Vivian Campbell 

Vivian Patrick Campbell Born August 25 1962 in Belfast Northern Ireland Is an Irish Rock Guitarist and a member of Def Leppard, Prior to Joining the band in 1992 he had been a member of Dio, Riverdogs, Whitesnake Trinity & Shadow King. Vivian Campbell has a lot of Rabid fans that really like the guitars he plays

 

The Nightswan was a signature model for Vivian Campbell, the current guitarist in Def Leppard,  Vivian also played for Dio, Whitesnake, and several other bands in the 80's. Vivian was & still is a great guitarist and a fine person !!  I want everyone to know I'm not picking on him, I could have very easily written this story about one of ESP's endorsers !!!!

The Real Nightswan was not actually a Kramer !!! 
Just like The Real Frankenstrat was never really a Kramer either.

Famous Guitarists, Golfers & Football Players
or their management, often engage large corporate companies to build their client's signature model. Even though the original had absolutely nothing to do with that company. This type of nefarious activity is done to get huge royalties from mass production sales thru normal sales channels like Guitar Center. 
 (The uninformed younger kids all love
Guitar Center)

 The Original JEM was not an Ibanez,

 The Original Tony Iommi Guitar was not a Gibson,
 The Original George Lynch Guitars were never ESP's,
 The Original Slash Les Paul was not a Gibson.
 This List is endless.

Most people in this business don't like me exposing these facts to the general public. Simply because little Johnny Q. Customer wants to buy Eddie's Fender Charvel Frankenstrat that used to be a Kramer that was originally really built by Eddie & Lynn Ellsworth.
Back when Kramer introduced the Van Halen Guitar as being a Kramer the original advertisement had the name "Kramer" superimposed on an old picture of Eddie holding a guitar. I remember that early 80's ad like it was yesterday, I also remember that upon close inspection part of the Kramer logo actually hung off the edge of the headstock in thin air !!!

Little Johnny's parents will shell out the bucks, so little Johnny can play what he thinks is the same guitar that his guitar hero plays. I call it fraud and it just might be illegal. 
It always amazes me how people fall for the hype that the big companies shove down their throat.

Just because some famous artist or their management decides to prostitute out their designs, or name, by saying they play a certain guitar, does not mean it's true. That looks like fraud to me !!!!!  It confuses the buying public and therefore it is rightfully illegal. 


The Kramer Nightswan  was actually a "Shredder" model from Buddy Blaze in Fort Worth Texas !!

 
"What, you never heard of Buddy Blaze?"


Buddy was a small boutique builder like myself. Being a small builder it made sense for Vivian or his management to go to a big company like Kramer and have the Nightswan mass produced. I have no idea how the deal was conjured up I was not there. 

I was personally at the release party of the original Nightswan back in the late 80's where I first met Vivian & Buddy. It was a great party with a lot of great refreshments served, in fact we smashed up the company Limo that night on the way home. Several of my younger employees puked in the car that night as I remember we got rid of that Limo pretty quick after that. 
Kramer threw some awesome parties in the 80's,  some of the best ones I ever went to. I made a lot of my first major artist contacts at those Kramer parties, Anyone who was anybody was there.
I first met Eddie at one of their first big parties & Sam Kinnison, Billy Idol, Jeff Beck, Yngvie, Richie Sambora, Brad Gillis, Ted Nugent etc etc I actually got to sit down with Eddie and talk about guitars. God Bless Dennis Berardi & Andy Papicio, I can remember meeting Paul Shaffer (Artie Fufkin of Polymer Records) that night also.

Kramer never actually really manufactured their guitars. They outsourced the wooden bodies, necks & components and assembled them in Neptune New Jersey. This made them technically USA made guitars but in reality most of the so called USA guitars were built by Godin in Canada. The cheapy cheezy imported models were made by ESP in Korea & Japan.  ESP also owns a number of real cheaply made mass produced in Chinese made brands.  These are popular in the big chain stores because they cost less than $200.00 to make but they sell in the $800.00 to $1,000.00 range.  Lots of profit for stores like Guitar Center that sell these types of brands.

You may wonder why you never hear about this in any of the guitar magazines !!!!  Simple Answer !!!  The magazines wouldn't dare piss off all their advertisers and print anything that they are trying to keep from the public. Printing these stories like I have been doing for 15 years now makes me a very unpopular person with my competitors and gets me bashed on a lot of the forums by paid company shills who will start a thread with some nonsensical lie to try and discredit me.  (Ralph Nader was a pretty unpopular guy too)

They wish they could sue me but they can't because the truth is and always has been my defense!!

