Rick Nielsen talks about his ’58 Gibson Les Paul at 14:30 in this video inter... more
Rick Nielsen talks about his ’58 Gibson Les Paul at 14:30 in this video interview. “It’s nice and pretty. It has never been played much. It’s not relic.”
Rick Nielsen talks about his Billy-Bo in this Rid Rundown from Premier Guitar... more
Rick Nielsen talks about his Billy-Bo in this Rid Rundown from Premier Guitar. At 8:16, he says, “It sounds good. I use this when we do a song called “I Know What I Want.” It has got a good Malcolm Young kind of...”
At 8:30, Rick Nielsen’s guitar tech, Rocky Robert, adds, “It’s a very nice guitar. Low floating bridge. It’s very light. It feels like it’s got some hollowness to it or it’s a light wood.”
In this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar, Rick Nielsen talks about his “Disco ... more
In this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar, Rick Nielsen talks about his “Disco Dick” Hamer Electric. At 2:08, he says, “This is called Disco Dick. This is actually the drum finish from the Bun E. Carlos signature kit and we sent the actual drum laminate and sent it to Hamer and they made this for me. Ludwig, Mother of Pearl or whatever they call the finish. We look like ZZ Top without beards when we come out there.”
Rick talks about his Hamer 5 Neck in this [Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar](h... more
Rick talks about his Hamer 5 Neck in this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar. At 9:54, he says, “I have three. I have an orange one, which is the first one, and this was the second one. The first one it had pegs that went out like this and you just kind of get your hands caught in here. So I said make this one with a violin or banjo tuning pegs. So those got banjo tuning pegs on it.”
Rocky Robert, Rick Nielsen’s guitar tech, talks about the guitar as well. At 10:42, he adds, “It’s a challenge to tune this thing because I have to set it on a stool and you got obviously 12 strings here, which the rotating switch, you got five position poles which correspond to each one of those guys and he plays this one the most and I rarely tune this one. I tune it every once in a while and he has never played it. Every occasion, he will play the fourth neck, but he mostly sticks with this second neck. He varies. He jumps around, jumps around necks. This is an interesting sound because he sound is pretty distorted. So 12-string, it gives you a unique sound, very unique sound. Obviously this one has got a whammy bar and the fretless is a challenge to play because you got to reach all the way down there. It’s pretty heavy. I don’t know how much it weighs. I want to weigh it. I don’t have the specs on it. Obviously I have to tune. If you got 15 songs in it, I got 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. I got 20 guitars to tune during the show.”
Rick also talks about the origin of this guitar here.
The Hamer 5-Neck can also be seen in this performance.
At :24 In this video interview from Premier Guitar Rick, Nielsen talks about ... more
At :24 In this video interview from Premier Guitar Rick, Nielsen talks about his Jeff Beck Esquire, saying, “This is the Jeff Beck Esquire and Jeff loaned it to me. It’s a beauty. I love it. It plays great and it’s beat up and so am I.”
At 5:19 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen talks about his custom Hamer Bo... more
At 5:19 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen talks about his custom Hamer Box Guitar.
He says, “Here’s another one that Hamer made for me. This was made for the Rockford Album. This one actually sounds really good too. It’s got the graphic from the Rockford album and it’s a cool box guitar. Conan O’Brien played this a number of times and I played it quite a bit. It looks like a Bo Diddley, kind of the square box and all that stuff, but it actually sounds terrific. I wasn’t sure that it would, but it does.”
At 2:42 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen points about his Checkerboard H... more
At 2:42 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen points about his Checkerboard Hamer Standard. “This is the one that was made after the sink blew up in Ottawa because my other one is at Rick’s Picks. The original checkerboard one that I had made years and years and years ago, they replaced it. The other one still plays, but it was about time. It got more wrecked up in Canada because – I didn’t even want to go into that. But Hamer made an exact duplicate of it and it sounds the same with bow tie inlays, pickups all covers. So this is just like the one that was made in 1979, but it was made this past year... They made it exact. If you go to Rick’s Picks or go to the exhibition, you’ll see it’s got people. It’s got Todd Rungren and Joe Elliott, Slash and Chad Smith, the Chili Peppers and just tons of people are playing it. It’s pretty cool because they’re all playing it. Dave Grohl plays it. He took it up onstage in Milwaukee and played it. They all said kind things. You’ll see that the guitar plays itself and plays great. After getting it smashed, I didn’t get it back for quite a while. It didn’t get smashed, but it still plays great. I wish I had the other one out there, but it’s in the museum right now.”
Rocky Robert, Rick Nielsen’s Guitar Tech, chimes in at 4:53 saying, “He uses this one on Dream Police most of the time and we chunk out a bunch of picks.”
