Some people aspire to have a Picasso hanging on the wall. Some dream of a greek sculpture adorning their garden. And some people just want a white-bearded wizard riding a lightning bolt across the front of their guitar. That’s us. Guitar artwork exploded in the 1980s and Jackson/Charvel was at the forefront, bringing highly customized and original artwork to the public. From famous album covers to pop art images to modern, abstract designs, the artists who painted guitars for Jackson back in the day cranked out thousands of original pieces of airbrushed and hand-painted art on the surface of Jackson and Charvel’s electric guitars and basses.
We recently got our hands on one of the rare photo books that Jackson would make for dealers throughout the ’80s and into the ’90s; it contains dozens of 3″x5″ photos of freshly painted, not-yet-assembled guitar and bass bodies with custom artwork. (Update: Many of the pictures in this book are actually of other guitar brands, but painted at Jackson. BC Rich, Rand, and Moser are some of the bodies mixed in here.) It was so much fun for us to look through it that we decided we’d scan them and bring them to you, too. We have a ton of these photos, and will be posting them to the blog regularly. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of old-school Jackson art goodness: