Designer of Dimebag’s Most Famous Axe Suing Dean Guitars
Certain iconic guitarists will be forever associated with a certain make and model of their instrument. If you think of Eddie Van Halen, you think of a striped Kramer. If you think of Slash, you think of a tabacco burst Les Paul. And if you think of Dimebag, you think of his Dean from Hell.
Unsurprisingly, Dean sells guitars that look just like Dime’s, ranging in price from $700 to $4,000 dollars, depending on what kinds of bells and whistles you get (the more expensive ones even come with “A limited edition custom hardshell case and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Dime’s brother Vinnie Paul”).
Also unsurprisingly, the guy who designed the original Dean from Hell wants to be paid for his work.
Buddy Webster, a.k.a. “Buddy Blaze,” has filed a lawsuit against Dean Guitars and their parent company, Armadillo Distribution Enterprises, Inc., claiming that he made the original Dean from Hell, and has never been paid from his work. According to the suit, Blaze and Dime became friends while both were living in Arlington, TX in the ’80s; Dime won a Dean ML model in a contest, which he sold to the singer of Blaze’s band, despite Blaze’s assertion that one “should not sell trophies.” Unbeknownst to Dime, Blaze bought the instrument back, “modified the neck of the guitar, changed some of the hardware, and stripped the paint” before he “designed a new visual look for the guitar” — specifically, the thunderbolt design we all know so well today. He then gifted the modified instrument to Dime, and the rest is history.
Blaze’s suit seeks monetary compensation for lost sales and to halt from continuing to profit from his design.
I would imagine Dean’s counter-argument will be something to the effect of, “The guitar was never commissioned, there was never a contract, and Blaze’s work is entirely based on our original product to begin with,” but I have no idea. It’s hard for me to imagine that the end result of all of this is that Dean stops selling the guitars… my money would be on some sort of out-of-court settlement compensating Blaze and cutting him in on future sales. But again, I’m speculating here.
You can read the entire lawsuit below. We’ll let you know if there’s any kind of public resolution at a later date.
[via Metal Insider]