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  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.

  3. #3
    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!

  4. #4
    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

    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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  6. #6
    "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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  7. #7
    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!

  8. #8
    "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.
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  9. #9
    Professional Scapegoat BloodRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Mr Jackson,
    Welcome!! And thank you for sharing your time with us!
    I have followed the rise of Charvel , Jackson and followed much of your career and have always loved the fruits of your labor!

    I especially love the guitars produced during your time with Washburn! I currently have an MG104 and 2 MG130 Steve Salas models that are among my favorite players. Ive had others but had to sell due to family responsibility. Anyhow, these guitars seem to be a well kept secret. Why do you think that is? Is it the Washburn name, or where they not marketed aggressively enough? (I have some of the catalogs from that time describing your contribution)
    Also, any particular reason compound radius necks were not used on these?
    And, I once shared an email with Stevie Salas and he said that model was not really as per his wishes. Why was it changed? I happen to LOVE it with being the superstrat shape and shorter scale, set neck. Its close to my favorite.
    And, not to be greedy of your time, but are there any other insights to that period of your career you'd like to share?? The products were stellar!
    Evan mentions that your relationship with him started at that time. Perhaps due to the Duncan pickups used?

    Thank you again and all the best to you!

    Bryan
    Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

    Jol Dantzig

  10. #10
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodRose View Post
    Mr Jackson,
    Welcome!! And thank you for sharing your time with us!
    I have followed the rise of Charvel , Jackson and followed much of your career and have always loved the fruits of your labor!

    I especially love the guitars produced during your time with Washburn! I currently have an MG104 and 2 MG130 Steve Salas models that are among my favorite players. Ive had others but had to sell due to family responsibility. Anyhow, these guitars seem to be a well kept secret. Why do you think that is? Is it the Washburn name, or where they not marketed aggressively enough? (I have some of the catalogs from that time describing your contribution)
    Also, any particular reason compound radius necks were not used on these?
    And, I once shared an email with Stevie Salas and he said that model was not really as per his wishes. Why was it changed? I happen to LOVE it with being the superstrat shape and shorter scale, set neck. Its close to my favorite.
    And, not to be greedy of your time, but are there any other insights to that period of your career you'd like to share?? The products were stellar!
    Evan mentions that your relationship with him started at that time. Perhaps due to the Duncan pickups used?

    Thank you again and all the best to you!

    Bryan
    eek...big topic
    I am very proud of what we did at Washburn. When I walked in to that factory the morale was so low it was unbelievable. I went into downtown Chicago and bought a pirate flag and hung it over the door. I told the guys not to come back unless they wanted to pirates. We built a really great crew and some fine gutiars for that period of time.

    On the other hand there were some corporate restrictions that I just could not overcome...which had a lot to do with me leaving...insert more alcohol here.

    As far as artists I would just say that some were a joy to work with and some ...not so much.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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  11. #11
    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.

  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
    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?

  14. #14
    "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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  15. #15
    Toneologist Vincent Vespa's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Do you still make a lot of guitars, and what are your favorite woods to use (and why?)
    Last edited by Vincent Vespa; 06-30-2010 at 01:31 PM.
    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!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
    "That" Grover Jackson Grover Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Vespa View Post
    Do you still make a lot of guitars, and what are your favorite woods to use (and why?)
    I do CAD/CAM programming and job shop work. This has allowed me to stay under the radar and raise my kids. I'm a full time single dad to two beautiful monsters...er young ladies.

    Right now I'm really into old growth sugar pine.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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  17. #17
    Toneologist Vincent Vespa's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE - Guest Luthier Series - Grover Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by Grover Jackson View Post
    I do CAD/CAM programming and job shop work. This has allowed me to stay under the radar and raise my kids. I'm a full time single dad to two beautiful monsters...er young ladies.

    Right now I'm really into old growth sugar pine.
    Sounds pretty laid back.

    What kinds of projects do you work on now adays? Do you ever work side by side with artists anymore?

    Do you ever miss the challenge of building a guitar company from scratch?
    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!!!!!!!!

  18. #18
    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!

  19. #19
    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!!!!!!!!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by cakire82 View Post
    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!!!
    Hey, that's a great quote from Becker. It wasn't that I thought I wouldn't die it's that I thought I was SuperMan. Then I had kids and as Christopher Hitchens says it's our obligation to pass on at some point so the next generation can have their time.
    Founder, Jackson Guitars

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