Jack White & The History of the Rickenbacker 12-String

Jack White

Jim and Greg revisit their conversation with the hardest working man in rock, Jack White, recorded at Third Man Records in Nashville. Plus, an exploration into the history of the Rickenbacker 12-string guitar in rock. And we remember Gregg Allman.

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Jack White

Back in 2012, Jim and Greg went down to Nashville to interview Jack White at his recording studio and record store Third Man Records. They talked about the people in his early life that helped shape his musical taste, introducing the budding musician to The Rolling Stones and The Cramps. They discussed the truth found in the blues and that sound set the trajectory of Jack’s most famous band ( The White Stripes), his affinity for vinyl records, and his other notable projects.

Instrumental: Rickenbacker Electric 12-String Guitar

Rickenbacker 12-string

This week, we kick off a new feature called Instrumental where we examine the history of iconic instruments of rock. We start with the electric 12-string guitar and its most famous manufacturer, Rickenbacker. After the acoustic 12-string guitar was popularized by blues artists like Lead Belly and by the ‘ 60s folk revival, Rickenbacker began making an electrified version. After George Harrison used it on The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night, a 12-string craze began. The most notable adopter of the instrument was Jim (later Roger) McGuinn , who used it to define the sound of The Byrds on tracks like Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn! The Beatles and The Byrds set the template for countless bands in the ensuing decades who used 12-strings, from power pop acts like Raspberries and Big Star, to jangle pop bands like R.E.M. and The Bangles, to contemporary artists like Temples.

To help discuss and demonstrate the Rickenbacker electric 12-string, we’re joined by Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange. Jim and Greg also offer their favorite examples of Rick-heavy songs: Awaken by Yes and XTC’s All of a Sudden (It’s Too Late).

In Memoriam: Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman

Musician Gregg Allman died May 27 at the age of 69. Gregg was a crucial member of The Allman Brothers Band, a group at the forefront of the southern rock genre, though they didn’t like to be labeled as such. The band’s combined the blues, jazz, rock and psychedelia to make for a original sound. Gregg was the voice of the band, the organ player and the primary songwriter, writing hits like Midnight Rider, Whipping Post and Melissa. Greg Kot pays tribute to Gregg Allman with a track that’s actually a demo called Dreams. Dreams was the song that first helped the band take him seriously as a songwriter.

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