One of the most exciting moments yet at NAMM 2010 for us was the unveiling of the Jackson Randy Rhoads Relic Tribute Model. Randy’s bother Kelle and sister Kathy (pictured above, along with the Tribute prototype) as well as guitarist Scott Ian were on hand to talk about Randy’s legacy and his impact on music. It got a bit emotional with the family there clearly feeling Randy’s presence in the room. Kathy and Kelle are great people and it was a pleasure to meet them and talk about Randy with his family. After the jump, let’s talk about the guitar.
Randy’s Tribute Model is a direct replica of his original 1980 Jackson asymmetrical V-shaped guitar that he personally designed. He intended to call this body style the “Concorde” and it is widely regarded as the “first pointy guitar”. The original guitar had been kept at the Rhoads’ family music school since his death, and they say the case had not been opened in over 20 years when Chip Ellis and Mike Shannon arrived to inspect and measure every aspect of it. The neck was straight, and it was still in tune, amazingly. Seeing the guitar in person revealed details that were only previously seen in photos, such as the real ebony and sterling steel truss rod cover. Randy’s original guitar was built in 1980 by Tim Wilson and Mike Shannon. Mike Shannon is still with Jackson today and he’ll personally build the extremely limited run of 60 guitars.
One of the most noticeable “customizations” that Randy did to his guitar is the black tape all over the back. We were puzzled by that and had to ask, and we were told that when Randy was on tour with Ozzy during the Diary of a Madman Tour, Sharon Osbourne insisted that no one be visible on stage until the lights came up. So, Randy covered the back of the guitar with non-reflective tape (he did this to his black guitar also) and would flip it up so the white was not visible until the lights came on. Of course, the Tribute Model replicates the tape.
Randy was one of the most influential rock guitar players in history, and this is the defining Randy guitar. The Music Zoo will be a dealer of the Tribute model, so please let us know if you have any questions. The guitar comes in a stenciled Anvil case, and the whole project has the Rhoads family blessing. The price? Retail pricing is based on Randy’s birthday, which is December 6, 1956. Retail is set at $12,619.56.
Here is our footage from the unveiling, enjoy: