Who is Ron Kirn
About me? Well, I’m just this old guy that makes guitars. But to get old, you have to start young, and I can recall once upon a time being young.
For me it began somewhere around 1962, I had already made a considerable pest of myself at the local Fender dealer, Marvin Kay’s Music Center. Those guys kinda embraced me 'cause at the young age of 17, I had already shown a talent for absorbing what was taught to me about guitars and applying it. So my first “job” came one afternoon when I was asked to set up Roy Orbison’s guitar, Woo Hoo.. I was thrilled, and can’t remember if anyone actually paid me.
This was the “Garage Band” era, when everyone was playing The Venture’s “Walk Don’t Run” or a stack of Buddy Holly tunes. It was a great time, if you knew C, F, and G7 and C, Am, F, G, you could play ‘em all.
The band I found myself in had a Sonic Blue Mustang in it. The owner wanted a red one, so I was in the refinishing business. Hey, get this, back then all you had to do was write to Fender in Fullerton, and ask for a replacement decal and a week later a few would show up in the mail, cool huh?
I’m not going to bore ya to death, but in the ensuing years, I got to know and work with CA Turner of the American Music Store here in Jacksonville, a classically trained musician that studied under Segovia, the boy could play. He taught me the basics and allowed me to work for a Mastertone Banjo, a Martin D 28, and a few other guitars, but the real deal was the education I walked away with when he retired some where around ’75. He was the local C F Martin shop and I got to learn as he worked on and repaired those marvelous old classic Dreadnaughts.
It was during the late 70’s when I began experimenting with making my own guitars. With the awful stuff CBS Fender was putting out it was almost necessary if you wanted a decent Strat. I got pretty good at it, wrote a few books to help others who wanted to give it a try, and that brings us to today.
Now I make my publications and custom guitars available for those that seek the finest.
And while I love building, and playing guitars, the most fun has been raising my two daughters with their mother, to whom I’ve been married for 47 years. They rewarded Debbie and me with two sons-in-law and 4 absolutely amazing grandchildren, it doesn’t get any better. So I guess you could say I’m a creature of habit, I have habitually stayed with the woman I love for all these years, and developed the habit of watching my grandkids grow and lovin’ every minute.
- Ron Kirn