1962 Rickenbacker 425

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In September 1963, the Beatles took a much-needed holiday. During the two-week break, George Harrison and his brother Peter visited their sister, Louise, who was living in Benton, Illinois. While in the U.S., Harrison purchased his first Rickenbacker guitar. He likely wanted one that matched John Lennon’s 1958 Rickenbacker 325 and the closest one he could find readily available was a 1962 Rickenbacker 425.
In Benton, Harrison was introduced to Gabe McCarty of the group The Four Vests. When Harrison mentioned that he would like to acquire a Rickenbacker guitar, McCarty took him to nearby Mount Vernon, Illinois and introduced him to Lester "Red" Fenton, owner of Red Fenton’s Music Store. 
One of the Rickenbackers Fenton had in stock was the single-pickup 425 model in a red (Fireglo) color.  When Rickenbacker first introduced the student model 425 in 1958, it had no vibrato and was designated model 420. Later, in 1965 Rickenbacker added a vibrato unit to the 420 and officially designated it as a 425 (the “5” represents “with vibrato”). So, it would seem that Harrison’s guitar (built in 1962 without a vibrato) was mistakenly designated 425 by the factory in error. 
Harrison liked the "cresting wave" solid body 425 but wanted one in black to match Lennon's painted 325. So, Fenton offered to have the red guitar refinished in black within a week just in time to coincide with Harrison’s departure back to Britain.
Harrison debuted his black 425 immediately on Britain's "Ready, Steady, Go!" television show and later on the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" program. He also took it with him on the Beatles Swedish and British tours, using it interchangeably with his 1963 Gretsch “Chet Atkins” Country Gentleman.  
A newspaper clipping from the British tour documents that when the Beatles were playing at a Glasgow theater; a thief broke into their van and stole the new 425. However, the guitar was quickly recovered.
A couple of months later, Harrison would acquire his famous 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12 model, and the 425 would not be seen with him in public again.
In the early 1970’s, Harrison gave the 425 to George Peckham, a rhythm guitarist friend from Liverpool who was also a cutting engineer for Apple. When Harrison learned Peckham’s new band, Matchbox, was about to appear on "Top of the Pops" and Peckham had no guitar, Harrison loaned him his psychedelic-painted “Rocky”, a 1961 Fender Stratocaster.  When Peckham returned it, Harrison asked him if he wanted a guitar, and generously gifted him the black 425.
Peckham kept the 425 until September 1999, when it was put up for auction. At some point a second "toaster top" pickup, extra switch, new tuners and replacement control knobs had been added to the guitar. Eventually, the new owner arranged to display it indefinitely at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
The two 1962 Rickenbacker 425’s in our collection are identical to Harrison’s, one still in it’s original Fireglo finish and one refinished to black by a previous owner.1958_325.html1958_325.html63_gent.html360_12.html360_12.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2shapeimage_3_link_3shapeimage_3_link_4
George Harrison on stage with his 1962 Rickenbacker 425

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