Ed Roman's Rants

Ed Roman passed away in December of 2011. He spent many years collecting and authoring much of the information presented on this website. These Rants are, as described below, often acerbic and/or quite politically uncorrect. Ed's opinions as presented below are not necessarily the opinions of the individuals currently running Roman Guitars, but we feel his Rants deserve to remain as he wrote them.


Bold, Brash, Politically & Sometimes Even Grammatically Incorrect

Misdirected ignorant brand loyalty clogs the wheels of progress !!!

Rant Title Rant Excerpt
Asian Made Guitars  2000 Here's another one of my politically incorrect, too little too late, pain in the ass articles reminding you that you are screwing the entire American way of life by buying expensive high end products made in Asia.
Beginner Guitars  2002 If you are getting ready to buy little Johnny his first guitar, I suggest you read the page/pages below. You will probably be surprised to find out a few things.
Best in Store  2000 When I go into a store, (any kind of store), I like to see a large selection of unique items.  I like to see things that I don't know about.
Brand Loyalty  2008 Misplaced, brand loyalty is clogging up the wheels of progress. Don't fall into that trap. Don't buy a corporate guitar. !  used Hamer guitars as the whipping boy for this article.  I am a big Hamer fan myself !!!   I personally own 5 Hamer's  !!! 
It is critical that you understand the point of this article !!!
Broken Gibson's 2008 Why is it that the most expensive overpriced guitar on the planet is prone to neck breakage. It is my contention that Gibson guitars need a major update to their design.
CNC Machines  2005 A look at the pros & cons of using computer numerically controlled machines to build guitars. 
Chain Stores   Guitar Center Sam Ash, Best Buy, Walmart & Costco Some people may read my rants and may assume that I was sour grapes on Superstores for self serving reasons.  I have thought about it long and hard and I have assured myself that my own agenda is truly unaffected by these stores.
Commissioned Sales People  2002 The main reason "Guitar Center" has such a high employee failure rate or turnover is probably because they have a commission system that forces people to work at minimum wage.
Corporate Guitars 2008