Rick also speaks about his 1978 Hamer with Guitar Aficianado here.
This guitar can also be seen in this Letterman performance.
Rick Nielsen talks about his custom Hamer Standard in this Rig Rundown from P... more
Rick Nielsen talks about his custom Hamer Standard in this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar. At 4:19, he says, “It’s supposed to be black and white, it’s a little yellowed. But it’s got every pick design I’ve ever made at that time. All the graphics are my picks. I had them made. There’s my name up at the top just in case I forget during the show."
Rocky Robert, Rick Nielsen’s Guitar Tech, chimes in at 4:40 and says, “He used to play it on Surrender, but he has been playing the five-neck recently on Surrender. So I will have it for Goodnight after we take the five-neck off and he uses this one.”
Rick Nielsen speaks about his Sgt. Pepper’s guitar in this Rig Rundown from P... more
Rick Nielsen speaks about his Sgt. Pepper’s guitar in this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar. At :48, he says, “I had this made for me for when we did Sgt. Pepper. It’s called “Uncle Pepper,” and Hamer made it and Shannon did the airbrushing on this. This is all airbrushed. It’s a hum bucker. It’s just one simple thing on the back 40 years ago for the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper commemorating that. There’s actually a second one of these that was made that we’re donating in Liverpool for the Liverpool Children’s Hospital. It sounds great. I use this on the flame every night.”
At 1:26 in this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar, Robert Nielsen shows his yel... more
At 1:26 in this Rig Rundown from Premier Guitar, Robert Nielsen shows his yellow Hamer electric and says, “This is just yellow, but it’s got a whammy bar on it, so the few songs that I use with a whammy bar. I wish it weren’t so complicated, but when I need a whammy bar, I don’t like it to go out of tune.”
This video interview shows Rick Nielsen talking about his Chrome Normandy gui... more
This video interview shows Rick Nielsen talking about his Chrome Normandy guitar. At 5:48 he says, “They made it for me. I wanted it with the real Bigsby on it and it looks pretty. I may drive it out of here later.”
Rocky Robert, Rick Nielsen’s Guitar Tech, also talks about the guitar at 4:53 saying, “He hasn’t used this one a whole lot. If I ever popped a string, I will have this one ready to go. But yeah, it’s a sweet guitar. They have a unique sound. The metal adds to more of a high endy twangy sound."
At 6:23 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen shows his James Trussart Steel ... more
At 6:23 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen shows his James Trussart Steel Deville and says, “James Trussart made this one for me. Usually they have ebony necks. I have actually about three or four of these. I said ‘I want the neck and the fingerboard to be the same...’ It’s just a more brittle or more metallic sound, but not heavy metal.”
At 7:00 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen talks about his mandocello. “Th... more
At 7:00 in this video interview, Rick Nielsen talks about his mandocello. “This is the original mandocello. This one was made in 1977 or ’78. This is the first electric mandocello that was ever made. He made it for me because they had none. On our first album, we had a song called Mandocello and then Heaven Tonight we did with a mandocello and then we did another album with, I can’t remember what the song was. It’s such a cool-sounding thing. It’s tuned C, G, D, A double strings.”
Rick Nielsen talks about his multiple 1958 Explorers, "I bought the cleaner o... more
Rick Nielsen talks about his multiple 1958 Explorers, "I bought the cleaner of the two Explorers in the late Seventies for $4,000 from George Gruhn, who you’ve all had the pleasure to meet in this issue. That may seem like the deal of the century, considering that, recently, one of a dozen Explorers Gibson built in 1963 from leftover Fifties bodies and necks sold at auction for $611,000. But at the time I bought this Explorer, Sixties Strats were worth only about $750, and Bursts were going for $2,000. Under the circumstances, that was a hell of a lot of money to spend on a single guitar.
In 1990, I brought the Explorer to the Dallas Guitar Show, where I was performing at a party with Cliff Williams of AC/DC and Joe Walsh. I had my son, Miles, who was 14 at the time, carry the guitar onto the show floor, and a guy offered us $75,000 cash for it, right there on the spot. For whatever reason, even though I could have used the money and had brought the guitar there to sell it, I thought about it and said no. I’m glad I didn’t do it.
As for the more beat-up Explorer (which is my favorite of the two, because it just looks like it should sound better), I bought it in 1981 from Larry Briggs at Strings West in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It looks the way that I got it, complete with all the dings and doweled holes on the top where a different bridge was installed. The guitar also has a neck-joint repair that you can see at the heel or if you look into the neck pickup cavity.
I think Larry was asking around seven grand for the guitar, and we did a retail-to-retail trade where I gave him a couple of Stratocasters and a Firebird or two and $650. You can see me writing the check in this snapshot, a little piece of Rick Nielsen history that Larry was kind enough to dig out of his archives."
