Randy Smith – 75 year old Mesa/Boogie founder moves brand to Gibson

6 January 2021

Mesa/Boogie, the iconc guitar amplification company, is now officially part of the legendary Gibson guitar brand. The original ‘Boutique’ amplifier company was founded 51 years ago by Randy Smith, who will join Gibson as Master Designer.

Randy told MetalTalk: “I am 75 years-old and still at work every day. This is my art and many of our crew have worked along my side for 30 to 40 years.

“As we witnessed JC and Cesar transform Gibson, we saw kindred spirits sharing common values and a fierce dedication to quality. Today, Gibson’s guitars are the best-ever and when they asked if we would like to become Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers, we envisioned a perfect collaboration that would expand our outreach, while preserving our legacy beyond my time.

“Gibson realises the unique value of what we have all built together and this next chapter in the Mesa/Boogie story is a continuation of that dream. I am so fortunate for this partnership with the new Gibson after 50 years of doing what I love.

“It has been the ride of my life . . . and it ain’t over yet!”

Photo of Cesar Gueikian, Randy Smith, and James “JC” Curleigh
Cesar Gueikian, Randy Smith, and James “JC” Curleigh.

Smith began in a converted dog kennel under the redwoods of Northern California, and soon began building amplifiers for all the great San Francisco area bands, when vintage gear was new.

Working with guitarists from bands such as Bloomfield, Santana and The Rolling Stones, Smith learned the virtues and shortcomings of the era’s gear and began a process of innovation that continues today. He revolutionised amplifier performance and pioneered the invention of High Gain.

Cesar Gueikian from Gibson told us: “Mesa/Boogie, led by Randy, has been in service to sound without compromises since the very beginning and that is a perfect fit for us. We are looking forward to being the best custodians of Mesa/Boogie’s iconic heritage that we can be and at the same time, a steward of its future.

“We are honoured that Randy and the Mesa/Boogie team have trusted us to lead Mesa/Boogie into the future.

“Together, we will continue to pursue our mutual quest of sound, quality and craftsmanship and to push the boundaries of how guitar sound is delivered and experienced.”

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