Rickenbacker 330

Electric Guitar

The Rickenbacker 330 is an electric guitar used by Wendy Melvoin for the Purple Rain album, film and tour. It is a classic electric guitar design used by rock artists in the 1960s. Wendy has discussed the guitar in her October 2017 interview with Premier Guitar and it appears in footage from the Purple Rain era.

Wendy's Rickenbacker 330 was originally natural, and it appears in the rehearsal footage from the Nothing Compares 2 U video. Wendy had two of these guitars. The guitars were refinished in purple. They were also modified so they, in Wendy's words, "didn't sound like Roger McGuinn". Modifications included sealed-up soundholes, a hardtail bridge, G&L single coil pickups and simplified controls. Despite appearances, the sound of these guitars were closer to Prince's Hohner Madcats than a classic 330. The Rickenbacker 330s were stolen after the Purple Rain tour.

For my guitar, it was a Boss compressor, probably a CS-1, directly into a TC Electronic distortion pedal, into an MXR boost, into a Cry Baby Wah, then my chorus, the brand of which escapes me right now, and then into a volume pedal, all of which fed into a Mesa/Boogie Mark II head on a cab with, I think, a pair of JBL speakers. I was using one of my modified purple Rickenbackers when we recorded it.

Used By

  • Wendy Melvoin
Back To The Top