This week, Tom Harper shares the story behind his 1967 Rickenbacker 4005 FG, a bass he bought new in 1967, and one he describes as “a little worn, but still sweet!”
The Rickenbacker 4005 was introduced in 1965, and featured a new-style, 360 body in a hollow-body bass. “FG” stands for “Fireglo”, a sunburst finish with a dark red color that fades to the lighter maple center.
Rickenbacker 4005FG 1967
How long have you owned it?
I bought it new in 1967, I was 15.
How did you come across it?
It was in the window of my home town music store, smiling at me.
Stock or customized?
That’s an embarrassing story. After seeing The Cream live, I mounted the guts of a Mosrite Fuzzrite in it to get a “heavier” sound. Damn fool kid! Needless to say, I’ve seen the error in my ways and had the scratch plate restored to spec.
Any special characteristics?
I keep flatwound strings on it, it has a great round McCartney-esque sound.
Any notable bassists play the same instrument?
John Entwistle played one, as did Jack Casady when he was with Jefferson Airplane.
Do you use it on gigs?
I have, yes. But I prefer my 4001CS for live use.
What else do you want to share about your gear?
There’s something eminently enjoyable about being able to look across the studio and see my dear old friend in it’s stand.
Any other vintage gear?
It’s hardly what you’d call vintage, but I have a limited edition Rickenbacker 4001CS (Chris Squire model). It was built in March of 1993, it plays like butter and has sustain for weeks!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Like a lot of guys in my age group, I developed an urgent desire to get an electric guitar after seeing The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Fortunately for me, I moved next door to two guys who not only had electric guitars, but who knew how to play them and were writing their own songs as well. So I joined the group, defaulted to bass and the rest has been a real treat.
This year, I released the first in a series of EPs featuring covers of some of my favorite British singles from 1967-68. It’s called “Vintage UK”. I used a photo of the 4005 headstock as the basis of the graphic identity package.