bout me? Well, I’m just this old guy that makes guitars. But to get old, you have to start young, and I can recall once upon a time being young.
For me it began somewhere around 1962, I had already made a considerable pest of myself at the local Fender dealer, Marvin Kay’s Music Center. Those guys kinda embraced me 'cause at the young age of 17, I had already shown a talent for absorbing what was taught to me about guitars and applying it. So my first “job” came one afternoon when I was asked to set up Roy Orbison’s guitar, Woo Hoo.. I was thrilled, and can’t remember if anyone actually paid me.
This was the “Garage Band” era, when everyone was playing The Venture’s “Walk Don’t Run” or a stack of Buddy Holly tunes. It was a great time, if you knew C, F, and G7 and C, Am, F, G, you could play ‘em all.
The band I found myself in had a Sonic Blue Mustang in it. The owner wanted a red one, so I was in the refinishing business. Hey, get this, back then all you had to do was write to Fender in Fullerton, and ask for a replacement decal and a week later a few would show up in the mail, cool huh?
I’m not going to bore ya to death, but in the ensuing years, I got to know and work with CA Turner of the American Music Store here in Jacksonville, a classically trained musician that studied under Segovia, the boy could play. He taught me the basics and allowed me to work for a Mastertone Banjo, a Martin D 28, and a few other guitars, but the real deal was the education I walked away with when he retired some where around ’75. He was the local C F Martin shop and I got to learn as he worked on and repaired those marvelous old classic Dreadnaughts.
It was during the late 70’s when I began experimenting with making my own guitars. With the awful stuff CBS Fender was putting out it was almost necessary if you wanted a decent Strat. I got pretty good at it, wrote a few books to help others who wanted to give it a try, and that brings us to today.
Now I make my publications and custom guitars available for those that seek the finest.
And while I love building, and playing guitars, the most fun has been raising my two daughters with their mother, to whom I’ve been married for 42 years. They rewarded Debbie and I with two sons-in-law and 4 absolutely amazing grandchildren, it doesn’t get any better. So I guess you could say I’m a creature of habit, I have habitually stayed with the woman I love for all these years, and developed the habit of watching my grand Kids grow and lovin’ every minute.
Ron Kirn has been Published!
5 Tele-Style Builders You Should Know
published in Premier Guitar Magazine
January 2009 Issue