The Rickenbacker International Corporation, better known simply as Rickenbacker, is an American Manufacturer of stringed instruments based out of Santa Ana, California. It was founded in 1932 by Adolf Rickenbacher ( Who later changed his name to avoid anti German sentiment during and after WWI, and to capitalize on the name of his distant cousin and WWI flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker ) and George Beauchamp. The company was founded in 1931 as the Ro-Pat-In Corporation ( ElectRo-Patent-Instruments ) in order to sell electric Hawaiian guitars. These instruments had been designed by Beauchamp, assisted at the National String Instrument Corporation by Paul Barth and Harry Watson. They chose the brand name Rickenbacher (later changed to Rickenbacker), though early examples bear the brand name Electro.
Paul McCartney - The Beatles/Wings ( Although best known for using a Höfner 500/1 violin bass, he's also been known to use a 1966 4001 bass that has had the finish stripped down to bare wood, and a 4003S/5 )
Tom Petty - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ( Has been known to use various Rickenbacker guitars, including his 660/12TP signature model. )
John Fogerty - Creedence Clearwater Revival ( Used a Rickenbacker 325 in the late 70's )
Geddy Lee - Rush ( Most famous for using a 4080 Doubleneck Bass for the song "Xanadu" with Alex Lifeson using his Gibson EDS-1275 at the same time. Also has used several 4001 basses from 1974 up to 1983, and partly on the Snakes and Arrows tour from 2007 to 2008. Has a 4005 Bass in his collection. )
John Deacon - Queen ( Used a 4001 Bass for his audition, and the first concerts and recording sessions in 1971. )