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John Page

Meet John Page, among the greatest living custom luthiers

“I’m excited by the opportunity to make my guitars available to more people.” John Page


John Page... Artist, Rebel, Visionary, Leader
Bio
  • Co-Founded and led Fender Custom Shop*
  • Led Fender Guitar Research & Development
  • Created legendary guitars for Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Elliot Easton and Cesar Rosas, many more
  • Designed acclaimed guitars in conjunction with Harley Davidson, Playboy, Jaguar
  • Over 20 years at Fender and over 40 years designing and building guitars
  • Prominently featured in The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop, by Tom Wheeler (Hal Leonard, 2011), Fender Custom Shop Guitar Gallery, by Richard Smith (Hal Leonard, 1996), The Stratocaster Chronicles, by Tom Wheeler (Hal Leonard, 2004) and many others.
  • Directly taught and mentored many of the leading luthiers in the industry
  • Joined forces with Howard Swimmer, Founder & CEO of HRS Unlimited, parent company of John Page Classic, in order to make his elite custom designs more accessible
  • John Page Classic Ashburn model named to Guitar Player Hall of Fame
  • Continues to build a limited number of custom guitars at his John Page Guitars workshop in southern Oregon.
In His Words
Me, with my daughter Ashley “Burner”, and her namesake Ashburn guitar.
“Well, here I am… Forty-three years after building my first guitar. I have sculpted thousands of pieces of wood into musical instruments, and put pencil to paper designing models that have been produced in the tens of thousands. Most with the very proud Fender name on the peghead. From the humble Fender Bullet to the glorious Fender Harley Davidson Stratocaster… and then to my own John Page Custom Guitar line, from the P-1 to art guitars and double-necks, and now to the John Page Classic Ashburn. It has been a most wonderful journey, and one that is still very much going full throttle. This is the next phase of that journey, having my designs produced by one of the finest workshops that I have known for decades. Being watched and supervised by people whom I have known, respected, and worked with for over 30 years. An incredibly well built guitar, with all of the features I build into my hand-built custom models, for about a third of the cost. Finally, I can get my custom guitar designs into more player’s hands… Welcome to John Page Classic… what a rush!" - John Page
b. 1957
Son of a conservative preacher, comes of age as rock n’ roll and the California surf culture explode onto the scene. Chooses the red pill: leaves home, surfs, works as a janitor in California oil fields, toils in fast food joints, starts a band, designs jewelry, builds an electric guitar, returns home, leaves home again – and writes songs.
1975
At age 18 works in an LA metals and plastics warehouse while gigging at night. One of their customers is Fender...
1978
May 21: Twenty-one year-old John Page’s first day at Fender. Assigned to factory floor, where he buffs guitar necks … then buffs more guitar necks. Soon promoted to model maker for Fender R&D. Builds guitar and amp prototypes based on drawings from Fender designers. Builds special guitars for Fender artists.
1980
At age 23 (only in America) named a Guitar Designer for Fender R&D, working side-by-side with the legendary Freddy Tavares, a creator of the Fender Stratocaster. Tavares mentors Page and treats him like a son.
1981
Designs his first Fender guitar, the Bullet, a successful Telecaster-shaped value guitar with a unique 1-piece metal pickguard/bridge combo. Gradually begins designing higher-end guitars. like the Vintage, Elite, and Performer Series’ as well as many others.
1986
After nine prolific years at Fender, takes 11-month hiatus to give his music one final shot. While in hot pursuit of a record deal Page learns that the Fender Custom Shop, an idea he and others had championed for several years, is a real possibility.
1987
Rejoins Fender in early 1987 as Co-Founder, with noted luthier Michael Stevens, of the spanking new Fender Custom Shop. Leads Fender Custom Shop for the next 12 years; the first three with Stevens. During this period he’s at the epicenter of what’s come to be known as “The Dream Factory” – arguably the most creative era in contemporary guitar history.
Creates guitars for artists including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Elliot Easton and Cesar Rosas, to name a few. Designs acclaimed guitars in conjunction with Harley Davidson, Playboy, and Jaguar automobiles. Prominently featured in The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop, by Tom Wheeler (Hal Leonard, 2011), Fender Custom Shop Guitar Gallery, by Richard Smith (Hal Leonard, 1996), The Stratocaster Chronicles, by Tom Wheeler (Hal Leonard, 2004) and many others.
Equally important, fosters a culture of creativity that attracts and/or nurtures leading luthiers like Fred Stuart, the late John English, J.W. Black, John Suhr, Yasuhiko Iwanade, Larry Brooks, Art Esparza, Gene Baker, Stephen Stern, Mark Kendrick, and more. Relic guitars, art guitars, countless additional design breakthroughs – all occur under Page design leadership.
1998
Leaves Fender Custom Shop to become founding Executive Director of the Fender Museum of Music and the Arts. Creates a 33,000 sq. ft. museum, education, performance and recording facility in Corona, CA – focused on free music education for kids.
2003
Relocates to the Southern Oregon forest, takes a break from guitars and designs and builds functional art furniture.
2006
John Page Custom Guitars launches in mid-2006. The custom line grows to six guitar models, a bass, and a line of hand-made wood and stainless steel bridge saddles (JP Woodtone) and innovative art guitars.
2014
Joins forces with HRS Unlimited, headed by leading MI executive Howard Swimmer, in order to produce and sell a production version of his Ashburn Custom guitar model and Bloodline® by John Page pickups - enabling many more players to experience his design perspective. (Hear John Page describe the Ashburn – video).
2015
Launched in April 2015, the John Page Classic Ashburn is rapidly embraced by players and reviewers and is named to the Guitar Player Magazine Hall of Fame in September. It is one of only four guitar models to win this honor, and the only new guitar brand. Hall of Fame status comes in addition to Guitar Player Editor’s Pick designation, a Guitar World Platinum Award, and stellar reviews in Vintage Guitar and The Gear Page webzine. The Ashburn is simultaneously embraced by leading artists including Eric Gales, Mark Knopfler, Fred Armisen, Scott Sharrard (Gregg Allman’s guitarist), and Andy Aledort (Dickey Betts), a leading guitar instructor
Beyond &...

The magic continues: John Page Classic introduces the Ashburn HH, featuring Bloodline® by John Page JP-2 Dual Humbuckers. The newest creations born from John’s Uniquely Familiar™ custom design aesthetic, they are available at select John Page Classic dealers and on this website, and will be featured at NAMM 2016.

*Fender, Stratocaster, and Telecaster are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation