was paul mccartney’s rickenbacker bass unfinished in the early 70s?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bon viesta, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    most of us who are beatles gear heads have heard of the story where paul, george and john heard that sanding the finish off of a guitar would make it sound better, and so of course they all did. in early 1969, after the white album, the first appearance of paul mccartney’s rickenbacker was in the let it be movie sitting on a stand without it’s paint job anymore. by 1972 or so paul mccartney had sanded the finish once again into the now famous ‘rounded horns’, and i believe that was also when he sent it back to rickenbacker to repair the bridge pickup. but in-between the initial sanding job done by paul in 1969 and the time he took back to rickenbacker to replace the pickup (from 1969 to 1972) did he just not have a finish on the bass? i’m not talking clear finish, i mean completely naked. did he do a home job finish? take it to some random guitar shop? his trip back to rickenbacker may have also been in 1975 instead, as i believe i’ve heard that before.

    Attached Files:

    OldFenderPlayer likes this.
  2. IIRC, yes it was. I’m sure others will chime in.
    You might find this interesting.

  3. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i have the book that’s from!! beatles gear. great book. i got it as a drummer :)
    SteveFromBerlin and StereoPlayer like this.
  4. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    wait so... even after the rickenbacker visit it was still unfinished??
  5. I’m not sure I haven’t read the article in a while. He hasn’t played it in concert for a very long time.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    I just saw a video interviewing his long time guitar tech Keith Smith and he said that the 4001S is still one of McCartney's prime studio basses. He doesn't play it live anymore due to the weight, it's just to heavy for a 3 hour concert. Remember the man is 78 years young.

  7. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Yeah, read Arnquist's story up above he said they discussed sealing it but didn't.
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  8. A few years after it was painted in a psychedelic motif for the summer of love it was stripped down.
  9. Hello_Goodbye_paulmccartney.filminspector.com_3.gif
  10. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    He also said the horns had been slimmed down and not in a very skilled way:laugh:.
  11. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    It was unfinished in 1969, and was still unfinished in spring of '76 when it went to RIC.
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  12. John Eland

    John Eland

    Oct 27, 2015
    Paul actually painted it, or closer to the truth vandalised it while he was tripping on drugs! so it doesn't surprise me he sanded it off! A direct quote from the man himself, "Yeah, I got out the old aerosols. We did the cars, too. If you did the cars, you might as well do your guitars. It looked great, and it was just because we were tripping. That’s what it was, man. Look at your guitar and you’d trip even more."
    Hope this satisfies your curiosity about it.
  13. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Paul’s Ric, given to him in 1964 was originally a dark Fireglo according to the article I just read.

    Here are a couple photos of the 4001s with the exact specs as Paul’s ‘64 and is only made for the Japanese market, and only comes as a lefty

    5C1A5B04-D9CC-42E0-9C10-A1BE87967881.jpeg 499AAAEA-379C-477B-8E3F-C38DD4ECA6A2.jpeg
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
    jamro217 likes this.
  14. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    It was done just before he died.
    RedVee, shojii, jamro217 and 2 others like this.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Did the walrus do it?
    shojii and jamro217 like this.
  16. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’ve recently picked up many images of paul’s bass from around 1972-1973 and you can see all the dirt and grime on that thing. strangely, around 1975-1976, the bass started looking a lot cleaner.

    Attached Files:

  17. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    also, just for no reason in particular, here’s a seldom seen image of paul from 1970 with his recently sanded rickenbacker looking like some kind of puppy dog

    Attached Files:

    Garret Graves likes this.
  18. Thnaks for the link - very interesting.
    StereoPlayer likes this.
  19. It was around '74 when he sent it directly to Rickenbacker for an overhaul. They must have cleaned it then.
    Xavierbass and bon viesta like this.