Ricky Wilson's Guitars

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101Volts
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Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:46 am

I was thinking of replying to an earlier thread but this warrants its own thread.

In total, I know that Ricky Helton Wilson of the B-52's had at least five Mosrite guitars:

A 1970s Mark I in Sunburst;
A Blue 1966 or 1967 Mark V, Prominently featured on the first album cover;
A Sunburst Mark V or Ventures II German Carve;
A Green one;
A Joe Maphis Doubleneck in Sunburst

I've seen video and photos of him playing a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, a Rickenbacker 480, an Epiphone, a Gibson in a Rock Lobster music video and a photo of him kneeling by three Mosrite guitars while holding a fourth and the three facing the camera were or all Mark V/Ventures II German Carve type guitars. Plus he had some odd guitar he played for a live show in 1983 (for "Big Bird") which is also shown in the "Legal Tender" Video which may be a Guild.

I've seen photos of the blue Mark V and the 1970s Sunburst MK I, And the Joe Maphis model photographed in recent years.

A photo of the 1970s Sunburst MK I is on Facebook at the Art Rocks Athens page and this photo of the MK V which I think may have been photographed at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame:

Image

I'm looking for information of his guitars here so if anyone has something to contribute it's welcome.

- Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:00 am

Reply with photographs of Ricky playing these guitars:

Joe Maphis Doubleneck:

Image

Blue MK V, With Bass Strings on it:

Image

What's the guitar in this postcard photo? If it's a guitar and not just a drawing, That is. Posted since I found it.

Image

More to come in the next reply.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:01 am

The 1970s Sunburst? Or some other MK I or Ventures model? It's in Black And White.

Image

The 1970s Sunburst photo posted on Facebook. Not hot-linked to the forum as the forum couldn't figure out the dimensions of the image.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/001 ... 1394541548

Why did he have so many guitars? I'm guessing partially because of the multiple tunings he used, But perhaps some were also backup guitars which is why I haven't found many photographs of him playing other Mosrites except the blue one and 1970s sunburst, And Joe Maphis model (Yet). Is that why?

Looks like a sunburst 1967 or later MK V in this photo:

Image

- Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby GuyaGuy » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:24 pm

Yeah that postcard bass guitar looks like clip art like the drums and keys on it.

I'm sure his tunings were part of the reason for his stack of guitars. You see him switching it up a lot in the Dortmund show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju15-NDuKsg

Another reason he probably had so many Mosrites: They were pretty cheap--the same reason Sonic Youth had a lot of vintage Jazzmasters

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:18 am

Thanks. I know in the Dortmund show he played a bass (Hofner bass?) for Planet Claire, a Telecaster for Mesopotamia, What looks like A two-pickup Guild Thunderbird for Big Bird (Heh, Thunderbird for Big Bird.) the blue MK V for Dance This Mess Around and Rock Lobster and the 70s sunburst MKI for Party Out Of Bounds.

Whoa.

I also heard someone bought a blue Ventures II (German Carve) for $25 in 1985 so low prices aren't unheard of for Mosrites.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby sumlin » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:20 am

I reckon the bass on Planet Claire is an A bass string on the bottom of a normal EAD guitar strings perhaps? I can't access the clip to check but I've been doing it in a B52s tribute band like this, so when you switch at the chord change to A it goes lower not higher. If that makes sense.
Getting into replicating Ricky's style for this covers band has been an amazing guitar lesson. I'm nowhere near yet but it's fun trying.
Brass Rail #43
Acoustic Black Widow #BC1092
MkV #B735
Univox Hi Fliers, Tele Deluxes, Harmony Bobkats

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:41 am

The video in subject is a rather unusual performance for Planet Claire as usually Ricky played guitar, Not bass for it; And he only played the riff on the low E bass string in that performance, He never changed it.

I've found Ricky's techniques to be educational too. The playing he did in Lava is unlike most other players I've heard, Considering that at parts it sounds like two guitars instead of one; Only one guitar is needed to play that in DADxBB.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby sumlin » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:39 am

I have another covers gig way off in August so we're looking at doing

Rock Lobster
Private Idaho
Planet Claire
52 Girls
Dance This Mess Around
Devil In My Car

and then Love Shack and Butterbean too.
I'll report back on my progress in terms of tunings etc...
Brass Rail #43
Acoustic Black Widow #BC1092
MkV #B735
Univox Hi Fliers, Tele Deluxes, Harmony Bobkats

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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby 101Volts » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:02 pm

Do you know all the tunings? There's a thread on here about the tunings Ricky used. Maybe not all of the tunings he used are posted yet but a lot of songs are covered.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve, B670 - Yellow, Originally Sunburst.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1 with a Long Neck Rout - Black.
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2.
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10 - Black.

sumlin
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:38 am
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Re: Ricky Wilson's Guitars

Postby sumlin » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:00 am

101Volts wrote:Do you know all the tunings? There's a thread on here about the tunings Ricky used. Maybe not all of the tunings he used are posted yet but a lot of songs are covered.

Austin


Theres a couple I'm not sure of but generally with Ricky you'll know the lowest note of the song is the lowest string tuned open and then all riffs are usually within a reach of 3 frets so you can kind of work out the low and high strings that way. Or, that's how I've done it. He was pretty economical in terms of moving his hand. There's an online Rock Lobster play through that is absolutely perfect except the part where the break happens (dur-nuh-nuh, duh-duh "LOBSTER!) and the guy worked it out as involving a lot of left hand movement and that struck me as being pretty unusual for a Ricky song and sure enough, if you just hit the right strings, you can do it without moving your hand and it sounds better too.
Brass Rail #43
Acoustic Black Widow #BC1092
MkV #B735
Univox Hi Fliers, Tele Deluxes, Harmony Bobkats


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