Buddy Blaze's death announced: Fans mourn guitar-making legend

Olivia Olphin August 18, 2021
Buddy Blaze's death announced: Fans mourn guitar-making legend


The sad news was shared this morning that guitar-making legend Buddy Blaze had passed away. He personalised instruments for some of rock music’s most famous guitarists and many fans can’t believe Buddy Blaze is really dead. We remember his incredible work, as his friends take to social media to pay their respects.

Meet guitar legend Buddy Blaze

Buddy Blaze was known for his detailed and original guitar designs. His skill was to adapt guitars to the specific needs of the guitarist, including Def Leppard star Vivian Campbell, and Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister.

Blaze is the designer behind the Kramer Nightswan and The Dean From Hell. He started ‘hot-rodding’ in Dallas in 1985, and used his woodworking and machining background to transform guitars.

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Vivian Campbell has spoken about his relationship with Buddy. They met in spring 1987 in Dallas, Texas.

Buddy was displaying some of his guitars, and Campbell was looking for something new. They worked together to design a guitar, known as the ‘Shredder VC1’, with jumbo frets. The guitar was made for ease of play and maximum note frequency.

You can see this iconic blue polka-dot guitar in Whitesnakes’s video Here I Go Again.

Blaze is survived by his wife Joyce, who helped him to start Buddy Blaze Fine Stringed Instruments in Hawaii in 2005.

They had one son together, Matt. However, he passed away following a drug overdose in 2009 at the age of only 31.

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Buddy Blaze’s death announced on social media

Social media users who knew Buddy Blaze shared the news of his death early this morning.

JAM magazine wrote:

“Dallas icon and guitar designer Buddy Blaze has passed. He was loved by many local and national guitarists across the country as a guitar-maker and all round supporter of rock music. Buddy was also a great patron of the DFW music scene and regularly attended shows with friends, musicians and fans alike.”

Texas-based band Chastity called Blaze a “legend in the guitar-making world”.

Fans and friends share memories of Buddy online

Friends, colleagues and fans have taken to social media to share their respects for the late guitar-maker. They have shared some of their favourite things about Buddy, as many still can’t believe he’s no longer with us.

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We send our condolences to Joyce and Buddy’s family during this difficult time.

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Olivia Olphin is a freelance writer at GRV Media. She graduated with a first in English Literature from UCL and with a distinction from the Broadcast Journalism MA at City University. She has three years of freelance journalism experience and during this time she has worked for companies such as Eurosport and Times Radio. Her particular areas of expertise include film, theatre, and TV; she will most likely be found bingeing the newest fantasy or Marvel series! Olivia has many years of reviewing experience, working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.