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Thread: Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

  1. #1
    SDUGF Founder Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    The Grover Jackson story started in the ‘70s when guitar-centric rock played by rule-breaking virtuosos blew up big time. Ground Zero for this new musical movement was San Dimas, California, in a small industrial space called Charvel’s® Guitar Repair. One of Charvel’s customers was none other than the soon to be famous Edward Van Halen. In 1978, a little over a year after starting work at Charvel’s, the Tennessee-bred Grover purchased the shop from Wayne Charvel.

    The first Charvel guitars debuted at the ’79 Summer NAMM show and quickly became the weapons of choice for the new axe masters shredding their way across the Sunset Strip and onto radio stations and into the earliest music videos.

    Grover’s association with Randy Rhoads began in 1980 shortly after Rhoads left Quiet Riot to join Ozzy Osbourne. At about this same time Grover moved the shop across the street to Glendora, California. The collaboration between Grover and Randy resulted in the offset V-shaped, neck-through guitar with shark fin inlays, two humbuckers, and the name “Jackson” on the headstock. This was the birth of Jackson Guitars®. Other Jackson creations like the Kelly, King V, Dinky and Soloist have earned their position in the pantheon of legendary rock guitars.

    It was during Grover’s tenure at Jackson that the “Super Strat®” took its place of prominence for burgeoning rock guitar gods. These guitars were hand-built by Grover and a team of very young Southern Californians, all of whom were obsessed with creating the best sounding, best playing instruments. They featured locking bridges and nuts, deep cutaways, combinations of humbuckers and single coil pickups, wild graphics and the ubiquitous pointy headstocks.

    Grover merged the business with Ft. Worth, Texas-based IMC in 1985. By 1990, the high profile 10 year run of metal came to an end and a new style of music arrived. At this point, Grover sold his remaining interest in the company and went into the recording studio business in Beverly Hills. Working primarily in sound design, he was involved in Tales From The Crypt, Dinosaurs, and movie sound track work for Japanese television network NHK . Guitar-centric projects were also done during this period, and there was a long running relationship with Rusty Anderson who has become a mainstay in Paul McCartney’s band.

    By 1994 Grover went back to his roots and took over guitar production at the Washburn® factory in Illinois. Today, he continues to build musical instruments and does CNC programming for Rickenbacker® as well as job shop work for a number of other well known manufacturers. Nowadays, the Jackson and Charvel brands are owned by FMIC.

    We are very proud to have Grover, who rarely grants interviews or makes public appearances, spend time with us in the SDUGF today. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Mr. Grover Jackson to the SDUGF!


    ============

    Strat, Charvel and Jackson are registered trademarks; and Kelly, King V, Dinky and Soloist are trademarks of FMIC. Washburn is a registered trademark of US Music Corp. Rickenbacker is a registered trademark of RIC. Seymour Duncan is not affiliated with these companies.
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions Binnerscot's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    .....feedback noise......is this thing on? Are we live?
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Of course, I lack the requisite intellectual capacity to engage in a theoretical discourse regarding the sociological and ethical implications of the absurd and incongruous concept of personal ownership of firearms and the ridiculous supposition that humans are capable of responsibly using said weapons.

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    Cat In The Hatministrator stevie_bees's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Welcome to the forum Mr Jackson!!


    Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!

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    Mojo's Minions Binnerscot's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Thanks for joining us Mr. Jackson, I think you set the standard for the super strats and I love them! Thank you for all of your contributions to the world of guitar.

    Is there a happy compromise to get the snappiness of a bolt-on with the feel of the neck-through design?

    I love the snap and pop of a Charvel with a maple board, but I love the feel of a Soloist with an ebony board....am I doomed to make a custom order for each or can I get those quailities in the same guitar?
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Of course, I lack the requisite intellectual capacity to engage in a theoretical discourse regarding the sociological and ethical implications of the absurd and incongruous concept of personal ownership of firearms and the ridiculous supposition that humans are capable of responsibly using said weapons.