<Death To Corporate Guitars>
Corporate Guitar Companies are ruining our industry forever. They are destroying any semblance of quality that once existed, They have taken much of the manufacturing to the Orient. It's probably already too late,  Someday soon you won't be able to buy a handmade guitar.
Cost Cutting     Gibson  PRS  etc Many people wonder why large companies try to shave pennies off their costs. Especially when the product sells in the multi thousand dollar range. Most people don't grasp the reasoning behind it.
Customer Rants   Have a problem With some Guitar related company?  Here is a place to vent & spew about it.
Ebay & Ed Roman  2010 Ebay is a large corporation and I am not a fan of too many large corporations.
Ebony Fingerboards It really rankles me that PRS refuses to offer Ebony fingerboards. I mean what's the deal, I thought PRS was supposed to be a Premium High End Guitar?
Endorsement Deals Coming Soon
Ernie Ball Guitars & Ed Roman   The  Real True Story With All The Details  
Flamers Currently there are some individuals on the internet who don't agree with my opinions.  I have no problem with that. I also have no problem with profanity and flaming.
Free Country In the United States of America we are supposedly guaranteed certain inalienable rights. Simple things like  freedom of speech and freedom of expression, religion, opinions etc.
G.A.S Many of my customers have asked me about what kind of guitars I play. Currently I use my  Quicksilver  guitar when I need major tonal versatility. I am still using a headless LSR for a backup...
Ghost Builders You may be skeptical regarding some of the facts that I will be relating to you in the examples section below. It is possible that there may be a couple of errors...
Gibson Firebird X Guitar Yet another overhyped, badly designed robot guitar...
Gibson Necks Usually Break FACT: Gibson necks break. On this page Ed Roman explores the reasons why that is.
Gibson Lawsuits   Extension of customer complaints I am running out of space in the Gibson Section for printing unhappy Gibson customer letters.
GIBSON Guitars  Versus
The United States Of America
Guitar Center Fixed Prices Guitar Center will no longer be offering extra discounts and deals. In fact they have raised their prices !!!! The new owners have gone to fixed prices.
Guitars Resale Value   10/09/07 This Rant Posted 10/09/07 It is about resale value and some of the hijinks that certain manufacturers try to pull on unsuspecting trusting Consumers .  NEW RANT
Glossary of Terms Due to dealer agreements and competitor complaints many companies won't allow me to print my LOW prices.
The Hamer Story 2010 Hamer Made some Great Guitars... But there is much you need to know
Hand Made Is a guitar really handmade if its made by 100 pairs of hands aided by several million dollars worth of machines?
Harmony Central   2008 Only Trust Harmony Central If You Trust Guitar Center. After all they do own it !!!
Heel from Hell - PRS Years ago PRS guitars had no heels, Today they use this big flat heel on the back of the neck. In 1995 PRS switched to this monstrosity and it has remained ever since.
Import Guitars I used to carry very few imported guitars, I personally would rather sell USA made guitars. In the downturn economy that happened in 2001 and a seeming rebirth of American pride, many of my customers refused to buy Asian imports.
Investment Guitars  09/01/08 I can help you with a purchase of an investment grade guitar!!  In fact you would be surprised to find out that many good investments are not necessarily expensive. in fact that's what makes it a good investment.
Johnny Ramone Mosrite Guitars  
Les Paul Broken Necks FACT: Gibson necks Always Break !!!!  On this page Ed Roman explores the reasons why that is.
Magazines It occurs to me, that if you write a book on something you are then supposedly considered an expert.  That is not necessarily true.
Mailbox etc Rip-offs    Always go directly to UPS or Fed Ex. Mailbox etc typically charges at least triple UPS rates,  
Manturd Chronicles, The  2007 Enjoy this, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. After you finish write me and tell me if you think that this guy is nothing more than a Wimpy Wussy Whining Wiseguy...
My Price Guarantee  1995 I will not be insulted if you try to negotiate or make a better deal. I realize that human nature is such that every one wants to get a good deal.  When a customer starts negotiating price, He is telling me that he is a serious buyer.
My Selling Style  1994  1996 People have called me a good salesman,  I don't think that I am,   A good salesperson can sell anything, I can only sell what I truly believe in.  So in effect I am telling you that a 17 year old kid who works in a Guitar Center or Sam Ash is actually a better salesperson than me.
Overpriced Guitars  2001 An expensive guitar would be like a JET or a Centurion or maybe an Abstract.  These are guitars that cost a lot of money. An overpriced guitar would be one that the long term cache value is added into the initial cost.   Be Very Careful Of This.
Political Bullshit  2011 Calling yourself a patriot these days can be dangerous, If you call yourself a patriot the government might suspect that you are trying to subvert the powers that be. I always thought that being a patriot meant to love & defend your country and it's constitution. 
People who try to change our constitution are terrorists in my opinion!!!  Especially if they are in elected office.
Prices  Why We Can't Post Them All  I get numerous E-mail because I don't post all my prices,  Believe me I wish I could, it would make my life so much easier. Hell all I would have to do is wait for the checks to arrive.
PRS Interesting Facts  2001 A must read for anyone considering a PRS guitar
Relics  2008 Personally I don't need the false Mojo of a beat up guitar  to convince people that I have been a road warrior for 30 years.
Scams For The New Century Many respected companies are hiding the fact that their products are not made in USA.
Many respected companies are employing huge cost cutting methods.
School Music Teaching Programs     I am available to any school public or private who wants my advice on how to set up a program for the kids to learn guitar. I will not charge anything and I will be glad to help with any recommendations for instruments, books, and general information that may be helpful.
Spend Your $$$                Stop complaining, shut up, and spend your damn money,  There has never been a better time to spend your money, There has never been a better reason to spend your money.  Money is not edible, Most money is not collectable and money does not even make good toilet paper.
Vintage Guitars A Guaranteed Sure Fire Way To Tell The Real From The Rip-Off's. All guitars in our inventory that are sold as vintage will be approximately 25 years old or older. Ed Roman guarantees they are what we say they are.
Vintage Guitars Are Not Worth It Someone posted this article on the web and sent it to me.  I have made a few comments on the article.   I think it's a great article.
Rant Page Number 2  Archived Rants EVEN MORE RANTS !!!!!!!!!

More Rants On Page 2

I get at least 3 or 4 letters from people every day who ask for more rants !!! 

