The Maricela “MJ” Juarez 40th Anniversary limited-edition sets include collaborations with Peter Frampton, Steve Miller and Pete Anderson. Each collaboration is limited to 160 sets worldwide.
MJ remarks about the collaborations: When I started working at Seymour Duncan in March 1983, I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to custom-wind pickups for some of the best guitar players in music. Over the last 40 years, I have put my love, heart, and soul into every aspect of what I do here at the company. Peter Frampton, Steve Miller, and Pete Anderson are like family to me, and it has been an honor to help them craft their signature sounds that have been heard by people all over the world. Now we are excited to give musicians everywhere access to these special pickups we have created together. I hope they bring you joy, inspiration, and great tone!
Frampton Comes Alive Humbucker Set
When Maricela “MJ” Juarez first started winding pickups at Seymour Duncan in 1983 she already had dreams of working with one guitarist in particular: the one and only Peter Frampton. Once she began managing the Custom Shop and building pickups for some of the biggest guitarists in music, her dream came true. MJ was afforded the opportunity to wind a set of humbuckers for Peter. He has since used these pickups in countless recordings and performances over the years. The Frampton Comes Alive Humbucker set is built to those same specs with Alnico 2 magnets and a vintage output for Peter’s dynamic, stadium-filling sound. The first 160 sets were signed by Frampton and MJ and will show you the way to Peter’s great humbucker tone - whether through your talk box or the sound system of a sold-out arena! To quote Peter: “They bring the best out of the guitar.”
A portion of the proceeds from the “Frampton Comes Alive” MJ40th Pickups will be donated to The Peter Frampton Myositis Research Fund as well as Notes for Notes, who provide youth with free access to music instruments, instruction, and recording studio environments so that music may become a profoundly positive influence in their lives.
The Joker Strat Set
2023 marks the 50th year since Steve Miller’s multi-platinum album ‘The Joker’ was released and it is also MJ’s 40th year with Seymour Duncan. To celebrate both historic occasions, MJ is proud to present The Joker Strat set. The set features a custom wind MJ has been making Steve for years. All three single-coil pickups are wound for vintage output around Alnico 2 magnets, with Steve’s signature printed on the cover and the iconic Joker mask on the bottom plate. This set is a must-have for Steve Miller fans and Strat players alike.
A portion of the proceeds from “The Joker” MJ40th Strat Pickups will be donated to Notes for Notes, who provide youth with free access to music instruments, instruction, and recording studio environments so that music may become a profoundly positive influence in their lives.
The Pete Anderson Working Class Tele Set
The powerhouse guitarist and producer behind Dwight Yoakam’s biggest hits, Pete’s signature Bakersfield-inspired tone is instantly recognizable. Over 40 years winding pickups at Seymour Duncan, Maricela “MJ” Juarez has built sets for Pete that have been on chart-topping records and on stage heard by fans all over the world.
The Pete Anderson Working Class Tele Set is a recreation of the pickups in his 1959 Telecaster. These are the pickups you’ve heard on the numerous classic records Pete has played on and produced. The first 160 sets have been aged to perfection in the custom shop and are signed by both Pete and MJ. With Alnico 5 magnets and a vintage output wind, these expressive pickups are perfect for those looking for a tried-and-true Telecaster tone!
A portion of the proceeds from the “Working Class” MJ40th Tele Pickups will be donated to Notes for Notes, who provide youth with free access to music instruments, instruction, and recording studio environments so that music may become a profoundly positive influence in their lives.
For more information, please visit customshop.seymourduncan.com.
Visit the Reverend Guitars booth and learn more about their newest electric guitar offerings - the Pete Anderson PA-1 RT, Gil Parris II, and Rick Vito models.
Premier Guitar's Jason Shadrick is on location in Nashville, Tennessee, where he visits the Reverend Guitars booth and learns more about their newest electric guitar offerings - the Pete Anderson PA-1 RT, Gil Parris II, and Rick Vito models.
