Iconic guitar builder loses his home to the California Flames

More than 50 Years of work gone in a few hours!

The fires raging in California has taken many lives, and even more homes and legendary guitar builder Wayne Charvel is just one of many who lost his home to the flames.

Years of custom tool making, template designing, one-of-a-kind guitar making for very well know artists, and a lot more gone in just a few hours.

You can read this heart touching story below.

“Among the homes lost to the still-raging Camp Fire was that of legendary guitar builder Wayne Charvel, who produced guitars for Van Halen, ZZ Top, and Deep Purple. Inventor of the “superstrat” and pioneer of aftermarket guitar modifications, Charvel helped define the flashy look and punchy sound of an entire era of hard rock and metal. His shop was tangible proof of his legacy, filled with one-of-a-kind guitars in progress and vintage and homemade tools. Now, all of it is ash.

We spoke with Wayne’s son Michael, who runs Wayne Guitars with his father. Michael’s home was also destroyed in the fire, as were the homes of his twin brothers, his sister, and his uncle. Here’s his account of the fire and the implications for what it means for his family going forward.


He had a lot of vintage tools. One was a Bridgeport mill from the 1940s. That mill was an incredible tool for cutting out templates and routing cavities for pickups. With vintage tools, as a generalization, all that stuff was built in that era in America when things were super heavy-duty, the metals in the old machinery were better. That mill would last me my lifetime and another person’s lifetime. Short of a fire nothing would happen to it. A lot of the new machinery nowadays is made over in Taiwan and China so the quality suffers. They’re not built as robust as the old stuff was.”

Read the rest of the of the story here.