Peavey denies using prison labor to build guitar amps following resurfaced George Lynch allegations

Peavey guitar amp
(Image credit: Future)

Editor’s note: KDH has since published a response video on YouTube, which shows that he did email Peavey asking for comment in regard to this story.

Peavey has categorically denied using prison labor to build its guitar amps after allegations made by George Lynch on a podcast five years ago recently resurfaced.

The Dokken and Lynch Mob electric guitar player first made the allegations back in 2018, during an appearance on Island Music Co’s Determination & Overdrive podcast.

While on the podcast, Lynch reflected on the time he spent as a Peavey artist in the 2000s, and recalled one visit he made to the company’s base of operations in Meridian, Mississippi.

“The town sort of exists for two things – it’s the headquarters of Peavey, and there’s a lot of prisons,” he claimed at the time. “And I also found out, a lot of the prisoners work for Peavey.”

“I don’t think having slaves do your work, for for-profit corporations, is the right thing to do,” he went on. “But the thing is, they’ll get away with it, which they were.”

Lynch also said he was once approached by Peavey to sign a nondisclosure agreement, so that he’d “promise to never reveal the fact that they use prison labour to build their amps”.

Lynch’s claims were resurfaced by YouTuber KDH, who suggested Lynch’s departure from the Peavey ranks – once rumored to be the result of contract disagreements – may have actually been linked to the allegations he made regarding the use of prison labor to build amps.

“I’ve searched high and low to find any reference to this anywhere: and I couldn’t find it,” the YouTuber said in his video. “And that does speak to George’s story about the NDA: if true, all the people that know about this can’t say anything.”

Though KDH says he received no word from Peavey after requesting comment, the amp brand did issue a statement to Guitar.com, in which the company says it had no record of being contacted by the YouTuber [see Editor's note above].

However, in response to Lynch’s allegations, Peavey denied using prison labor, stating, “Lynch is apparently confused with some other manufacturer or story that he was told, and is mistaken in his comment about Peavey using prison labour.”

Elsewhere, Peavey said it had “no record of any NDA with Lynch”, only knowledge of a confidentiality section in his artist contract, which prevented the guitarist from unduly sharing internal details about the company.

“Peavey finds no violation of [Lynch’s] confidentiality agreement from his erroneous statement but has issue with the slanderous nature thereof,” the statement went on. “Peavey has employed thousands and thousands of employees who worked diligently in our own manufacturing facilities. 

“Mr Lynch should retract his statement, confirming his comments and his understanding were incorrect.” 

George Lynch has been contacted for comment.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.