Off Topic Messages

My mother made John Lennon’s, 1964 Rickenbacker Guitar

Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:27 pm

I saw this story posted on a Beatlegear forum I frequent and looked up the source on FB. Knowing there are fans here I wanted to share


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My mother... Dorothy J. Tandle was working at (RIC) Electro Strings Rickenbacker Guitars back in February 1964. (from 1959 to 77...3895 So Main Street Santa Ana California)
After seeing the BEATLES on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing John With a RIC the CEO got a brilliant idea… Go meet them and give them some new guitars.
When Francis C. Hall got back from Miami, after talking to John, Paul and Ringo.
F.C. Hall presented Lennon with a new 325 to replace his road weary 1958 one during the group's first trip to New York City. John used the new guitar on The Beatles second Sullivan appearance and on the group's subsequent tours and albums.
My mother was asked to follow Lennon’s Custom guitar from start to finish.
This was the Black & White semi-hollow bodied “Miami” model (serial number db122, d=1964, b=Feb.).
She sanded the body, then worked on the neck & fret board,
then she assembled the guitar after the finish was applied.
She did all the work herself.
She did the same for many custom orders at that time.
She was trained in all areas except the wood shop and finishes.
She did all the sanding, fret board assembly, and put all the other pieces on John Lennon’s Custom 325.
After finishing the guitar, she gave it to the tuner/inspector. He asked my mother “Since you built it, what song would you like to hear?” My mother said…“Peanut Butter And Jelly”.
That was a song she wrote and the tuner knew the cords. My mother sang the song as it was being played. SO… The very first song ever played on John Lennon’s famous 325 was a song my mother wrote about the messes I made as a child.
There is a “GREEN” check mark inside the guitar.
My mom made virtually all the famous guitars of that era.
Harrison & McGuinns 12 strings. Pete Townsend & John Entwistle, Chris Squire, Roger Waters, Getty Lee and many others.
Mom is 84 years old and lives in SO Cal.

My Father was the insurance man for "RIC" for 19 years. He used to go Bowling a lot with Ward Deaton, the GM at the time.
My dad has watched my mother several times do all the work on custom guitars at the factory. He would give them advise on safety issues. I have been to the factory in Santa Ana as a kid.
My dad says he has watched her work a few times over several years while there discussing insurance.
This is all absolutely true history.
I am in no way claiming my mother was involved with making all the guitars at that time.
She did mostly custom work.
Ward told my father on numerous occasions that my mom did the best detailed finish work at the factory. That is why she was picked to do some of the most famous guitars at that time.
She deserves the credit, she did the work.

In the seventies, I worked for “Fender Musical Instruments”
I made a Fender Roades Electric Piano for John Lennon.
The one used on “Walls and Bridges”
My mother and myself are the only mother/son that both built an instrument for John Lennon.
My mother made guitars for many famous Rockers, including the red guitar that was smashed by Peter Townsend of the WHO and is in the Rock HOF. Chris Squire, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, John Entwistle, George Harrison’s 12 String. Roger McGuinn 12 string and many others.
I have built pianos for “You name it”
just about everyone IE: “Pink Floyd” on “Dark Side Of The Moon”
It is our little contribution to Classic Rock.
I’m very proud of that fact.

Have a Great Day.
Keep The Beat
Mark.

Re: My mother made John Lennon’s, 1964 Rickenbacker Guitar

Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:56 am

Great story!

Re: My mother made John Lennon’s, 1964 Rickenbacker Guitar

Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:21 am

Thanks!

Re: My mother made John Lennon’s, 1964 Rickenbacker Guitar

Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:14 am

Nice!