as you can see in the photo from the Getty site, Ricky played à Silvertone 1448 more
as you can see in the photo from the Getty site, Ricky played à Silvertone 1448
Ricky Wilson was the first B-52's guitarist. You can see him play on his Blue... more
Ricky Wilson was the first B-52's guitarist. You can see him play on his Blue Mosrite Ventures in the above video clip.
The Mosrite Ventures II could have also been a Mark V and is commonly referred to as such in some circles. Either way, it's the same design. Ricky actually had 3 of these guitars of known - a Sunburst One, a Black One, and a Blue one. The Blue one is his best known guitar as it appeared on the lyrics sheet for the first record, and was used in this video, as well as in concert in the early days of the band pre-first album and until Ricky passed on in 1985.
Photo of the Sunburst One - http://www.stereophile.com/images/imagecache/960-wide/photopost/data/508/293b52s-4-72dpi.jpg
Video of the Black One - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4QSYx4wVQg - up close and personal
Photo of Ricky's Main Blue Ventures II/Mark V guitar where it currently resides - http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lko0wqFKlT1qfvhmzo1_500.jpg
The Plaque Beneath the Blue one on Exhibit - which I believe is at the Cleveland Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame....
BLUE MOSRITE GUITAR
B52s guitarist Ricky Wilson played Rock Lobster, Dance This Mess Around and many other of the band's early classics on this guitar as the group toured extensively. This instrument was also featured on the lyric sheet of their 1979 debut album. Ricky's unorthodox approach to the guitar is evidenced by the missing strings. Ricky strung his guitars with either four or five extra thick strings instead of the usual six and he also devised a different tuning for almost every song the band created.
Collection of Linda J. Wilson
Typically, at the early shows, the Ventures II/Mark V was tuned to CFxxFF for Rock Lobster and Dance this Mess Around. It seems later on in his career Ricky switched the guitar to a 5-string setup, most likely DADxBB as that's the most used tuning that the B-52's used (Lava, Moon, Give Me Back My Man, Strobe Light, just to name a few). The main blue one is on exhibit in Athens Georgia these days and has heavy browning around the pickguard screws, what looks like a TV knob for the tone knob, and heavily crazed paintjob.
Ricky played a Mosrite double neck on Dirty Back Road, as on this video from ... more
Ricky played a Mosrite double neck on Dirty Back Road, as on this video from the B-52's 1980 concert.
The Doubleneck guitar here is a custom model designed and better known as the "Mosrite Joe Maphis Doubleneck". Joe Maphis was one of Semie Moseley's earliest clients and he built many double neck and single neck guitars for him. The Joe Maphis doubleneck is one of the better known Mosrite models, and Ricky was obviously a fan of Mosrite.
It appears from Ricky's use of this guitar that he carried over his 4-5 string setups to this one, using the top neck for one tuning and the bottom for another. The top apparently was used in BADxG#C# (Party Out of Bounds Tuning), or some other tuning using a low B string, and the bottom neck was FCFxFF (originally EBExBB with a capo on the first fret or so I read somewhere, which is handy if you are trying to cut down on the number of guitars and have "Private Idaho" in the set as well). As this guitar was used on Party Out of Bounds, Quiche Lorraine, and Dirty Back Road.
Ricky playing Rock Lobster in 1985 in Rio on an Epiphone Coronet, which repla... more
Ricky playing Rock Lobster in 1985 in Rio on an Epiphone Coronet, which replaced the blue Mosrite Mark V by this point as the main CFxxFF guitar for this song. Ricky must have picked this up sometime after 1980 because previous reports are actually just the ET-290 being blanked out by stage-lighting in the video. It likely had a very short run in the band because it was amongst some of the last guitars that gigged with Ricky before he passed.
Ricky can be seen playing a Danelectro Dano Pro here Ricky used the Danele... more
Ricky can be seen playing a Danelectro Dano Pro here
Ricky used the Danelectro Pro One on tour in 1980 for the song Private Idaho (which was obviously recorded with one of his Mosrites in the studio). This means it was tuned up to EADxBB tuning. You can tell it by the metallic, tin-can sound it has on the song. Ricky's guitar had only a neck pickup as it was a vintage 60's model and not a reissue. - Here's a video clip of it during Private Idaho on tour with the B-52's in 1980 - https://youtu.be/ZKCGilFFFPk?t=2m24s
Considering the picture has 4 strings, it may have either been in xEBxBB tuning, or it could have been used sometime earlier/later for xADxGA tuning songs like 6060-842 and Hero Worship. There are some earlier B-52's bootlegs that sound like a Danelectro neck pickup on 6060-842.
Playing a Mosrite The Ventures here on the song "52 Girls" Ricky had a few... more
Playing a Mosrite The Ventures here on the song "52 Girls"
Ricky had a few of these, he was seen with the burst the most often, which was a 70's model. A few people on Mosrite forum posted about the others in the "Ricky Wilson's Guitars" thread there - http://mosriteforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6196&sid=12e77d9dd1c6774124fd90a2222b3a31&start=10
Typically the Mosrite Ventures was tuned to DADxBB for "Lava" "Give Me Back My Man" "Moon" and such. This was the most common tuning the early B-52's used. While the Blue Mark V got more attention, it seems the Ventures got more stage time.
Ricky's playing a Telescaster on "Mesopotamia" here (around 11:00) Ricky h... more
Ricky's playing a Telescaster on "Mesopotamia" here (around 11:00)
Ricky had at least 3 Telecasters...seems these were used in DADxBB the most often. He started using them starting with Mesopotamia it seems.
