True or false: Randy Rhoads named the first Jackson Rhoads prototype guitar model the “Concorde” after the supersonic aircraft of the same name.
That’s right—the second custom V-shaped guitar built at the behest of the late, great Randy Rhoads was in fact named after the turbojet-powered Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic passenger airliner, a type of British/French aircraft that first flew in 1969, entered trans-Atlantic service in 1976 and was retired 2003.
It was this guitar that would later launch the Bloodline by becoming the first Jackson guitar model, and it was this guitar design that would become known worldwide and beloved throughout metaldom to this day as the Jackson Randy Rhoads.
Aside from the fact that both aircraft and guitar are sleek, sharp, triangular and unbelievably fast, the actual connection is a little more obscure. Allow us to explain.
Randy Rhoads left Quiet Riot to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band in late 1979, and he spent much of 1980 touring Europe with his new boss, playing his first custom-built V-shaped guitar model. To get Rhoads back to States that December for Christmas, Osbourne booked passage for his phenomenal new guitarist aboard the Concorde.
Evidently inspired by his supersonic mode of transport, Rhoads conceived of a new guitar model during the flight home and decided then and there to call it the Concorde.
As soon as he arrived back in California, Rhoads contacted Grover Jackson directly about transforming his hastily scribbled sketches into reality, and the rest is history. Rhoads met with Jackson at the guitar maker’s San Dimas, Calif., shop on Dec. 23, 1980; the result very soon afterward was an asymmetrical V-shaped guitar with the bottom wing shorter than the top, neck-through-body construction, a white finish with pinstripes and, for the first time ever, the name “Jackson” on the headstock.