On Saturday May 1, The Music Zoo hosted Jackson/Charvel Day, an awesome free-to-the-public event. If you love Jackson and Charvel guitars, and were anywhere near the Northeastern United States, the only place to be that afternoon was right inside our humble showroom, where legendary Masterbuilder Mike Shannon, Product Manager Mike McGregor, Custom Shop Sales Manager Mike Kotzen, and Artist Relations Manager Nick Bowcott were all on hand, having flown in from California, and were surrounded by literally dozens and dozens of the finest custom guitars from both Jackson and Charvel. As Nick Bowcott put it, “The only way to see this many of these guitars in one place is to go to the NAMM Show, or to the factory itself.” Oh yeah, and we gave away dozens of prizes, including a hand-painted San Dimas Charvel by Dan Lawrence. Did you miss it? No worries, it was awesome, so we’ll do it again. In the meantime, hit the jump for the full details including pictures and videos.
We attracted a capacity crowd inside the store, and we think the Jackson/Charvel guys were pretty impressed with the enthusiasm of The Music Zoo’s customers and Jackson/Charvel fans from the New York Area. In the video above, Nick Bowcott, Mike McGregor, and Mike Kotzen give short presentations to the crowd on what The Music Zoo means to them, and to the Jackson/Charvel brand, and then we got to what everyone was waiting for, the Custom Shop San Dimas giveaway! The Zoo has been partnering with Charvel for years now on exclusive custom guitars like the San Dimas Natural Series, and our Nitro Aged San Dimas guitars, and the Charvel guys are very supportive of these guitars and the ideas behind them. The Music Zoo’s owner, Tommy Colletti, has been a Jackson/Charvel fanatic since he bought his first San Dimas Charvel brand new back in the early ’80s, and has a great rapport with the builders and managers at Charvel. They “get” what Tommy is doing with our custom runs, and Tommy “gets” what they are doing with the brands, and the mutual respect was definitely there.
Charvel Product Manager Mike McGregor is pictured here with a wild double-neck, 12-string/6-string Jackson. They brought a bunch of very cool guitars from California, for display and sale, and when we added those to the staggering number of guitars The Music Zoo was already displaying, it was a jaw dropping sight, undoubtedly what Mike is reacting to in this photo.
Here is Masterbuilder Mike Shannon (center, gray shirt) with Tommy Colletti on the left, Mike Kotzen on the right and behind him is Mike McGregor again and a man in a red shirt who does not know that he is about to win a guitar worth over $3,000.00. More on that in a minute. Mike Shannon is one of the most recognizable guitar builders in the world, having worked for Jackson/Charvel for over 30 years and who originally built the guitar for Randy Rhoads that went on to inspire the entire Randy Rhoads guitar line. He is pretty much a legend both in and out of the factory. Not only was the event itself fun, full of jokes and humor, but we also stayed out late into the night in New York with these guys and they are just as much fun after hours.
The guy in the Dime T-Shirt who looks like he’s ready to knock some heads together is none other than Nick Bowcott, who is now the Artist Relations Manager for Jackson/Charvel, but is better known as the guitarist and founding member of British heavy metal band Grim Reaper. Nick is a great player and is a really entertaining and funny guy. He was a big hit with all the Jackson/Charvel fans on hand, and acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
One of the big draws of the event was the giveaway of the “Route 66” Custom Shop Charvel San Dimas guitar with unique colored pencil artwork by Dan Lawrence, valued at well over $3,000.00. Pictured here is Music Zoo owner Tommy Colletti (left) with the lucky winner, John Schaffer. Congrats John! Dozens more people walked away with free prizes, including bar stools, t-shirts, and hats. Overall, we felt that the event was a huge success, and had a great time with all the fans who turned out, and with all the folks from Jackson/Charvel too. Big thanks to all the customers and fans who made the trip, and thanks again to the “3 Mikes” (McGregor, Shannon, and Kotzen), Nick Bowcott, and Regional Sales Manager David Waters as well. More images available in the gallery below.