The tour pressed on through Houston and Chicago. During the slop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on August 21st another new guitar joined the group's ever-growing instrument array. At a press conference held prior to the evening performance, radio station WDGY in association with B-Sharp Music, a local music store, presented Harrison with a new-style Rickenbacker 360-12 electric 12-string guitar.
The press conference was covered by an instrument trade magazine. "George Harrison, who spoke for the group when I asked them if they had any plans to become musical instrument manufacturers, replied in the negative," wrote the reporter, "while Lennon and McCartney shook their heads 'no' in tacit agreement. 'All we do is play them,' Lennon chirped in when Harrison was finished ... [but] McCartney and Lennon felt that they were responsible for increased sales of guitars and drums in this country.
"Randy Resnick and Ron Butwin, representing B-Sharp Music, a Minneapolis store ... presented Harrison with a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar at a press conference. Butwin said the guitar was custom-made especially for his store. 'When The Remo Four (another English group) were in town a few weeks back,' said Butwin, 'we showed them this guitar when they visited our store, and they flipped over it. The group knew The Beatles, and one of the fellows said that George Harrison would love to have a guitar like this. I decided that Randy and I should present it to him when he came to town, with our thanks to The Beatles for causing the guitar business to boom.' Harrison was all smiles as he accepted the guitar- from the young men," 11 the magazine piece concluded.
This second Rickenbacker 360-12 was in Rickenbacker's new recently-introduced style and thus differed from Harrison's first: it had rounded edges to the body's top and checkerboard-pattern binding on the back. Other differences on the '65 Rick 12 included the more common "R"-motif tailpiece and a while-bound slash-shape soundhole. Like his first 12-string, Harrison's new guitar was finished in Rickenbacker's fireglo (red sunburst) finish. He did not use this second Rick 12-string during the 1965 American tour, but instead waited to christen it in the studio when the group returned to Britain.
The North American tour continued with a show in Portland, Oregon, on August 22nd. From there the group Hew to Los Angeles, California, on August 23rd and rented a house in the exclusive Benedict Canyon neighbourhood out toward the Santa Monica Mountains. It was during the group's week-long .stay there that they managed to arrange a meeting with their one-time hero Elvis Presley.
While relaxing at their Benedict Canyon retreat The Beatles entertained several guests and fellow musicians. During one of these days off, Rickenbacker's Francis Hall and his son John managed to arrange a meeting with the group. It was then that McCartney was presented with the left-handed Rickenbacker 4001S bass he'd first seen in New York in 1964.
"I believe it was Burt Lancaster's home that they had reined," says John Hall. "We only brought the left-handed bass. Neil Aspinall had asked to have it. Paul had a little tiny Vox amplifier, just an itty-bitty thing there in the house. He plugged in the bass and was playing away. He really liked it - he didn't want to put it down. He was definitely enthusiastic about it." 12 McCartney recalls receiving his new bass. "I just remember [Rickenbacker] giving me it, and they invited us down to the factory, which I never made, I never got down there. It was a little bit out of LA, I think. But I liked the instrument a lot." 13
This particular Rickenbacker 4001S bass was one of the first left-handed basses the company had ever made. Their earlier single-pickup 4000 model, launched in 1957, was the first through-neck solidbody electric bass - that is with a neck section extending the entire length of the instrument, with added "wings" to complete the body and headstock. The similar two-pickup 4001 and export 4001S had been added to the line in 1961 and 1964. McCartney's 4001S was finished in Rickenbacker's popular fireglo (red sunburst) finish, and had serial number DA23, indicating a manufacturing date of January 1964.
From 1964 the 4001S was sold in the UK through Rose-Morris as the company's model 1999 and retailed for 175 guineas (£183.75, about $515 then; around £2,120 or $2,970 in today's money). McCartney used this bass a great deal throughout the remaining years with The Beatles as well as later during his solo career. Along the way, McCartney would have several alterations made to the instrument, which he still owns personally at time of writing.
I JUST PICKED UP THE SITAR AND KIND OF FOUND THE NOTES.
George Harrison, who discovered an affinity with Indian music during the filming of Help!, and first used the sitar in the studio on Lennon's 'Norwegian Wood'
During their rest in Hollywood, the group had time to hang out with LA's latest smash group The Byrds. According to ex-Epstein assistant Derek Taylor, by now working for an LA radio station. The Beatles even managed a studio visit. On his liner notes to The Byrds' Turn! Turn! Turn! album, Taylor wrote: "Two of the Fab Four came to the recording sessions at Columbia's Hollywood studios when they could have been sprawling beside their Bel Air pool gazing at Joan Baez. Some choice. Anyway, down from the hills rode George and Paul because they'd liked The Byrds' 'Mr Tambourine Man', and they know that a record like that doesn't happen by accident. ('Ho,'John had said, 'The Byrds have something,' and the others had nodded.) So there they were, at Columbia - bachelor Beatle twosome, denims and fringes and so much experience, heads bent to pick up the sound-subtleties of the Los Angeles Byrds, whom The Beatles publicly named as their fab gear lave rave American group." 14
Byrds guitarist Roger McGuinn recalls spending time with The Beatles. "We talked a lot about old records, like Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and of course Elvis. I remember being at their house the day they went to meet Elvis and they wouldn't let me tag along," McGuinn laughs. "I wanted to go with them, but they wouldn't let me." So The Beatles had influenced The Byrds ... and then in turn The Byrds gained The Beatles' respect and in some ways influenced them. It wasn't long before Harrison started to wear "granny" glasses (like McGuinn's), to make good use of his new-style Rickenbacker 12-strmg (exactly like McGuinn's, except for colour), and to write 'If I Needed Someone', a song that chimes with Byrds-like echoes.
To finish up their tour, The Beatles played two consecutive nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Sunday August 29th and Monday 30th. Once more, Capitol Records recorded these performances, but as with the 1964 recordings made at the venue the tapes were shelved and remained unreleased until 1977 and The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl LP.
The final date of the group's 1965 American tour was in San Francisco at the Cow Palace, on August 31st. The following day they travelled home to Britain, a million dollars richer, and began a much-needed six-week break in the action. The success of the American tour was immediately reported in the British press - and Vox started a new ad campaign using photos from the group's already famous Shea Stadium concert.
During their time off Harrison experimented with his Gibson J-160E, moving its P-90 pickup from its original location close to the neck to a new position near the bridge. Holes were drilled into the face of the guitar to accommodate the six polepieces of the pickup. Harrison seems to have been trying to get a different or better sound from the instrument, but the pickup would not stay in its new position for long.
A 1965 Rickenbacker 360-12 like the
one that George acquired during the
group's '65 US tour. It was his second
360-12, with Rickenbacker's new
"rounded" body style. George used his
in the studio and live from the end of 1965 and into '66. The photo on the far right shows George being presented with his new Rick 12 by B-Sharp Music at a press conference in Minneapolis.