According to Jol Dantzig, the way to learn about something is to deconstruct it. Jol has always been fascinated by stuff that comes apart—toys, telephones, televisions, motorcycles, cars and guitars. His father had tools, and he used them to dismantle almost everything in his parents' house. Then, Jol graduated to building things - model airplanes, bicycles, cameras, choppers, amplifiers, and since 1973—guitars. It's in Jol's nature and in his blood. "I don't do this for money or fame" says Jol, "I do it because it's who I am. I've been lucky to have been able to support myself doing the things I love. It hasn’t been easy, but if it were, it wouldn’t be worth doing."
JOL DANTZIG'S CARRER
When Jol has held jobs, they've almost always been making or fixing things—factory jobs, chopper parts shops, machine shop and technician jobs. He's been employed by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Guild, Ovation and was a founding partner of Hamer Guitars. His designs have won eight Editor's Pick awards from Guitar Player Magazine—with one achieving a "perfect" score in every category. Awards are nice—Jol's are in a box somewhere.
JOL DANTZIG'S CLIENTS
Jol has designed instruments for Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons, Rick Nielsen, John Lennon, George Harrison, Sting, Keb' Mo', KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Lyle Workman, Jeff Ament, Mark Knopfler, Eric Johnson, Martin Barre, Johnny Ramone, Tom Peterson, Elliot Easton, Brad Gillis, Roy Buchannan, Jeff Watson, Glen Campbell, James Honeyman Scott, John Abercrombie, Andy Summers, Larry Coreyell, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Stevens. A lot of these artists have become lifelong friends which, according to Jol is really the best part.
Jol's consulting business allows him to put his vast experience to good use, helping other builders and companies large and small achieve their goals and dreams. Some of Jol's clients include Mesa Boogie, Jim Dunlop, Nady Systems, Gibson Guitars, Yamaha and Takamine just to name a few.
Jol's musical credits include a short list of crappy regional bands as well as playing and/or recording with people like Wilson Pickett, Sam Lay, Freddie Scott, Jon Tiven, Shaw-Blades, Jim Carroll and Frank Black. Jol's compositions have been featured in films and on television, and he is a published author on the art and science of guitars and their construction. He likes dogs and cats and is also a semi-retired race car driver who always drives the speed limit. Almost always.
Despite all he's done so far, Jol still feels he's doing his best work right now.