  5. #5
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Ok, I'm here...had to run for a half a bagel
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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  6. #6
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Welcome to forum, Mr. Jackson.

    The 80’s were my teen years, growing up in So Cal, and I remember going to and eventually playing on the Sunset Strip. I don’t think there was ever a gig there where I didn’t see a Charvel or Jackson onstage.

    During the early years of Charvel and Jackson, can you tell us about some of your favorite endorsees……guys who had real personality, whom you wish you’d had more time to hang out with….and any stories you can think of, pertaining to local California gigs.

    Also, any notable request for a wacky graphic that made you laugh or become disgusted?
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Bill View Post
    I've got 60 guitars...but 49 trumpets is just...INSANITY! WTF!

  7. #7
    SDUGF Founder Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Welcome to the Forum, Grover. You and I go back to your days at Washburn, but your affiliation with the Seymour Duncan company goes back far beyond that. We very much appreciate the association.

    OK, who's got the first question for Grover?
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

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    Mojo's Minions Binnerscot's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    See post #4...I was a little early.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Of course, I lack the requisite intellectual capacity to engage in a theoretical discourse regarding the sociological and ethical implications of the absurd and incongruous concept of personal ownership of firearms and the ridiculous supposition that humans are capable of responsibly using said weapons.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jackson Distortion's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    You are too awesome to grant this interview Mr. Jackson... thank you.

    How old were you when you first started playing guitar?

    How do you feel having had such a strict focus on producing the finest guitar parts available, and having that translate into one the most enduring brands of all time in Jackson guitars?

  10. #10
    Cake Mire cakire82's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Welcome to the SDUGF Mr. Jackson. I just wanted to say Thank You! I have no idea what I would be playing if it was not for you. THANK YOU!!!
    "We live thinking we will never die. We die thinking we had never lived. Cut it out." - Jason Becker

    "The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change" - Heraclitus

    House of Jackson, Charvel, ESP, BC Rich, Dean etc.. Fans. Come and Join us!

  11. #11
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Binnerscot View Post
    Thanks for joining us Mr. Jackson, I think you set the standard for the super strats and I love them! Thank you for all of your contributions to the world of guitar.

    Is there a happy compromise to get the snappiness of a bolt-on with the feel of the neck-through design?

    I love the snap and pop of a Charvel with a maple board, but I love the feel of a Soloist with an ebony board....am I doomed to make a custom order for each or can I get those quailities in the same guitar?
    Thanx for the question. You'll need to be a little patient as I'm kinda new to this whole forum deal.

    It's a pretty straight forward question but the answer may seem not direct. I think you have to evaluate each instrument on it's own merits. I mean some instruments that have all the right materials and are made by the right folks still don't speak to you. They might to somebody else but not you. As much as I've invested my life in making instruments, and hopefully some good ones, the truth is that there is still a sort alchemy that happens. Gee, I could on and on about this for a long time.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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  12. #12
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    thanks so much for doing this!

    can you talk about the design of the concorde/offset v with randy? that was the first guitar that i feel in love with even though i wasnt a huge ozzy or rhoads fan at the time. its one of the few guitars that i wish i have never gotten rid of

  13. #13
    Toneologist Vincent Vespa's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    I'd just like to say thank you, as well. There is no guitar like a Super Strat. I will never play (well, for very long ) on anything else.
    Dave Mustaine: How many of you can play guitar?
    Crowd: *screams*
    Dave Mustaine: How many of you can play guitar as well as I do?
    Crowd: *screams*
    Dave Mustaine: YOU LIE!!!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Chaz-6(sic)6's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    You make awesome guitars, especially the Randy Rhoads Models.
    So here is my question:

    IS THERE GONNA BE ANY NEW MODELS OF THE RHOADS IN THE FUTURE, IF YOU KNOW?

    Thanks Grover, and to me, you are a god.
    Last edited by Chaz-6(sic)6; 06-30-2010 at 01:19 PM. Reason: not specific

  15. #15
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    Welcome to forum, Mr. Jackson.

