The iconic Rickenbacker 4001: an appreciation

Paul McCartney performs live on stage with Wings at Ahoy on 25th March 1976 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He plays a Rickenbacker 4001S bass guitar.
(Image credit: vCaem/Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)

Stylish, classic, packing an unmistakable punch - that’s Bruce Foxton for you. You could say the same for the Rickenbacker 4001 bass, played by the former Jam and Stiff Little Fingers star as well as a huge host of bass heroes, including Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire and of course Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister.

“It’s probably the most cool-looking bass out there,” Foxton tells us. “The sound is unique... although I never got the Rick-O-Sound bit.”

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Bass Player is the world’s most comprehensive, trusted and insightful bass publication for passionate bassists and active musicians of all ages. Whatever your ability, BP has the interviews, reviews and lessons that will make you a better bass player. We go behind the scenes with bass manufacturers, ask a stellar crew of bass players for their advice, and bring you insights into pretty much every style of bass playing that exists, from reggae to jazz to metal and beyond. The gear we review ranges from the affordable to the upmarket and we maximise the opportunity to evolve our playing with the best teachers on the planet.