Natural Finish with White Pickguard (BBC Appearance) - xADxGA tuning - https://youtu.be/yOUhTFuVaWI?t=6m22s
Black Pickguard w/ Blonde Finish (Rock In Rio) - DADxBB tuning - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGdkDuL_fgU
Black Pickguard w/ White Blonde Finish (Give Me Back My Man Video) - DADxBB tuning - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl_EEpRfrkk
You can see Ricky play a ET-290 on this photo taken by Philippe Carly during ... more
You can see Ricky play a ET-290 on this photo taken by Philippe Carly during a concert in Brussels on December 10th, 1980.
The Epiphone Crestwood was mostly used for the xADxGA tuning songs (6060-842, Devil's in My Car, Hero Worship, just to name two), and is easy to pick out because it's one of the more overdriven guitars in Ricky's collection (highest gain). It also appears that Kate Pierson used it on occasion in the early days for 52 Girls (Ricky would use the burst Ventures guitar during those shows).
Here's the B-52's with "Give Me Back My Man" live in 1982 on the Mesopotamia ... more
Here's the B-52's with "Give Me Back My Man" live in 1982 on the Mesopotamia tour with Ricky on a Stratocaster (probably the same from the original source).
(ORIGINAL SOURCE) Ricky's playing a Strat on this concert photo - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1663402643926861&set=g.8183524066&type=1&theater
To add more details. Starting around the tour for Mesopotamia in 1981-1982, Ricky started using a black Fender Stratocaster a lot. This may be the same guitar also used by Keith Strickland later (ie, the one seen in the "Love Shack" video). Ricky used this guitar in many different tunings or may have had multiple Stratocasters. It appears this one is a vintage pre-CBS model going off the small headstock and maple neck, possibly late 1950's. You can tell when Ricky plays it because it's got a much more airy, modulating, and pingy sound than his other guitars. It's also possible his sister Cindy ALSO used this guitar for "There's a Moon in the Sky" and Kate used it for "52 Girls" as well on this tour. May be the communal B-52's guitar. not much of that is known.
In the video he's in DADxBB tuning. He also may have had one in BADXG#C# tuning for Party out of Bounds and Quiche Lorraine as well. Ricky continued to use the Strat right up until he passed on, and apparently Keith may have started using it on Cosmic Thing onward.
This is a very very early video of the B-52's showing Ricky Wilson playing a ... more
This is a very very early video of the B-52's showing Ricky Wilson playing a Ibanez Telecaster Copy in CFxxFF tuning on the hit Rock Lobster before the first album was even made. There's no mention of it in interviews because this guitar is very early in Ricky's career.
The way to tell it's an Ibanez is at around 3:10 - we get close to Ricky and a few clues are visible....
Looks like the cable is coming from the control plate, like said Ibanez tele
Headstock looks longer than normal, quite a bit of space between the nut and where the tuner side flanges out like the Ibanez in the equiptment pic
The bridge is shaped just like the "ash-tray" cover on those old Japanese Telecaster copies.
Ricky's tele copy may have been modified though, the bridge pickup appears to be white plastic, and it appears there is no neck pickup.
Here's Ricky Wilson with the rest of the band playing a custom Guild Thunderb... more
Here's Ricky Wilson with the rest of the band playing a custom Guild Thunderbird style guitar utilizing early 80's components.
Not much is known about this guitar as it does not show up in any Guild literature from the 1980's nor does it turn up anywhere else where there's info on Ricky or his guitar gear. I had to cobble the graphic together from what was visible in photographs and music videos on youtube.
The guitar appears to be either a custom luthier job special made for Ricky quite possibly, or maybe a one-off from Guild as sometime in the late 1960's they had to alter this body design - possibly with some retaliation from Fender because 3/4ths of it is very close to their Jaguar and Jazzmaster body designs. The body is based on a 1962-1967 Guild S-200 Thunderbird by body shape, but with a modern six-in-line headstock. It has 80's Guild Hardware including a pair of Guild single coil plain-top pickups, and a Guild single-piece tailpiece bridge, and it has what appears to be standard Gibson Les Paul wiring. Not quite sure what this guitar was, there's also no discernable logo on the headstock. Considering the modifications some of Ricky's guitars had, it may even be a parts mutt Ricky or Cindy's Husband (Ricky's first guitar tech, or whoever came after him cobbled together for Ricky. It never appeared after the 1983-1984 tour in support of Whammy and I'm not sure if it's on display anywhere.
Typically, Ricky used this guitar on the 1983 tour for "Big Bird" tuned to probably the most wacky tuning he ever used - D#AC#xBD# - kind of funny since it's a "Thunderbird". Wonder's don't cease if Ricky had this made with that song in mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lijGzY4A5gc
There's a better view of it in the music video for "Legal Tender" - the guitar appears on the spinning show rack at 1:42 - You can kind of see how wacky the tuning had to be on this thing so it's probably in Thunderbird Tuning here as well- https://youtu.be/mBRr_TqLDf4?t=1m43s
In the above interview, B-52's Keith Strickland remembers Ricky playing throu... more
In the above interview, B-52's Keith Strickland remembers Ricky playing through a "tiny Sears Silvertone" amp
Ricky kneeling down in front of an "Acoustic" combo bass amp - model 128 more
Ricky kneeling down in front of an "Acoustic" combo bass amp - model 128
On this photo Ricky is playing one of his Mosrites through a Mega Boogie Mark II more
On this photo Ricky is playing one of his Mosrites through a Mega Boogie Mark II
Ricky wilson's playing a Hagstrom HII bass guitar on Planet Claire as you can... more
Ricky wilson's playing a Hagstrom HII bass guitar on Planet Claire as you can see on the 1983 Dortmund concert video.
Ricky playing a Rickenbacker bass on Private Idaho here ! more
Ricky playing a Rickenbacker bass on Private Idaho here !