One of the biggest things to come out of the recent NAMM show – that strangely got little media attention – was Jackson Guitars’ (owned by Fender) announcement that it is making 60 exact (including relic’d) replicas of Randy Rhoads’ white Jackson.
Thirty will be sold in the U.S. and 30 in the rest of the world, and that’s it. No more will ever be made. (In the vid below, Scott Ian of Anthrax – a Jackson endorser – notes that he’s buying one so that makes 29 for the U.S. And it begs the question: How many of the 30 will be snatched up by famous guys?)
The MSRP is $12,619.56 – a very specific number that’s that way because it’s Randy’s birthday: Dec. 6, 1956. Of course, that’s a lot of coin, but since no more will ever be made and because some signature guitars (e.g., Les Pauls) sell for about the same amount and appreciate really quickly – even though they’re made in larger quantities – that might argue for the Rhoads replica being a solid investment. And that’s what this guitar is, an investment.
I’m no expert, though – just an opinion. Also, if you do decide to plunk down the coin, beware of where you order from given the recent flap over Guitar Center apparently renegging on customer orders for the Gibson Jimmy Page No. 2 Les Paul – and instead auctioning them off or selling them to big-wallet customers.
[After I wrote this, I called a local dealer who talked to his Jackson rep. Turns out – no surprise – that all were sold at the show, to dealers. So if you’re interested, start calling/emailing….]
Concorde, Not Shark
A couple of interesting things came out of the little bit of video shot about the announcement.
One is that even though everyone calls Randy’s white Jackson the shark, and conventional wisdom is that it’s shaped to mimic a shark fin, that might not be right. Randy’s older brother says in the video that after traveling to and from England, Randy became enamored with the Concorde airplane which inspired the white Jackson – which apparently looks like the Concorde’s profile when it’s titled a certain way. (Maybe diehard Randy fans know this already? News to me.)
Other interesting tidbits:
> The Rhoads family wouldn’t let the Fender people see where they keep the guitar (under lock and key). In a different video, the Fender spokesman/marketing guy says the guitar was/is in the UK? Verbal typo?
> This is the first time the original was ever spec’d: All the other Jackson Rhoads models were built based on photos, not the actual guitar.
> The Fender/Jackson people were not allowed to play the guitar. Mrs. Rhoads stipulated that her son was the last to play it, and apparently no one has played it since Randy did in 1982. Randy might have wanted it that way: He apparently had (and there still is) a lot of spare parts in the Concorde guitar case because he didn’t want anyone else to work on the guitar.
> No word yet when the replicas will be available, nor how to order one. Practically zip on the Jackson site.
> Looks like Mike Shannon, one of the original builders of the Concorde along with Tim Wilson, will build the 60 guitars.
> You will see below that Randy’s sister, visibly upset when asked to speak, looks a lot like Randy. Kind of gives you an idea of what he would look like now. Wish he was still here (we miss you, man!).