A Word About Johnny Ramone & Mosrite Guitars

Now that Johnny Ramone & Semie Moseley are no longer with us, there are people out there who are claiming things that I am sure are simply not true.
These people want you to think that Johnny played their guitars when he was alive.  
NOT !!!!
I was one of the lucky people who got to meet both Johnny & Semie. Personally, I think it's despicable for any company to take credit for designing any part of any of the Mosrite Guitars. Especially when they know damn well that Semie himself isn't around to call them a liar.
I think it's totally despicable for any company, to use representations or pictures of Johnny Ramone, who always played real Mosrite guitars,  posing with something that is obviously an absolute fake.
If you are going to make a fake, I guess I can understand that,  but to use a persons name after he is dead to try and represent that he actually played a different brand. That just plain sucks !!!!
Fakes will always exist, lets face it not everyone can afford the real thing. My thoughts are a fake is OK as long as it is represented as a fake.
Ed Roman
December 2010


I got a chance to try out one of these new "official" Johnny Ramone guitars from Hallmark. First, let me say that anyone worth their tatts knows that Johnny played a Mosrite, so I was a little hesitant to try something from Hallmark. But they claim a pretty strong pedigree on their website, so I figured they had to know what they were doing. Right?
Well, for starters a lot of the "extra touches" on this guitar take it completely out of the realm of what Johnny played. Mosrite has a distinctive feel and sound. This NOT-so-cheap knockoff feels completely different and doesn't have the same sound. Not that I was expecting to pick up a guitar and suddenly sound like a member of the Ramones, but WTF. Couldn't they at least TRY to make this thing right?
And why the hell would they give this craptastic guitar company the rights to make this guitar, anyway? Why not just work out a deal with Mosrite, like any sane person would do? Was it a matter of the name going to the highest bidder, damn the quality?
I thought I was getting my hands on something licensed and official - but instead discovered that this deal was struck well AFTER Johnny's death - 5 or 6 years, actually. He never even PLAYED a Hallmark guitar! What, do they think we're stupid? I looked into it and you can buy the Mosrite Mark II for only a bit more than this Hallmark Johnny Ramone abortion. I'd rather spend a little more and get the real deal than spend my cash on this POS. If I'm gonna buy a cheap imitation I'll make sure it's CHEAP in price as well as quality. This is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Shame on the rights holders for taking this route instead of putting out a REAL Johnny Ramone Mosrite, and shame on Hallmark for not at least making something WORTHY of Johnny's name.
Johnny Ramone is turning over in his grave right now. If he were alive to see what they are up to he'd probably kick some damned teeth in!
Sorry - just had to vent. Now I know...go for the real thing and not just something with a name slapped on it!

Dinker Daigle
Weston CT

Dear Ed -
Just wanted to drop you a line and point out this crazy Johnny Ramone Rip-off guitar from Hallmark Guitars.
Looks like they copied the Mosrite original, even down to the headstock. I looked at the history of the company and thought since they seemed to have ties to Mosrite that maybe the guitar might be half decent.
Imagine my surprise when I tried this guitar out and realized it was a cheap piece of crap. Had to be an Asian import, and the sound was nothing like the original!
It's on the market for less than a grand, but who cares when the quality is less than a $150 beginner guitar you can pick up at Wally World?
So how the hell does this cheap-ass imitation get made by Hallmark guitars?? How do they get the blessing of the Ramone Army to make this junk? Why didn't Mosrite get the deal to make these? At least it'd be the REAL DEAL!
Screw Hallmark and SCREW the rights holders of Johnny's estate for agreeing to put this cheap toy on the market with Johnny's name on it.
- Frank Jansen, a pissed off Ramones fan


Hey Guys
I know the guy who is controlling Johnny's name & rights and I must say I have had some pretty serious problems with him myself. Some years ago he approached me to buy A Johnny Ramone Mosrite.  He gave me some BS promises about building guitars for another one of the bands he was involved in.  He promised me a contract with the band and all I had to do was grease him and give him a Mosrite Johnny Ramone Model for a hefty discount.
I trusted this slime-ball and when the time came to show the band the expensive prototypes.  The band was astonished to find out I had built these prototypes without their permission.  Needless to say this con artist scab eating sperm gargling scum-sucker is on my shit-list.

I am not surprised that he is involved in this scam to defraud the younger Johnny Ramone fans who may not be aware just how keenly Johnny loved his Mosrite.



Ed Roman




His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools And ran to the bog.

There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

'I want to repay you,' said the nobleman. 'You saved my son's life.'

'No, I can't accept payment for what I did,' the Scottish farmer replied  waving off the offer. At  that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.


Is that your son?'  the nobleman asked.

Yes,' the farmer replied proudly.

'I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.' And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was  stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time?    Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill .. His son's name?

