Revolver is the album that made the Beatles recording artists in the absolute sense of the term. Their previous six albums had demonstrated John Lennon and Paul McCartney's increasingly ambitious songwriting skills and the group's competence with a range of musical styles. But the productions, while strong, were undistinguished.
While The Beatles spent the first months of 1969 getting back to their roots with the Let It Be sessions, EMI's Abbey Road Studios was moving headlong into the future. On November 23, 1968, Studio Two's control room had been outfitted with EMI's new TG12345 mixer, the first transistorized recording console in Abbey Road.
For 40 years, the team of Tipton and band co-founder KK Downing led the heavy metal brigade, introducing a twin-guitar attack to the genre, defining a sound rooted in power chords, palm muting and back-and-forth lead breaks that inspired generations of groups, from Iron Maiden to Slayer.
Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a "secret weapon," that's exactly what they got -- in a beautiful Fireglo finish. George Harrison got his first Rickenbacker 12-string in February of that year, during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company.