Who where some of the other clients
wanting custom guitars back then?
I remember guys like Chris Holmes from
W.A.S.P. coming in. Warren DeMartini
from Ratt came in a bunch of times.
Robbin Crosby [also from Ratt] would
come in. Robbin had the King V, but he
also had the Firebird[-style] stuff. We had
Jake E. Lee and Jeff Beck, as well.
What came after the Rhoads model?
Back when metal was exploding, the
Rhoads was so appealing. It started out
with the Rhoads, then the Soloist, the
Kelly, and then the King V. After that, the
Warrior came along.
Why did the company change the name
and logo from Charvel to Jackson?
Jackson didn’t want to call these guitars
Charvel because they were nothing like a
Charvel. Charvels are basically bolt-ons and
are more similar to Fenders, so Jackson only
The headstock of Rhoads’ original Jackson Concorde V. Note the early version of the Jackson logo.
Left: Shannon uses gauged calipers to ensure every aspect of the
Rhoads Tribute Relic is true to the original.
Right: Few get to see the other side of Rhoads’ original Concorde V. The legendary guitarist
the guitar so much that he covered the back in layers of tape to protect the
finish. Evidently, he was far
less worried about buckle rash on the trem-cavity plate.
The original Concorde V next to Shannon’s
copious notes and a studded
that very well may outweight the guitar itself.
What distinguishes Jackson from other
The guitar player will get what he wants
instead of what the store will sell him. You
have the choice of pickups, fretwire, binding,
colors, and odd-shaped necks.
Tell me more about the “odd-shaped necks.”
The earliest Charvel necks were pretty thick
and round. Later on, they just started getting
thinner and thinner—in some necks,
we’ve sanded through the back and hit the
truss rod. The speed metal guys like them
that way. But the neck shape is the player’s
choice. We’ve done boat shapes, V shapes.
Recently we’ve even made some guitars
with off-center back shapes. Under the
low-E string, the back is thicker than on
the high-E side, which would be really thin
to facilitate easier leads. We’ve done some
strange ergonomic back shapes.
All of these things turn our guitars into
really personal pieces. You can pick up 30
guitars, but guitar players always know
when that certain guitar is right for them.
We have a very good batting average of
building guitars for people and, when they
get them, they’re really happy.