About Chappell Guitars


Chappell Guitars was established in 1969.  I began as a teenager building fine custom instruments, unusual and usual.  I soon moved into repairing guitars when it became apparent that having an instrument in good working order was the priority for most musicians.

Over the past decades I have repaired/restored literally 1000’s of instruments, mostly guitars.  I developed
the reputation as the person who could handle any repair, no matter how difficult.  And, indeed, all the repair and restoration work was ultimately the best training possible for custom building.

During the eighties and nineties musical instrument companies, even the top contenders, began mega-mass producing guitars, basses, etc., generating a glut of mediocre instruments.  During this time it was difficult to find a real hand-made instrument, and I designed and built many custom instruments for individual musicians.

I began to build relationships with other companies that still had as their main focus building fine instruments.  For example, Fender needed a  west-coast repair representative, and Chappell Guitars became the factory authorized service dealer at the highest level in 1978 and maintained this relationship until recently.

I still do repairs and restorations while at the same time focusing on custom building for performers and prototyping for other larger companies.

The following is a selected list of clients and collaborators I have worked with over the years:

Musical Instrument Companies

Fender Musical Instruments:  Gold–Gold-Gold  factory-authorized service center 1978 - 2009

Gibson:  factory-authorized service center 1980 -1985

Nation Resophonic:  factory-authorized service center 1985-present

Roland:  factory-authorized service center 1985 -2001

RMC Pickups:  authorized premier installer/prototype developer 1985- present

Clevinger Bass:  co-designer and builder with Martin Clevinger-1998-present


Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings

Elvin Bishop Band

John Lee Hooker

Johnny Winter Band

Tom Waits

Dave Mason

Steve Miller Band

Quicksilver Messenger Service (the original w/ Gary Duncan)

And other Bay Area bands too numerous to mention

Music Stores

Numerous small and large music stores from Seattle to Los Angeles, sometimes only a single tough repair, sometimes a longer term repair agreement.  It’s very unusual for a music store to have an in-house repair facility that can repair, for example, a broken neck.

Sound Recording Studios

Hyde street studios, San Francisco:  recording tech and guitar wrangler

Prairie Sun Studios, Sebastopol, CA:  guitar wrangler, studio setup tech

Bay Studios, Richmond, CA:  guitar wrangler and engineer

Underscore Studios, Los Angeles:  guitar wrangler, studio tech , computer wrangler (see tv and movie credit)

Television and Movie Credits

Underscore Studios , Los Angeles:  computer wrangler, engineering  and recording.

In collaboration with Shirley Walker, composer, I worked on the following films:  Alien Invasion II, Escape From LA, and many smaller independent films and short animations; and the following television episodes:  Space Above and Beyond, Paramount Studios, as recording engineer and computer specialist/special effects, and Strar Trek the Next Generation, Paramount Studios, guitar wrangler on one episode where weird and odd musical instruments  (all working) were shown in the bar of the Enterprise.