RICKY WILSON, American musician was born (The B-52s) (d. 1985); The original guitarist in the rock band The B-52s, which he helped to form in 1976. Born in Athens, Georgia, he was the brother of fellow B-52s member Cindy Wilson. Like both other male members of the band, Wilson was out Gay.
Among guitar aficionados, Wilson’s most salient feature must surely be his highly original approach to playing the instrument.
Because at first The B-52s did not have a bass, he invented his own tunings, grouping the strings into a bass course (usually tuned to 5ths for strumming) and a treble course (often tuned in unison), removing the middle two strings entirely, though sometimes he played with 5 strings as well. A blue Mosrite so modified is visible on the back cover of the B-52s self-titled first album. His style is said to have been heavily influenced by American surf group The Ventures, possibly Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam” and other Batman-style 1960s music. Wilson died on October 12, 1985, aged 32, from health complications related to HIV-AIDS.