 

Originally Vivian was playing Rand Guitars  who were a really small high quality company that built guitars for "The Misfits" and a host of other 80's bands. When Vivian saw another instrument Buddy had built he contacted Blaze to co-design the Nightswan.
I'm not sure how Kramer got involved but Buddy told me that Kramer ripped him off for many thousands of dollars in royalty money. Buddy told me he went through some really hard times because he trusted Kramer to pay him his design royalties and they never gave him a cent.

 

I bought many thousands of dollars worth of Kramer original parts. I made it my business over the past 10 years to amass a huge amount Original Kramer guitars and parts. I have bought many necks & Bodies from others who attended the Kramer bankruptcy auction. I can easily reproduce the original Vivian Campbell paint jobs. So we are pleased to add the Vivian Campbell guitars to our line of fabulous fakes for 2009.
Ed Roman 2009


See   

http://www.edroman.com

 

If you want to buy an original or a replica Nightswan. 
Ed Roman also has guitars that were owned and stage played by Vivian Campbell and many other well known rock stars.

Dennis Berardi Pres Kramer Gtrs,
Floyd Rose
Ed Roman,
Hyman Peller Sales Mgr Kramer 
Photo Taken 1986

Ed Roman Guitars

 

Vivian Campbell was instrumental in designing the Kramer Nightswan, This picture was taken at SIR studios in NYC at a private party thrown by Kramer introducing the guitar. I am holding Vivian's Original blue lightning bolt Nightswan.

Most of the younger people I went to the party with became violently ill. Yes there was projectile vomiting involved. Kramer really knew how to throw some serious parties.

In any case Kramer is gone and will never be back. (oops that's right Gibson or Music Yo' owns it today) Well as I was saying Kramer is gone and will NEVER be back. The 80's are gone. But I believe they will be back someday.

In the 80's, you had to know how to play your guitar or you couldn't join a rubber band. I mean today a lot of these so called garage bands can barely tune their instruments. So instead of learning how to play their instrument or how to use their gear, they just babble on about 80's hair head bands and call them spandex sissies.

The truth is they are just a bunch of jealous little fags who wish they could play as well as some of these guys who got caught up in the 80's hair head thing. I truly believe that the reason these little punk snots all play s#!tty older designed retro guitars is because they wouldn't know what to do with a real performance guitar.

I don't want to get off on a rant here but..........

Originally I wouldn't pick on these little turd heads, I assumed they would eventually get better on their instruments and maybe grow up a little and just shut their little cake holes. No such luck.... Just the other day a friend of mine from Washington DC moved to LA. He proceeded to try to join a band. The little fascist, elite, snob, douche bag members of the first band that he auditioned for, told him he couldn't join their band. He was playing a Hamer Californian. They said he was a great player and easily good enough but he would have to cut his hair and play a Les Paul if he wanted to join their faggy little gaggle of idiots band.

My friend happened to also own a white Les Paul custom that he had for close to 20 years. He never played it much because it was too heavy and he couldn't reach the higher notes easily. In fact it was short 5 Frets from his Hamer Californian which is a 27 fret guitar.

Imagine the size of the balls of these people. It's unbelievable. My friend told them to pound sand up their asses and promptly sold his Les Paul.

A similar story happened to a friend of mine from Toronto last year in LA, Only he had a BC Rich Bich.

Here's Ed Roman's theory.

The Record Companies... Yep that's what I think is to blame for this type of ignorant attitude.

In Los Angeles there used to be a great music scene, This scene happened coincidentally in the 80's, Baby Boomers were in their late 20's and early 30's. Great bands played everywhere every night and life was good and music was good. This eventually ended just like the Disco craze of the 70's did. When the 80's ended there was nothing there to take it's place.

The 50's had excellent Rhythm & Blues, Instrumental Bands & Doo Wop, The 60's started with the Surf Music and ended with Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream, The Doors, Mountain, Jeff Beck & Woodstock and somewhere in the middle came The Stones, The Moody Blues The Who and oh yeah the Beatles. The 70's were a bit weaker but you still had Southern Rock, Grand Funk, the Eagles, KISS & The Stones, Moody Blues and the Who, the 80's came and all Hell broke loose, There were so many great guitar players you couldn't keep track of them all, Van Halen, Lynch, Schenker, Rhoads, Vai, etc etc and of course you still had the Stones the Moody Blues and the Who, When the 90's arrived Rap had started taking hold of the younger kids, there was a short time there when playing guitar wasn't even cool anymore....... s#!t!

Why am I blaming the record companies?

OK, read this carefully and maybe you will understand what I am trying to say.

Prepare to be slightly deprogrammed.........

The record companies exist solely to make money, they are cruel heartless people who if they didn't work for a record company they probably might work for the tobacco companies as a spokesman or something.

