Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario recently sat down with Mike Orlando of Adrenaline Mob and Adam Reiver of FU-Tone to tell a poignant story centered around Orlando's prized Jackson guitar.
In the Summer of 2017, Orlando's band Adrenaline Mob were involved in a horrific highway accident, resulting in the loss of bassist David Zablidowsky and tour manager Janet Train. In addition to the tragic passing of his friends, Orlando discovered that his favorite guitar — given to him by guitarist and Jackson rep Mike Tempesta — had been severely damaged. "The headstock [had] broken off around the fifth fret, the body was crushed, scarred, burned and dirty. The guitar was trashed! I got chills just looking at it," FU-Tone's Reiver shared in a blog post.
Ready to help Orlando, Reiver set off with the goal to rebuild the guitar. "It was such a horrible thing that happened, maybe we could salvage an ounce of good out of it," Reiver said. He also enlisted several friends in the industry along the way; master luthier and Vintage Guitar writer Will Kelly helped restore structural integrity to the body, Mike Tempesta of Charvel/Jackson provided a new neck, and Reiver himself rebuilt the bridge, in addition to setup work from guitar tech and FU-Tone comrade Joey Stumpo.
Finally, the guitar is back in Orlando's hands, and you can watch him play it for the first time in the clip above. "I will definitely play it in honor of those fallen. For Dave and Janet," Orlando says.
All of us at GW thank Orlando and Reiver for letting us tell their story.