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Stolen Rickenbacker 4001

Discussion in 'Lost & Stolen Gear' started by basshawk21, Jan 25, 2018.


  1. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    A little lengthy, but here's my story. In 1995 I owned just 3 basses: a 1968 Rick model 4000, a 1973 Rick 4001 and a 1987 Rick 4003. I was in between bands and really wasn't playing much at all. Christmas of '95 my two kids from my "practice" marriage were visiting for the holiday. My 15 year old son expressed interest in learning bass. So I made the decision to send the 4001 fireglo home with him to learn on. I would ask from time-to-time how it was coming along, always the same "ok". He moved out on his own when he turned 18 and had the bass with him, not doing much, but still trying.
    After a couple of bands I finally hooked up with the band I'm still in today. So time went by and I would ask now and then about the bass. He told me it was at his mom's house and I just kind of let it go. Finally around 2004 or so I decided since he's not using it I'll just take it back for a while and gig with it. I called him and told him I wanted to use it for a while. "Well", came the reply, "I never told you, but it was in my car that was stolen a few years ago". The car was found, burnt to a crisp. 'Ok, so you told the police?' "yeah" Would have been nice to have known sooner, but at this point waddaya gonna do?
    Last summer I was perusing Craigslist when low and behold there it was. This guy had several pics of it including the SN, case and all. $1800. It still has the black PG that I put on it, I still have the original white guard for it.
    So I called my son and told him to go get that police report. He went to the police station, got the report and guess what? there's no mention at all of there being a bass in the car. He told them, but they failed to put it in the report. So I can prove all day long that I once owned the bass, but I cannot prove it was stolen. The cops advised not to call the person because that would be harassment. It is my guess that the way he posted the ad with all the pictures and info, he bought the bass legitimately and has no idea it was stolen. I can tell you what is written under the pickguard, I can show you where the binding was broken off and glued back on the neck (cymbal attack) and I have pictures of the bass.
    I've gotten all kinds of advice from friends on how to just go get it back, some even suggested that maybe he'll sell it to me for what he paid for it. Buy my bass twice? No. I didn't call him. Still have his number, but legally there's not much I can do. A lawyer would ask 'How do we know your son didn't sell the bass for gas or beer money?'
    It's the fireglo in the middle. Rickgang.
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  2. GTHintz

    GTHintz

    Jan 9, 2018
    California
    What a story. So you let a snot nosed step son use it and he turns around and lets it get ripped off. Ouch... I wish I had the money, I'd buy it and trade you for something so you can have it back.
     
  3. GTHintz

    GTHintz

    Jan 9, 2018
    California
    My guess is he hasn't paid you back in any way has he? :rollno:
     
  4. farace

    farace

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    My white '78 4001 was stolen in '89. I still keep my eyes open for it, but I honestly don't know what I'd do if I found it. I figure whoever has it now is probably several times removed from the thief and completely innocent.
     
  5. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    He 's actually my son. When I say practice marriage I mean the one that didn't work out,,, a learning experience. My son was young and well, mistakes happen. He has done much for me over the years and continues to do so. I chalk it up to Karma as I did things when I was young that caused my parents both grief and money.
    Out of the 3 Ricks in that pic the 4001 was my least favorite. It's a December 1973, so by then all the transitions had been made by Rickenbacker. The early 1973's still had checkerboard binding, toaster neck pups and edge to edge fret markers. By December they had dropped all those features and were using the pole pups and smaller white markers. Also the bridge pickup surround had the straight front on it and with my attack I would get a lot of clacking sounds out of it. The neck is a little fatter than my 4000 and even the 4003. Having said that, I'm not glad it's gone, I'm just glad it wasn't one of my other ones.
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  6. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    I know what you're saying. I still have the guys number, but don't know what I'd say to him. I imagine he's sold the bass by now.
     
  7. GTHintz

    GTHintz

    Jan 9, 2018
    California
    No disrespect intended to anyone...
    I just know how I would feel. It would be harder on me than losing my own property. I feel like I'd be obligated to make it up to that person. Hopefully you guys still have a good relationship and you find a bass that will replace that one and then some.
     
  8. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    I now own 10 basses. It's all good.:)
     
    woodyng2, WillieB and GTHintz like this.
  9. GTHintz

    GTHintz

    Jan 9, 2018
    California
    1 cool old Ric for 10 basses. Not a bad trade off. ;)
     
  10. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Looks like your Ric is back up for sale on CL .... guys says he could consider trades for a "guitar, banjo, or mandolin".
     
    basshawk21 likes this.
  11. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    Yep, that's the one. I truly believe he had nothing to do with the theft and he bought it in good faith.
     
  12. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Would love to hear more about the 4000,and its transformation...
     
  13. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    Woody, I bought the 4000 on Dec 21st 1983 (my birthday) from an ad in the local paper. Paid $200 for it. Here's a pic of what it looked like when I got it. Along with the stolen 4001 (see what I did there?) It had an active, P-style pup in it with the battery under the makeshift plastic surround. The guard had extra holes drilled in it for the switches. It was a mess.

    fireglo&4000.
    After a couple of mods and some research I knew what I wanted to find. I was able to purchase a re-issue horseshoe pup for it and I found a guy here in Columbus who makes pickguards, Pickguardian.com, so I had him make a new, correct guard and he also makes replica tug bars so I had one of those made for it as well. The saddle broke in half, so I had to buy a newer Rick tailpiece for it. Oh yeah, it started out life as a fireglo, but that was stripped long before I acquired it, Not much original about it, but it's still my favorite. Here's what it looks like today.
    IMG_0910.JPG
    Actually that's an Allparts tailpiece that has since been replaced with a mid 70's Rick tailpiece.
     
    mikewalker and woodyng2 like this.
  14. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Thanks,that’s a beauty,and a really rare early one. Love that headstock!
    (What’s the neck profile like on it? Superthin,or chunky?)
     
  15. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    Super thin. That's what I like the most about it. And it's neck-through. Rickenbacker didn't start making the 4000's with set necks until 1972.
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  16. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    FE307639-E193-4600-91B9-8512C0D201DC.
    I had a ‘72 neck through for a while,still have the ‘74 set neck one. They both have the 3-piece necks that are nice and shallow.
     
  17. basshawk21

    basshawk21 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    Columbus, Ohio
    Nice. I like the contour of the bodies with no binding. No binding makes the necks feel thinner also. What finish is your '74? DOH! I just saw the pic. Very nice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018

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