In an industry where the internet and fickle audience interests can make or break you in a matter of days, it seems there are a lot of almost-musicians trying
Thirty years in the business – you’ve been around forever, man!
Yeah, I’m not sure if I should tell people that or not – there are pluses and minuses! [laughs]
You’ve really become one of the premier producers in the industry – your albums have sold over 30 million units. What have you learned from the business?
That it’s a business. I started as a guitar player and my main impetus was to play guitar – everything else I did was sort of an excuse to be a guitar player. Things changed when Dwight Yoakam and I made his first album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., and sold it to Warner Brothers. That album – the first legitimate production I did – sold two million copies and Warner Brothers wanted me to produce another album for them, but I wanted people to know me as a guitar player.
Well, they offered me $20,000 to produce an album for my friend Rosie Flores. My rent was $135 per month and I had $1000 in my checkbook, so $20,000 might as well have been a million.
Through touring and rubbing shoulders, I ended up making a lot of records. I worked with Jackson Browne and Buck Owens – people I had dreamt about! I got to make a duet with K.D. Lang and Roy Orbison that won a Grammy. The reality is, what I’ve learned is the business. It is important to survive and keep working in the business, whether that means having your own record company or being a producer.
Is it important for guitar players to expand their skills beyond just the instrument itself?
When you’re starting off and playing in clubs from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., it’s a learning period. I spent a lot of time playing in bars with my head down, looking at the fretboard and learning. I looked up one day and realized, I’ve got this under my fingers now, and it’s time to change my environment. For young players, it’s important to pay attention to who you invest your time in. When you’re starting out, any playing is practice, but you have to have the business acumen to decide which situations will benefit you. The biggest attraction for Dwight and I was that we had nothing to gain from each other except for what the two of us could make musically. He had 20 great songs, and they were going to knock down doors.
Has there been any point for you that the music got lost?
No, never. You can’t lose it.
How do you keep it fresh?
Well, I love to play. I was an art brain rather than a math brain as a kid, writing poetry and drawing. When I learned to play guitar it wasn’t to copy Beatles songs – which isn’t a bad thing – it was an outlet for me to create. It was expression, and that’s what keeps me doing this – the opportunity to create a melodic concept that I hear in my head. And I’ve been fortunate that people like that and I’ve been able to make a living doing it.
Your music mixes a lot of different styles – Americana, pop, rock – and although this may be an easy question, do you consider this your art?
Absolutely. Making an album is a piece of art. It’s not three singles and taking care of your buddies at publishing companies. Even though the album may be going away because of digital downloading, I still think that if we’re going to sit down and do ten songs, this is going to be a piece of work that looks like a tapestry. Everything has its purpose on the record.
Drawing from so many different places, it must be nice that you’ve never gotten stuck in a category.
I definitely want to cross boundaries. I’ve listened to a lot of music. When I was younger you could check out albums at a nearby library, so I would take records out from people that I had never heard of and store these things in the card catalog in my brain. Now I might be working on a contemporary record and be inspired to listen to a Hank Williams, Sr. record, and end up pulling out a little clicky thing on the high-hat.
I look at it as a palette, like when an artist paints, except with all the music I’ve ever heard. I might eliminate some colors depending on the artist I am working with, but I can look at the music and say, “This needs more red.” But things have changed recently; with programs like ProTools, the way I make records has evolved.
What are you playing on today?
I’ve partnered up with Reverend Guitars. They’re making a Pete Anderson model called the Cool Deal, based on an old Epiphone Joe Pass – a Korean laminated guitar – that I modified. I just got the prototype two weeks ago.
What else are you working on?
Jean Larrivee and I are looking into creating a mini-line of Pete Anderson guitars, kind of like a Stella with an almost retro cosmetic to them. We’ve got some different tuning ideas – a couple things that have never been done for at least one of them. Plus I’m still running my label, Little Dog, and coming out with a new blues album soon.
|Pete’s ASGN Gearbox
Here’s what Pete plugged in for his live performance: