Berardi - President of Kramer
from an interview in 1985
It was really strange, the way I met Edward. I was on my way to the
1982 NAMM show in LA, and on the plane I met one of his equipment managers.
So, to make a long story short, we got to talking about the different
tremolo bars and things about guitar design, and he asked me if I wanted
to meet Edward. I said "Are you kidding?" So he made a couple
of phone calls, and that was it.
We went up to his house and Edward got his guitar out - it looked like
something you'd throw in the garbage (Vintage Kramer note: this is
But that was his famous guitar. So after he played for a while we talked.
I told him about the kinds of things Kramer wanted to do, and he was
very receptive; we talked for about three hours that day. Anyway, the
result was that we established the relationship that we still have today:
I can't even guess how important it's been to Kramer Guitars.
asked about how involved Edward is in the design and construction
of the guitars. Well, it may be hard to believe, but he'll actually
come down to the factory and spend three, four hours on the line
assembling or testing guitars, checking out different components
to make sure they're up to the standards he wants maintained. He's
no simple endorser -- you know, he's not doing it just to get his
name on the instrument and get some freebies. He really cares about
quality, how well the instruments sound and feel, how much they
cost, whether they're affordable. He had a lot of input into the
initial design, obviously, about the slant of the pickups, for instance,
or the neck -- its flatter and wider than many models. But he's
careful about the overall; he's constantly on my back (laughs).
See, you've got to remember that he's not just a guitarist, he's
also a very capable technician who knows his nuts and bolts -- he
can rip down a guitar and put it back together in minutes. And he
wants the best possible guitar that's affordable with his name on
guess the best way to look at it from my perspective is this: Les Paul
designed a revolutionary guitar for Gibson that made musical history.
The simplest way to put it is, what Les Paul was for Gibson, Edward
Van Halen is for Kramer.
Dennis Berardi, as told to Gene Santoro
July 1985 Guitar World
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