    The 80’s were my teen years, growing up in So Cal, and I remember going to and eventually playing on the Sunset Strip. I don’t think there was ever a gig there where I didn’t see a Charvel or Jackson onstage.

    During the early years of Charvel and Jackson, can you tell us about some of your favorite endorsees……guys who had real personality, whom you wish you’d had more time to hang out with….and any stories you can think of, pertaining to local California gigs.

    Also, any notable request for a wacky graphic that made you laugh or become disgusted?
    There were a lot of great people in that scene. I get asked about Randy a lot but I never think of him as a guitar player. We were just friens and connection happened to be guitars. The guitars really were incidental because he was such a great person. A non guitar player that have a great fondness for is Neil Zlozower, the photograper, ...that mold got broke. Probably the greatest disappointment was Robin Crosby. I really believed that he would go on to be a TV or Movie personality. He had such a warmness about him. I've used the lesson of his tragedy with my own kids that you don't have to go looking for trouble it will find you by itself.

    I'm rambling again.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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    Cat In The Hatministrator stevie_bees's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Thank you for you time Mr Jackson.

    Was there a specific point when you knew that the guitars you were making were going to be a huge success?


    Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!

  17. #17
    Junior Member Chaz-6(sic)6's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Oh, and how was it working with randy rhoads?

  18. #18
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Distortion View Post
    You are too awesome to grant this interview Mr. Jackson... thank you.

    How old were you when you first started playing guitar?

    How do you feel having had such a strict focus on producing the finest guitar parts available, and having that translate into one the most enduring brands of all time in Jackson guitars?
    Ok, where's the alchoholic beverages...we're in it now...

    I came to California in 1973 and spent about a year and a half trying to get something going. Eventually I went back down south and played with my old band again. In '75 I came back to CA and worked at the Anvil Case Co. as the 'the pro dude'. The rest is a blur. btw I got my first guitar in 1961.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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  19. #19
    Mojo's Minions KeeperOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    I do I do!!!

    First of all, it is a great joy to have you here with us Mr. Jackson!

    My original question was actually already asked by Binnerscot so I'll just have to move one to one of a more personal interest.
    Over the years I have seen and played many a Jackson guitar. However it was not one but two of what is better known here as "Grover Jackson era Washburns" that got to get added in my modest collection. Specifically a beautiful red 1994(?) MG-122 and a blue 1995(?) MG-100 (the question marks are because their serials start with 94 and 95 respectively, am I right to assume that's the year of manufacture?).

    Now I love Jacksons and I LOVE these guitars (especially the MG-122) but I don't find all that many resemblances between the two.
    Do you think you could tell us a little bit about what went into designing and building them?

    Also, the (earlier?) red MG-122 has many differences to the (later?) MG-100, specifically a completely different neck profile, bigger frets and no string tree but rather hand-milled shims between the back of the headstock and the the three high strings' tuners so as to stagger them.
    Do you remember how the design evolved?

    Also, a question for you.
    You may very well be credited for giving the guitar world more now-famous guitar designs than any other, which guitar (either of the ones that were born from you or otherwise) would be your personal favorite and why would that be.
    It's ok if you don't have one as well as having more than one.

    Again, thank you so much for doing this and for giving us guitarists all that you have.
    I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we'd love to have you here even after this interview is in the past!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Fingers_Jay View Post
    I prefer cheaper guitars, nothing is as cool as a cheap guitar that sounds awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by That90'sGuy View Post
    Not all guitars are created equal, so make sure it sings and if it does, you'd be silly to pass it up.

  20. #20
    Butterball speed2dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Grover, thanks for doing this. It's an honor to have such an influential person in our forums.

    Anyway, Dean Zelinsky recently left Dean Guitars to start a new company (DBZ Guitars) where he'd have full control of design, craftsmanship, sales, etc. Would you ever consider starting a new company where you held the reigns on a day-to-day basis and could produce whatever you wanted? Perhaps this is already the case and I'm just in the dark.

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