Sir Winston Churchill.

That's What I Call Kharma !!!!!!
Ed Roman
Contributed By Paul Tsakanikas


Ed Roman does not recommend Wells Fargo Bank as a good place to do business !!
My several experiences with Wells Fargo Bank have all been very negative !!
Everyone I have told my experiences to seem to have experienced similar negativity !!
Also Their Credit Card Terms  Are The Strictest I Have Ever Read
You don't want to go to court with them because you will lose
Cancel Your Wells Fargo Credit Card !!!!!



It's An Old New York Shopping Trick

Go down to 6th St in Greenwich Village,  There are about 10 high fashion ultra hip shoe stores there.
Come to find out that one guy owns 3 different stores. So when I tried to price compare a pair of Leopard Boots, I thought it was funny that they were all selling them for $495.00. I could not even BS the salesman because when I tried, He laughed and said...

Why don't you go back over there and buy them

Ok Ok,  what was I doing buying a pair of Leopard Skin Boots,  Hey it was the 80's and my hair was pretty long too. But the bottom line is this is a deceptive trade practice. There is no law that says one guy can't own 5 stores, with 5 different names and price fix between his own stores.  It's still deceptive and another reason Ed Roman does not like or support chain stores of any kind.

On Stage With Richie Scarlet 1988, Just in case you didn't believe the part about the Leopard Skin Boots.


Mr. Roman,
Thank you for maintaining your website; great stuff! I've learned a lot about guitars and music stores since 1965 and agree wholeheartedly with most of your rants. Your focus on quality is impressive but I'm glad you can supply "corporate junk" too because most people who want to learn to play will never be very good and they'll never know until they try. I know very few folks for whom Quicksilver quality would make any difference and many for whom it would not.
I distinctly remember being frustrated with my inability to get the sounds I was hearing on the radio from my '63 Guild S-50 JetStar and Ampeg Reverbo-Rocket. Getting a Strat and a Big Muff was a tremendous improvement but didn't help me play like Hendrix. Getting another amp and a 'Paul expanded my options but didn't help me play like Keaggy. I have acquired several other guitars since and still can't play a solo that I want to listen to.
I intentionally did not see the movie "Wayne's World" but have heard the line: "I'm not worthy!" well... I'm not... and neither are most people. A high school kid with a learner's permit doesn't need a new Maserati. He or she shouldn't be lied to at the music store OR the used car lot but I know from personal experience that with persistence, it is possible to find one of those black Squier Strats which can be made to play well enough to have some fun in a garage band and find out he or she hasn't got the chops to bother spending thousands on an instrument they can't play anyway.
You wrote yourself that unrealistic prices from the mass marketers made custom building viable. Keep the custom shop going and don't apologize for making affordable instruments available to the wannabes who fund the industry.


Hi, my name is Chris Lamb, I'm 17, and I'm an aspiring (read: starving) musician. I own several guitars and lately I have been spending a lot of time at edroman.com. I gawked and gasped at the incredible axes Mr. Roman has to offer, but after looking around a bit more, I found that the most valuable part of the site is Mr. Roman's "Rants" section. After having read many of the articles, I am beginning to think Mr. Roman is one of the few sane and intelligent  people left in the music world. My  favorite rant, "Overpriced Guitars", hits the nail directly on the head and should be in the back of every guitar player's head at all times. I must admit that even as a young player, I have made many of the mistakes mentioned in the rants, and wish I had come across Mr. Roman's words of wisdom MUCH sooner. Luckily, I started out with a Dean Baby V- a decent guitar- at a very reasonable price ($130). However, I have loads of sympathy for aspiring guitarists who make the HUGE mistakes of buying from mega-stores, or starter packs from "Music Depot." Why more people aren't aware of the scams present in the music industry is beyond me- Mr. Roman's advice is available at a mouse click and here's the best part- it's totally FREE! Thank you for imparting your wisdom to me- I am an exponentially smarter consumer for having taken the time to read your rants.

Chris Lamb, Vacaville CA.


Hello Chris

Thanks for your letter, & fine compliments, I especially thank you for the sane and Intelligent compliment, But I must deny the part about being sane. It's pretty hard to keep any semblance of sanity in my life. This is an insane industry where I deal with insane people on a minute to minute basis, I am trying to stay a little sane, but often I feel I am losing the battle.   Thanks Again !!!

Ed Roman
Jan 20th 2007