"If you're looking at this listing, chances are you've probably been browsing... more
"If you're looking at this listing, chances are you've probably been browsing through the guitars on Rick Nielsen's Reverb shop. And if you're doing that, maybe you're on the prowl for a guitar that truly captures Rick's particular vibe and character. Well, here it is. A Dean-made "Pyschobilly" model with Bigsby-style tremolo and white and black checkerboard on the sides," reads the entry for Rick Nielsen's Dean Psychobilly Cabbie guitar, on Reverb.com.
"This Les Paul Junior is a double stuffed oreo of classic rock majesty. Not ... more
"This Les Paul Junior is a double stuffed oreo of classic rock majesty. Not only did this guitar come from the personal collection of Rockford's own Rick Nielsen, but it also comes from the absolute golden era of Gibson production and origin of all Les Pauls. Wrap-around tailpiece (replacement), classic sunburst finish, smoking P-90 pickup -- everything you want out of a LP Jr shines on this guitar in high style," reads this entry on Reverb.com.
Seen at 5:05 "This guitar was almost ruined. It's a very nice likeness of ... more
Seen at 5:05
"This guitar was almost ruined. It's a very nice likeness of me. Except the only one thing different is, uh, my head doesn't come off quite as easily. I made this years ago..."
Rick Neilsen was shown holding the guitar in December of 1989. It later appea... more
Rick Neilsen was shown holding the guitar in December of 1989. It later appeared in the "Rick's Picks" exhibit.
Built in 2006 for the album "Rockford." Was shown off in the "Rick's Picks" e... more
Built in 2006 for the album "Rockford." Was shown off in the "Rick's Picks" exhibit.
Played sometimes during the song "Gonna Raise Hell" from Dream Police. It can... more
Played sometimes during the song "Gonna Raise Hell" from Dream Police. It can be seen played on the 2002 concert film "Silver."
The guitar was shown on the show "American Pickers." It now sits in the Antiq... more
The guitar was shown on the show "American Pickers." It now sits in the Antique Archeology store in Nashville, TN.
The guitar has been played on stage at ChicagoFest 81 during "Day Tripper." more
The guitar has been played on stage at ChicagoFest 81 during "Day Tripper."
Vintage Gibson icons are great and all, but sometimes you just need something... more
Vintage Gibson icons are great and all, but sometimes you just need something a little more unique. Something custom crafted for your style and sound. For Rick, that means this 5-necked behemoth with his signature black and white checkers. This guitar was made by long-time Rick collaborator Hamer in the early '90s.
Gibson Custom has joined forces with Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen to an... more
Gibson Custom has joined forces with Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen to announce the limited release of the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard, a replica of Nielsen’s favorite stage and studio guitar. Designed in close association with Nielsen, Gibson Custom used Nielsen’s original 1959 Les Paul to replicate the prototype to capture every detail of the look and sound, 50 guitars have also been hand-signed by Nielsen himself.
For the past 25 years an original 1959 Les Paul has been a staple for the legendary guitarist making multiple appearances both on stage and in the studio. The new Gibson Custom model precisely replicates the original at a level of detail so fine that when put side-by-side Nielsen declares it “remarkable.” Cheap Trick will be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 8th during a ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
“Rick Nielsen has had an illustrious career, lending his talent in the creation of so many Cheap Trick classics,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman/CEO, Gibson Brands. “We’re thrilled with the result of our collaboration with Rick, brining fans and fellow guitar players an amazing, intricate replica of his 1959 Les Paul Standard that has been by his side for 25 years.”
Offered to true historic specifications, the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard is offered in two finish options (aged and vintage gloss).The neck consists of double-carved, one-piece genuine mahogany and the fingerboard features one-piece, hand-rolled Indian rosewood with cellulose trapezoid inlays. The body pairs a two-piece maple top with a one-piece genuine mahogany back.
In this photo you can see Rick Nielsen using Aldo Nova signature Les Paul. more
In this photo you can see Rick Nielsen using Aldo Nova signature Les Paul.
So far, Nielsen's biggest seller was his 1956 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Junior... more
So far, Nielsen's biggest seller was his 1956 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Junior, which sold for $5,760, or significantly less than a bag of Kanye West's air. However, Neilsen has since put his 1959 Gibson ES-330T Mint Collector Grade on Reverb, and that guitar has already racked up a $6,800 bid with three days left in the auction.
While Nielsen has also offered up some of his more eye-catching axes – like h... more
While Nielsen has also offered up some of his more eye-catching axes – like his Dean Psychobilly Cabbie, his Fender Floral Tele and his "Nash Fucker Shitblaster" – he hasn't – and probably won't – put his trademark custom-made, five-necked checkerboard guitar on the block.