Project Description

The All Mod Cons Rickenbacker

Announcing the first in a series of  3D limited edition photographs of some of the most acclaimed guitars in the history of rock & roll.

To coincide with the start of our gallery exhibition celebrating the career of Paul Weller, we have created a large-scale three-dimensional photographic artwork using the actual Rickenbacker 330 from The Jam’s All Mod Cons album. 

You can own one as well—in a custom size of your choice….

Photographing classic guitars 

What’s the big idea ?

There’s something beautiful about a photograph of a classic guitar. Many years ago, we sold a now-out-of-print book of life-size guitar photographs, put together by a French publisher. It was called The Foxylady Project, and the scale of the book was spectacular. The guitars in the book were special—but they weren’t the actual guitars owned and played by the musicians we revere. The guitars I am talking about, the ones owned by Keith Richards, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and others, do come up for auction from time to time, and now regularly fetch seven figure sums.

Working directly with the owners of historically important original guitars, we have developed a way to experience—for a fraction of these eye-watering auction prices—something close to the joy of owning one of these incredible important vintage pieces. 

These are not life-size versions—they go way beyond that—but are a revolutionary ultra-large format. As an example, this Rickenbacker can be made in customisable sizes up to 250cm / 98 inches long. 

The results are mind-bending.

The All Mod Cons Rickenbacker

This is a photograph of the actual Rickenbacker 330 Fireglo model that appeared on the back cover of the album that turbo-charged the career of The Jam: All Mod Cons, their third album released on 3 November 1978.

The front cover is a minimalist affair; Paul Weller sits on a simple wooden chair in the centre, towards the back of an empty room with brick walls painted white. He is flanked by Bruce Foxton standing on the left and Rick Buckler seated on the right, to the front of the frame. Their shadows surround the seated Weller. The front cover sets the context for the back cover, where the musicians are replaced by their instruments: Foxton’s bass, Weller’s Rickenbacker, and one of Buckler’s drums appear in the same positions as our heroes on the front. The Rickenbacker carries a distinctive sticker — it says “The Boys”.

The sticker was given to Paul Weller by a member of the The Boys—a punk/new wave band tagged “The Beatles of Punk” — who were contemporaries of The Jam. The Boys were The Jam’s main support band at a series of gigs in the summer of 1977.  At one of the concerts, probably at Hammersmith Odeon on 24 July 1977, The Boys played their set, and someone from the band gave the sticker to Paul Weller just before The Jam went on stage. Impressed with The Boys’ set, he slapped the sticker straight on to his guitar just seconds before taking the stage. And there it stayed. 

The guitar is now privately owned, and was recently displayed in public in the excellent About The Young Idea exhibition, both in London and Liverpool. Working directly with the owner, we have created a definitive photograph of this historically important instrument.

The photograph

The guitar was photographed at the studio of one of London’s top professional product photographers, in order to create a definitive head-on image, in ultra-high resolution. The detail is simply incredible. Saying it is pin-sharp does not do it justice. Original nicks and chips are preserved—this is not a sanitised, photoshopped version of the original. There are some beautiful details—one being the fingernail marks chiselled by Paul Weller into the fretboard. It is clear that this machine saw some serious action back in the day.

The final image is then dye-sublimated into the surface of white coated aluminium, to give it structural rigidity and an ultra high gloss finish, ensuring the colours have maximum ‘pop’. Dye-sublimation is a specialist technical process which infuses an image into the surface of a substrate. So this isn’t a just print stuck on to aluminium—it is actually embedded into it.

Once the image is infused into the surface of the aluminium, the guitar shape is cut out. The process of cutting out is incredibly accurate, and once a subframe is attached to the reverse, gives a three dimensional effect. The ultra-high-gloss finish is scratchproof and archivally stable. The finished piece can be hung directly on the wall without a frame. Equally it can be framed, and in the gallery we have presented it vertically, framed in a black box frame against a black background. It could be presented horizontally, or diagonally.

What does it look like?

A selection of photographs showing one unframed at our framers, and then framed at the gallery.

Bespoke limited editions—just for you

This is a bespoke service based around creating a three-dimensional version of this classic photograph for you in a size of your choice. In the gallery we have created a 175cm / 69 inch long version. You can specify a size that works exactly for you—bigger or smaller—up to the maximum size. The technology allows us to create a three-dimensional cut-out with a maximum length of 250cm / 98 inches. That is just over eight feet long. 

This is a limited edition piece—irrespective of physical size, a maximum of 25 of these three-dimensional artworks will be available worldwide. Prices depend on size and framing style. Please get in touch to discuss something that fits your space. 

This is the first in a series of three dimensional pieces featuring actual iconic guitars. Of course if you own a guitar of any kind and like the idea of immortalising it in a huge format for your wall, then get in touch with us. We can do that for you.