It is my firm belief that the record companies do not want the musicians to make it, They do not want to create any more super groups or superstars. Understand that once an entertainer reaches superstar status he can write his own ticket. Just like a professional athlete can command 80 million a year to run around a field knocking someone down and/or get knocked down himself. An entertainer the likes Mick Jagger or Elton John doesn't need a record company they can snap their fingers and start their own record company.

Record companies don't want any more Mick Jaggers or Frank Sinatra's or Elvis Presley's or Jim Morrison's or Jimi Hendrix, They want bands like Hootie and the Blow Fish. They want bands that will never make it past their third album which usually doesn't even get released.

If a band has a great first album they usually don't make squat, All the money goes to the record company. After all they paid for the original promotion, the actual recording and, oh yes those magic advances that they waved in front of your face to get you to sign the contract. The only trouble is no one in the band is keeping track of where the record company is really spending the money. For all the band knows the record company could be recouping promotion costs from 5 other bands that didn't show a large profit.

Remember the day the band went down to that Great Big Music Store in Hollywood or NYC and bought all that vintage incredibly expensive garbage that the record company paid for. It's payback time! Your guitar player says he doesn't remember that 59 Les Paul costing $145,000.00 in fact he thought it was much less.

That's right....... there are all kinds of kickback sweetheart deals with many of the bigger music store chains and the record companies. In fact one chain of music stores actually has an artist relations department.  These people are paid to go out and pitch record companies for their business... I wonder what they say to them to get them to buy.... Can you say, Kickback?   (Hollywood Rock Walk)

How do I know about this stuff, Because I have been in this business for 30 years. My first taste of it came when some guy walked into my store and bought an Eventide Instant Phaser. I was selling it for approximately $500.00 or so dollars, He told me he needed it for a recording session, the producer wanted one and they had been looking for one for a long time. He told me he wanted to insure it for a real lot of money because it was discontinued and almost irreplaceable. He needed a larger receipt so I obliged him, I think it was for $2,000.00 or something like that. Curious, I asked him who the producer was he told me, Phil Ramone who was currently producing the Eagles new album called Hotel California. Cool....... Several months later I heard "Life in the Fast Lane" for the first time... s#!t that Eventide Instant Phaser was so incredibly predominant in that song. I will always wonder what the Eagles paid for that strange new effect they were using (I think Eventide made the very first Phaser ever).

Ok, I didn't mean to segue into that story. Let's get back to how and why the recording companies are trying to hold you back.

Start thinking about it, there are no more super groups, there are no more Eddie Van Halen's No Jimi Hendrix's. Because the record companies are purposefully spewing out bland garbage to sell CD's and next month they want to sell you something totally new, forget that other band... listen to this great new band.... In this way the poor mindless lemming consumers never really get to be staunch fans of any band. No more Grateful Deadheads, well maybe, there are some benefits after all... Just kidding.

So here we are in the 90's and Country & Western is Kickin' Butt.... My theory is because, it's all about the pickin' The rock bands today are usually flash in the pan barely memorable carbon blobs. Who remembers Hootie and the Blowfish. Lets face it dudes. If ya' wanna make it for real ya' gotta practice the damn guitar, If'n you don't learn how to play it.... no matter how retro cool you think you look with your baggy shorts and dirty messed up hair you ain't gonna make it.

This is SHOW BUSINESS that's two words, SHOW and BUSINESS....

It's about the SHOW If you want to be remembered you better learn how to play and put on a good show and oh yeah, look the part.

It's about the BUSINESS, If you have limited talent, and you can't play real well, Keep pluggin' you'll get better, look at KISS they barely could play when they started. But they got better and they gave their fans the shows of their life and even though Gene Simmons is a hard guy to like, He has my vote as one of the best businessmen in rock. Gene discovered a lot of bands and is responsible for a lot more than most people know.

So what can we do about this shit......

Hey don't look at me, I don't have all the answers, just the questions....

One of my favorite sayings is "Resistance is Futile" (I also like to use the word "cromulent" but that's a different show).  A very Cromulent show indeed.

Fender has recently assimilated Jackson, Gretsch, Hamer, Tacoma, Guild, Ovation, Takamine,  Kaman. Gibralter & I hear they are talking to PRS also.....

Maybe if we started to think for ourselves, maybe if we ignored all the media hype, maybe if we didn't blindly believe everything we read in a magazine that accepts advertisers. Maybe just maybe..............

Naaaahhhhh, "Resistance is Futile"

Locutus of Borg

     Ed Roman

Shit, did I go off an a rant or what? Originally this was supposed to be a short story on the Kramer Nightswan, and I tripped and fell into a rant... Oh well, the Kramer Nightswan was a great guitar. Because it hasn't been available for almost 13 years, I decided to recreate it. 

Vivian Campbell also played a Rand Guitar which is basically nonexistent today,  Strangely enough I personally own one of his old Rands.  The Abstract Caligula's  below are awesome versions of the Rand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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