"Some of us are lucky to be alive."

Rickenbacker International Corp. proudly presents for auction a Model 360 Jetglo electric guitar signed by the original members of the band R.E.M. to benefit musician and uninsured heart attack victim Bob Hawkins, who will receive 100% of the proceeds of this auction.

The auction will take place online through eBay, running from July 17 to July 27.

AUCTION IS NOW LIVE!      Click here to go to eBay


Peter Buck with his Rickenbacker 360        Photo Credit

This model of guitar is identical to the one played by the legendary Peter Buck of R.E.M. The signed pickguard by Buck, as well as singer Michael Stipe, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry, is a show of support for a fellow musician.

The band has a long history of helping uninsured musicians with public fund raisers as well as private contributions to individuals. Previous music contributions include a song to the album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation for Vic Chesnutt.

Mills sits on the board of directors of the Nashville-based Music Health Alliance, an organization helping musicians with healthcare finances.

“It’s tragic to see something like this happen to a good person and hard working musician,” said Rickenbacker CEO John Hall, who plays music with Hawkins in the band Hautewerk. “He’s a good friend as well as someone who has been incredibly supportive of others in need.”

Hawkins, who has been unable to work for a couple of months, appears to be well on the way to physical recovery. It is the financial burden, most notably his immediate loss of income, that imposes a greater challenge. Aside from playing regularly with a number of California based bands, he has taught guitar lessons in his native Orange County.

The musical trails for the 64-year old guitarist stretch back to the sixties. He spent the nineties as guitarist for the critically acclaimed Missiles of October, played with original Kingston Trio member John Stewart in his band, and currently performs and writes with the Shana Morrison Band, fronted by the daughter of Van Morrison.

Former band mates and friends have led the charge in helping Hawkins pay down the massive debt he’s accumulated from his hospital stay where he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. At least three live performances and a number of online donation sites have been setup for his benefit.

“I’m surprised at the extent of it, I guess I’ve fooled them all these years,” he humbly joked.
Jason Feddy: "Bob has been a hero & mentor to me for nearly 20 years. We can't all achieve the notoriety we deserve, but frankly his skill and feel for the guitar put him amongst the greats. Hawkins has spent his life entertaining the good people of  California and beyond (we  toured the UK together) for little more than minimum wage. He plays like a god - I find it hard to believe, but I guess this heart attack thing proves Bob's mortality. We should help him if we can."

L-R, bandmates Jason Feddy, Bob Hawkins, John Hall
Photo Credit

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People familiar with Hawkins are quick to point out his willingness to help others in need. He has played in dozens of benefits for others. One would be hard pressed to find anyone with something negative to say about him, according to friends.

Shana Morrison: "We unfortunately still live in a country where one illness can bankrupt a person.  When friends get hit with the double whammy of a serious health condition and complete financial ruin at the same time, that is when it is time to rally." 

Hawkins feels fortunate to have been playing live in front of people in Laguna Beach, Calif. when his heart attack hit. He managed to play a whole set despite the classic symptoms of chest pain and lack of circulation in his arm. A friend in the audience went across the street to get aspirin before he was rushed by ambulance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo where he was saved by an emergency stent.

A family history of similar heart attacks is believed to be the main culprit. Physically fit with a healthy diet and free of drugs he thought he’d dodged a bullet. Though ultimately the stress of daily life will take its toll, he said.

This guitar broke all the rules of traditional styling when it appeared amid the 'British' sound of the 1960's. Subtly updated through the years, this Deluxe hollow body with its special contour around the entire body perimeter, is still perhaps the most comfortable guitar of all. The bound body and Rosewood fingerboard, inlayed with triangular pearloid markers, provide an exceptionally attractive appearance. Stereo output is standard 

Body Type Semi-Acoustic
No. Frets 24
Scale Length 62.9 cm (24 3/4'')
Neck Width at Nut 41.4 mm (1.63'')
Neck Width at 12th Fret 49.05 mm (1 .931'')
Crown Radius 25.4 cm (10'')
Body Wood Maple
Neck Wood Maple
Fingerboard Wood Rosewood
Weight 3.6 kg (8.0 lbs.)
Overall Length 101 cm (39 3/4'')
Overall Width 38.1 cm (15'')
Overall Depth 38.1 mm (1 1/2'')
Neck Binding Yes
Fret Marker Style Triangle
Tailpiece ''R''
Bridge 6 Saddle
Neck Type Set-in
No. of Pickups 2
Type of Pickups Hi-gain
Output Type Mono and Stereo
Machine Heads Schaller

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Autographs from the four original members of this iconic band are few and far between on the market. The band’s career has stretched beyond two decades, earning them multiple gold and platinum selling awards. Not surprisingly, collectors’ items for this band have been highly sought after. Guitars in particular are seldom seen autographed by the band. This is a very rare opportunity to own something special.

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Copyright 2014 Rickenbacker International Corp.