During the Beatles first USA visit, in February 1964, Rickenbacker secured a private meeting with the band to showcase some of their latest models. The guitar maker had recently been told about the popular British band and their use of some Rickenbacker guitars.
At the presentation, Lennon was told about a special updated solid-top 325 that was designed with him in mind. It was intended as a replacement for his very road worn 1958 Rickenbacker 325.
Unfortunately, the new guitar was not quite complete by the time of their meeting, so Rickenbacker made arrangements to ship it directly from the factory to him within a few days.
As fate would have it, Lennon received his new 1964 325 model at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida just in time for rehearsals for the Beatles second live Ed Sullivan Show broadcast.
This 1964 Rickenbacker 325 became the one that most people associate with John Lennon due, in no small measure, to the estimated 70 million viewers who tuned in on February 16, 1964 to watch The Beatles and seeing Lennon play his new guitar.
During the historic Miami broadcast, you can see Lennon paying close attention to his new guitar and at times appearing to be confused with the settings of the new 5-knob control layout!
The short scale 1964 325 model was similar to Lennon’s 1958 325. Although both were solid tops, the new guitar had: a thinner body; original black paint; an extra or 5th "balance" control knob; a double layered white pick guard; white nameplate; and an Accent vibrato.
This beautiful guitar immediately became Lennon's main studio and stage guitar throughout 1964 and 1965. The public also saw Lennon playing it in “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Help!” and during the first Shea stadium concert.
At some point in 1964, Lennon decided to bend the arm on his Accent vibrato, likely to get it out of the way while handling and/or playing the guitar. The extremely sharp point at the end of the vintage arm can easily cause injury if one is not careful.
Sadly, Lennon would accidentally drop his 1964 325, during one of the 1964 Hammersmith Odeon Christmas shows, resulting in a very bad crack in the headstock area. Repairs that were made seemed to work for another year or so before giving way and eventually causing major tuning problems in late December 1965. At that point, Lennon decided to preserve his legendary Beatle guitar from further deterioration and permanently retired it.
We are proud to present the 1964 Rickenbacker 325 solid-top in our collection. It has the same specifications as John Lennon’s second guitar and is one of only five factory original 1964 black solid-tops to ever come out in the public eye. The other 1964 325’s produced generally had f-holes and were painted red (fireglo).
Be sure to note the original mid-1960’s Vox Python strap just like Lennon’s!1958_325.html64_1996.html64_1996.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2

TheBeatlesGear.com is not endorsed or affiliated with The Beatles or Apple Corps. Ltd.

Images and Text from this website may not be reproduced without prior written approval.

1964 Rickenbacker 325 Solid Top

John Lennon photographed with his 1964 Rickenbacker 325 solid top.

1950s | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970