guy here in Orange County. The
front control pocket today is a little
bit smaller than what is on the origi-
nal Rhoads, and our shark-fin inlays
are larger. On Randy’s original model,
he had binding over the frets—the frets
are installed and filed flush to the edge of
the fretboard. Then the binding is put on
and all filed out between the frets. Today,
we have notched frets—we put the inlays
and binding on, and then press the frets to
where they overlap the top of the binding.
In special-order cases, the customer can still
buy the binding over the frets.
Did you ever meet Randy?
Just briefly as he went through our mill
doing a walkthrough with Grover. Most
of the times he came in, it was after
hours. Being a rock star, he probably
didn’t get up until four in the afternoon.
He seemed like a real nice, quiet kid. He
was older than me at the time, but we
were all kids. Grover described him as a
really nice, reasonable kid.
Who where some of the other clients
wanting custom guitars back then?
I remember guys like Chris Holmes from
W.A.S.P. coming in. Warren DeMartini
from Ratt came in a bunch of times.
Robbin Crosby [also from Ratt] would
come in. Robbin had the King V, but he
1. Sean Silas (left) and Joe Williams at their final-assemply
stations. Photo by Oscar
2. A pin router with a custom
Soloist in progress. Photo by
3. One of the latest prototypes for
Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick
along with one of the body-shape
drawings its based on. It’s routed
for a 3-way toggle in the forward-
most position, followed by a
Volume knob, a Tone knob, and
a coil-tap switch. Photo by
Left: A USA SL2H Soloist
with a mahogany body
and neck-through design
topped with green-stained
quilted maple. Hardware
includes Duncan JB TB- 4
(bridge) and JB (neck)
humbuckers, a 3-way
toggle, and Volume and