
    Enjoy !


    All the best,
  19. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    We are brothers !!!!!!!!!:)
  20. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    Adam Ant did play bass. I have the pictures to prove it!