About the Guitar:
The Rickenbacker Company has created in the late '60 this interesting, innovative instrument, the Model 331 electric guitar, more commonly known as “the light show guitar.” 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.
This is how the original 1970 leaflet described the super-psychedelic masterpiece:
The Model 331 combines a fine musical instrument with the thrill of a light show. Internally lighted by a set of frequency modulated lamps, this instrument will shimmer with infinite color and pattern variety. This instrument also features stereo output, Hi-gain pickups, and 24 frets. The three modulation channels are variable with a sensitivity control to make this patented instrument a beautiful performer in the stage situations professionals encounter.
The guitar has the same body as a 330 but with a bound neck and a translucent plastic top. The body has colored lamps built inside; different colored lamps lit when a different frequency was played (red for treble, yellow/green for mids, and blue for bass). The wild reflecting front comes from a double layer construction. The lower is a foil which does the amazing light reflections. As it's a foil and quite flexible, it's protected by the top, which is made from metacrylate (plexiglas).
This original AC-current powered one was said to have been a ‘toaster with strings,’ becoming so hot during a performance that it couldn’t be held. It has nine automobile tail lights shining behind a pearly plastic sheets. No wonder it gets hot.
The unusual Light Show model was made in limited quantities from 1970 to 1975.