GSTV meets with The Guitar Center in Los Angeles to check out the Rickenbacker Model 331LS “Lightshow.” It was introduced in 1970 and remained in production until 1975. This may have been unfortunate timing for Rickenbacker since the Psychedelic era had come to an end during that poeriod. If the instrument was introduced in the height of Psychedelia, say, 1966, it likely would have sold many more units.
The Lightshow model was available in both 6 and 12 string versions, and as a bass guitar (these are really rare birds, lightshow basses)! Here’s some more info from The Complete History Of Rickenbacker Guitars by Richard R. Smith:
“The factory first offered the model 331, nicknamed the lightshow guitar, in 1970. It was the psychedelic spinn-off of the model 330. Stephen F. Woodman and Marshall Arm created the initial design for the 331 and then licensed Rickenbacker to develop and manufacture it. Rickenbacker dropped the 331 from the pricesheets in 1975.
The top of the instrument was translucent and the body had lamps built into it. Red lamps lit for the treble notes played, yellow (or green) lamps lit for the middle range notes played and blue for the bass notes played.
Rickenbacker built the 331 with two different light circuits. There was also a model 341LS and a model 4005LS.”