Contact: Clyne Media, Inc.
Tel: (615) 662-1616
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GUITAR CENTER MOURNS THE LOSS OF MANUEL RODRIGUEZ,
— Legendary Spanish guitar maker passed away on December 25,
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, January 30, 2009 —
Guitar Center mourns the loss of legendary classical guitar manufacturer
Manuel Rodríguez, Sr., who passed away on Christmas Day, 2008,
in Madrid. At the time of his passing, Rodríguez’s family
was nearby, and his son, Manuel Jr., recounts being able to personally
sense his soul cross over. Señor Rodríguez is renowned
as one of the finest guitar makers of the Madrid school, and his beloved
company, Manuel Rodríguez & Sons S.L. – a key GC partner
– will continue carrying on his legacy in bringing to market the
very finest classical guitars, preserving the design and quality of
the master himself.
Sr. Rodríguez was born in Madrid in 1926. As a
young man, he learned the craft of constructing flamenco and classical
guitars from such key names as Santos Hernandez, Modesto Borreguero,
Marcelo Barbero, Jose Ramirez and Sr. Rodríguez’s own father.
Under these figures’ tutelage, Sr. Rodríguez grew a deep
appreciation for flamenco music and instruments that are strong and
balanced in sound while being visually beautiful. As he started building
his own guitars, he made a point of continuously striving to innovate
and improve the instrument. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1959, where
he constructed instruments for the lively local music scene and did
research with engineers from UCLA to radically improve guitars’
design, including enhancements to bracings, frets, the bridge and more.
He also established a family, as his wife Emilia gave birth to their
sons, Manuel Jr. and Norman.
Sr. Rodríguez relocated to Spain in the mid-1970s
and developed a dual approach, constructing fully-handmade concert guitars
while also utilizing a specialized workforce, machines and meticulous
quality control to manufacture student guitars with unprecedented standards.
His sons eventually learned their craft from their father, and to this
day Rodríguez & Sons is in large part a family enterprise,
fully run by Manuel Jr., Norman and Emilia. Manuel Sr. was still working
in the shop until a few weeks before his death.
Although Rodríguez called himself “simply
a luthier and guitar maker, neither a good nor a bad one,” that
would be a severe understatement. His guitars have been praised by many
top guitarists and composers, and his book The Art and Craft of
Making Classical Guitars is available in three languages and is
regarded as a definitive work on the subject. Today, Rodríguez
guitars are the gift bestowed by the Federation of Entrepreneurs and
the Chamber of Commerce on presidents and chiefs of state visiting Spain.
In recent years, Sr. Rodríguez was engaged in many
charitable activities, notably partnering with the Guitar Center Music
Foundation and the Carter Center in 2008 to donate one guitar per year
for auction by the Carter Center. The company also hosted former President
Jimmy Carter and GC’s Eric Spitzer in Madrid for a tour of the
Rodríguez & Sons workshop.
“Manuel was a giant in his field, influencing scores
of guitar makers and luthiers that came after him,” stated David
Angress of Guitar Center. “He had a remarkable passion for guitars,
and an intense drive to innovate and fine-tune the craft, while also
being very modest. He was a truly kind, generous and humble man, and
he will continue to inspire the whole M.I. industry long after he’s
gone. I feel blessed to have known him personally and call him my friend
and a friend of Guitar Center’s. The entire GC family sends its
condolences to the Rodríguez family as we mourn Manuel’s
Photo File: ManuelRodriguez_Carter.JPG
Photo Caption: Pictured L-R: Manuel Rodríguez, Jr., President
Jimmy Carter and Manuel Rodríguez, Sr., at a recent meeting to
strengthen a reciprocal charitable relationship among Guitar Center,
the Carter Center and Manuel Rodríguez & Sons S.L. Señor
Rodríguez passed away on December 25, 2008.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers,
percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment.
Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 200 Guitar
Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division
operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale
and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and
students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical
instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary,
Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com.
More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's
Web site at www.guitarcenter.com.
The Guitar Center logo is a registered trademark of
Guitar Center, Inc. Other brand or product names may be trademarks of
the respective companies with which they are associated.
MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Clyne, Clyne Media, Inc., at (615) 662-1616