Why collect Vintage Guitars?
The EB0
The EB1
The EB2 & EB2D
The EB3
The EB6 - Baritone
Les Paul & LP Triumph
Flying V & Victory Artist
Thunderbirds- Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick
The Ripper
Jack Casady Bass
Bass Guitar of the Week
Gibson Guitars
Links, BassBlog & Contact Me

The Ripper

Gibson Ripper Bass

Solid alder or maple body, maple neck. 34½ inch scale

The Gibson Ripper was launched in 1973. The earliest Ripper bodies were made from Maple, though in 1975 to 1976 they were made from Alder before returning to Maple in 1977. Famously played by Peter Cetera of Chicago and by Suzi Quattro (who also played a Les Paul Bass). I'm sure there were other, more 'cool', famous players but I can't recall any at the moment. Apart from Arvell Shaw, that is (see below and right). And you can't get cooler than him!

Arvell Shaw was best known for his long association with Louis Armstrong. The bassist first worked with him in 1945, and made the position his own.

He was one of the few players retained when Armstrong eventually disbanded the large group in favour of a septet, Louis Armstrong and The All-Stars, in the wake of successful concerts at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York in 1947. 

The bassist played with Armstrong regularly for the rest of his career, including the trumpeter’s last appearance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York a few days before his death in 1971. He played on all his recordings from 1945 on, and appeared with him in seven films, including The Glenn Miller Story (1953) and High Society (1956).

He also worked with a range of other notable jazz leaders. They included Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Barney Bigard, Earl Hines, Wild Bill Davison, Buddy Tate, Dorothy Donegan and Lionel Hampton, among others.

He was much in demand as a freelance musician in New York, and played in the pit bands for the Broadway shows Bubbling Brown Sugar and Ain't Misbehavin' in the late 70s and early 80s (presumably this was when he used the Ripper).

A 1978 Maple Gloss Ripper

For Sale on ""-click on photo.

Total Ripper numbers produced: 7775















SOUND CLIPS: click on the links below to hear a Ripper,

Position 1 tone - 0, midrange -0 fingerstyle

Position 1 tone - 10, midrange -10 fingerstyle

Position 2 tone - 10, midrange -10 played fingerstyle

Position 3 tone - 5, midrange -5 played fingerstyle

Position 4 tone - 10, midrange -10 fingerstyle

Position 4 tone - 5, midrange -0 fingerstyle

Gibson Ripper Bass

A 1974 Maple Gloss Ripper

Owned by Arvell Shaw-see left

(Click on the picture to see more photos)


See more Gibson Basses, available for sale, at