Who I am



The Modern Vintage Bloodline

Above all, I’m an artist. I’ve been lucky to scratch out a living doing what I enjoy. People sometimes call me the “Godfather of Boutique,” but I’m not sure that’s accurate. I do believe that my first guitars, starting  in 1973, were the earliest successful “Modern Vintage” custom electric guitars on the scene. My love of vintage instruments led me to buy, sell, and trade instruments from the golden age of American guitars, and that’s the DNA that’s infused in everything I do.

A Little About My “Career”

When I’ve held jobs, they’ve almost always been making or fixing things—factory jobs, chopper parts shops, machine shop and technician jobs. I’ve been employed by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Guild, Ovation and was a founding partner  and owner of Hamer Guitars. My designs have won eight Editor’s Pick awards from Guitar Player Magazine—with one achieving a “perfect” score in every category. Awards are nice—mine are in a box somewhere. I’ve never done anything in order to be rich or famous, and so far it has worked—I’m neither.

My Clients

I’ve designed instruments for Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons, Rick Nielsen, John Lennon, George Harrison, Sting, Keb’ Mo’, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Lyle Workman, Jeff Ament, Mark Knopfler, Eric Johnson, Martin Barre, Johnny Ramone, Tom Peterson, Elliot Easton, Brad Gillis, Roy Buchannan, Jeff Watson, Glen Campbell, James Honeyman Scott, John Abercrombie, Andy Summers, Larry Coreyell, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Stevens—and more than I can remember right now. A lot of these artists have become lifelong friends which is really the best part.

Other Stuff

My musical credits include a short list of crappy regional bands as well as playing and/or recording with people I had no business sharing the stage with like Wilson Pickett, Sam Lay, Freddie Scott, Jon Tiven, Shaw-Blades, Jim Carroll and Frank Black. My compositions have been featured in films and on television, and I am a published author on the art and science of guitars and their construction. I like dogs and cats. I am a semi-retired race car driver who always drives the speed limit. Almost always.

Despite all I’ve done so far, I still feel I’m doing my best work right now.

If you desire one of my Signature Series or “Team Built” instruments please contact me directly, I’d love to discuss a project with you.