Grover Jackson, founder of Jackson® Guitars, will make a rare public appearance for a live Q&A “chat” in the Seymour Duncan User Group Forumson Wednesday, June 30, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM Pacific time. This is the latest live Q&A in a series that has featured artists like Yngwie Malmsteen and Dave Mustaine; and guitar builders like Fender’s Mike Eldred, Hamer’s Jol Dantzig, Rick Turner, Schecter and many others.
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®” earned 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 soundtrack 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.
Grover, who rarely grants interviews or makes public appearances, will spend two hours in The Seymour Duncan User Group Forums answering your questions. You must pre-register for the User Group Forum in order to ask a question (it’s free). Mark your calendars now for Wednesday, June 30 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM Pacific.