Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Electric 12-String: The Waiting

The natural extension of our electric 12-string feature is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and one of their numerous songs that feature the instrument. Like “Ticket to Ride,” 1981’s “The Waiting” features two Rickenbacker electric 12-strings. While the previous two selections featured “Ricks” as well, you would think that they were the only manufacturer of that particular beast.

With the exposure of The Beatles, The Byrds, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, you might jump to that logical conclusion. While the Rickenbacker was “the” 12-string instrument to have, most other guitar makers produced electric 12-strings including Vox, Gibson, Fender, Dan Electro, Mosrite, ad infinitum.

I happen to own a Dan Electro Bellzouki electric 12-string, and with a compression pedal, it is sweet. Like a Rickenbacker, my Dan Electro has the octave strings to the right of the course and not to the left like acoustic 12-string guitars and many other electrics.

On “The Waiting,” Tom Petty plays a mapleglo Rickenbacker 360/12 (see yesterday’s post), but Mike Campbell is playing a solid body fireglo Rickenbacker 660/12. While Campbell wanted a model akin to the 360/12, he was able to buy this model for $150.00 – a steal in anyone’s book.

Rickenbacker told Campbell that, by analyzing his serial number, his guitar was made during the same production run as George Harrison’s famous 360/12 – which means it was a very early made Rick 12-string. It is Campbell’s guitar that Tom Petty is holding on the cover of the album “Damn the Torpedoes.” Campbell also plays a six-string electric for the leads on the song. In the official video for the song, he plays his 12-string mimicking the six-string leads.

From the 1981 album “Hard Promises,” “The Waiting” placed at #19 of the Hot 100. It was a number one song on Billboard’s Rock chart.

Official Video in Mono

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