The legendary workshop of Charvel Guitars has burned down in the California wildfires. Even worse, the home of founder Wayne Charvel, has been destroyed, as were the homes of five other Charvel family members.
According to CNN, the Camp Fire (one of three raging across California) has killed 77 people and destroyed more than 10,500 homes. The fires have killed a total of 80 and left nearly 1,000 missing, according to ABC News.
Charvel is one of heavy metal’s most iconic guitar brands, used by axemen like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Vinnie Vincent, George Lynch and Joe Duplantier. Wayne Charvel’s son Michael reported the factory’s destruction to Popular Mechanis.
“After we evacuated, my brother-in-law, the fire chief, checked on all of our places including our workshop. He said, ‘I’m sorry to tell you guys but there’s nothing here anymore.’ Gone. My dad’s got years and years making the templates and the jigs and all the tooling and the custom bits and in less than a couple hours, everything was destroyed. He’s been building guitars since 1959. A lifetime of work is destroyed in a couple hours … On my street alone, five people died in their cars trying to escape. There were only three ways out of Paradise and two of them were on fire so everyone was trying to get out on the one main road there.”
“Any guitar we have that we were working on before the fire will get finished. I just don’t know when it’s going to be. I’m trying to tell people, thank you, we love you all. We’re trying to get back to you in a reasonable time.”
The Charvel family have launched a GoFundMe page to help the entire family in their hour of need. As of this posting, the fundraising campaign has raised $32,000 of its $100,000 goal.