GRD (GUITAR RESEARCH AND DESIGN)
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GRD (GUITAR RESEARCH AND DESIGN)
Instruments previously built in South Strafford, VT between 1978 and 1982. Distributed initially by United Marketing International of Grapevine, TX; distribution was later retained by Guitar Reseach and Design.
GRD (Guitar Reseach and Design) was founded in 1978 by luthier/designer Charles Fox. The Guitar Reseach and Design company grew out of the School of Guitar Research and Design Center, which was founded by Fox in South Strafford, VT in 1973. The GRD Center was the first guitar building school in North America. The GRD company workforce consisted of graduates from the school.
GRD first advertised in Guitar Player magazine in October of 1978, and their guitars were distributed by United Marketing International of Grapevine, Texas. This same issue also featured pictures of their Chicago NAMM booth on page 23, while page 24 showed a picture of then-GP columnist and vintage guitar expert George Gruhn holding one of their double cutaway models. The ads in the November and December 1978 issues of Guitar Player announced that they were available direct to the musician and to select professional sound shops around the country. A letter to customers during this time period who had requested the company's brochures announced that GRD had broken ties with their distributor.
George Gruhn's January 1979 Guitar Player column featured GRD instruments. Gruhn called them "one of the most interesting guitars I saw at the entire (NAMM) show and are capable of producing almost any type of sound. The instruments are beautifully crafted, and while modernistic in design, they were tasteful, reserved, and elegant. It is a significant instrument that demonstrates the future potential in both electrical and physical design." The last mention of GRD was in the January 1981 issue of Guitar Player magazine, in which Jim Nollman stated that Charles Fox was designing him a 3/4-size guitar to use in playing slide guitar in Jim's attempt to communicate with whales. And you thought that slide guitar playing only perked up the ears of dogs in the neighborhood!
GRD closed its doors in 1982, and Fox moved to San Francisco to pursue other interests. Fox became a biofeedback therapist, yoga instructor, and professional gambler as he stayed out of the guitar business. However, the lure of teaching and the world of lutherie beckoned, and Fox started the American School of Luthiery in Healdsburg, California. In 1998, Fox also returned to guitar manufacturing as he founded the C. FOX guitar company and later Charles Fox Guitars, which is currently building high quality acoustic guitars. Source: Vincent Motel, G R D Historian.

From Blue Book Publications:


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