Prince & Princess, Rickenbackers & Beatles
THE BEATLES INVADE AMERICA and hold 14 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart including the top five! In Australia they hold the top six places; in London they appear in wax at Madame Tussards’ Museum; their film A Hard Day’s Night is released and John Lennon’s In His Own Write is published. Screaming Lord Sutch broadcasts Radio Sutch transmitted from the Shivering Sands Army Fort in the Thames Estuary. Soon bored with the project Sutch sells it to his manager who upgrades the equipment and expands into five of the towers and broadcasts as Radio City. RICKENBACKER RELEASES THE 360/12 and it’s championed by George Harrison as well as Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. This semi-hollow 12-string has a neat headstock design with a good playing action; however the octave strings are on the ‘down side’ of the main strings so to ensure they speak cleanly many players are adopting a ‘back picking’ action. Pete Townshend calls it a chord machine after using it on The Who’s debut single, I Can’t Explain. Rickenbacker also announces the build-it-yourself Astro AS-51 solidbody guitar that, while educational, is very basic and quite frankly, ugly. THE VILLAGE OF MILTON KEYNES in North Buckinghamshire is designated to become one of the new London overspill towns; the Daily Herald newspaper is axed and replaced by The Sun; mods and rockers continue to fight it out at coastal resorts; £10 banknotes reappear for the first time since World War II; the average weekly wage is £16 and one of the longest criminal trials in English legal history comes to an end as verdicts are passed on the Great Train Robbers. Harold Wilson is the new Prime Minister and The Queen gives birth to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. GRETSCH PHASES OUT THEIR PRINCESS model after only two years in production. Available in blue, pink or white with contrasting scratchplate this diminutive solidbody was obviously aimed at the ladies. With mahogany body and neck, a single surface mounted pickup and the curious Tone Twister vibrato attached to the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge, this pretty little guitar is destined to become very collectable. AS PART OF THIR CONTINUING ENDORSEE MODELS Gibson introduces the Trini Lopez guitar, a hollowbody with twin humbuckers. The Custom features a large body with twin Florentine cutaways, diamond ‘f-holes’, ebony fingerboard with split diamond inlays and an elegant six-a-side headstock. The Standard is a slimline version (like the ES-335) but again with all tuners in a row in an upside-down Firebird shape. Both models feature a signed plaque on the tailpiece and soon a blue hardtail Standard also appears.