AlienXnation™ Vintage

 Established 2004

We created a guitar boutique concerned only with guitars of true significance. Each guitar being excellent in its own right. The AlienXnation™ Vintage Guitar Boutique is for those of us that can appreciate and express our own individuality. Our menu of instruments is based on a simple reserve of guitars.   Their uniqueness and individuality stands for what we believe in. We know thats what you believe in.


Johnny is owner and founder of AXN™ guitars. He has been called The SENSEI OF VINTAGE 1980'S GUITARS 先生 by collectors of traditional Fender and Gibson guitars ( translated SENSEI 先生 = the teacher ).

Johnny is a guitar luthier inspired by 1980s guitar manufacturers. Born in Orange County California, during his teen and early twenties he delved deep into the Glam Rock club scene in Hollywood USA. Johnny is an accomplished musician and a veteran of the late 1980s Hollywood Sunset Strip Scene with many friends and acquaintances that are well known Rockers. In the 1980s on The Strip he was one of the many itinerant personalities, just another face in the rabble of Glam Rockers. He is certifiably a non-celebrity that perused that decadent lifestyle of the Sunset Strip club scene yet has lived to tell the tale. A tale which is in the below text and a work-in-progress story of the Sunset Strop Phenomena.

Although he went to college and became an California Advertising Agency and raised a large family, today he is the world renown expert of Pre-Production Charvel guitars with ties to the original Charvel Glendora guitar shop. For decades he has been a foremost collector and and authority of 80’s Kramer Neptune New Jersey guitars. Johnny is the most prominent ESP guitar historian in the United States of America. Johnny also is known in the circle of collectors that specialize in vintage 1950s Gibson Les Pauls.


Prologue and Story Written By Johnny AXN™ Guitars

The Hollywood Sunset Strip - Through MY Eyes

The Strip is the name given to the a stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood, California USA. Glamour and glitz defined the Sunset Strip during the time of big bands through to the west coast rhythm and blues rage in the 1930s and the 1940s. Later in the 1960s and 1970s the Sunset Strip became a haven for rock-n-roll and an incubator for bands from the era of psychedelic rock.

In the 1980s at the tail end of the prolific punk scene was to begin the historic and epic time of the L.A. Metal Era. Back in 1986-to-1990 rockers filled the streets on a very short stretch of sidewalk between the Whisky-A-Go-Go and Gazzarri's. This was The Strip.

It was the birth of what Hollywood adolescents at the time called "Glam" and was also known as "bubble-gum rock" by the previous generation of LA rockers. Its a California breed of metal and a music genre independent from UK Glam. Now, decades later, many names were attached to Hollywood Glam Rock such as hair-metal, cock-rock, and sleaze.

The short stretch of Sunset Boulevard glorified as "The Strip" was colonized by metal bands coming from all parts of the USA looking for that big break and creating a vibrant scene for hard rock music. The 1980s will forever be remembered as a time when Generation X was in its youth. History displays a time of neon colors and pop-rock . In reality the 1980s was a time when gender-bending transitioned to blue jeans, cowboy boots, rock t-shirts and heavier metal.

In the following story I won’t touch on specific Sunset Strip bands, bands I’ve been a part of, individuals either celebrities or non-celebrities unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. The below PDF which is a generic short biography about The Strip will give you some of that.

A Generic Sunset Strip Short Biography.pdf

Johnny’s Story About The Last Days of The Sunset Strip


There are some things and events that have happened, tangible places in a time, that i believe do deserve my respect. The Sunset Strip and what was going on with that party in the streets of Hollywood California would be one.

Here is my story about The Sunset Strip Era told through my eyes.

Southern California in the early 1980s

In the 1980s, along with countless rockers pursuing the dream, I was lucky enough to experience and absorb information in regards to LA Metal that would have been otherwise unattainable had I not been there on The Sunset Strip during its peak period ending in 1991. This story is my best effort to explain what the phenomena was about and what compelled the crowds of Glam Rockers to walk that stretch of sidewalk.

I’ll describe why glamsters sexualized their image, pushed the envelope of social norms with a rebellious attitude and valued energetic performances aimed at over-the-top grandeur. Most importantly, I will chronicle exactly what killed the Sunset Strip ending this parade of misfits and dreamers.

This story is also mixed with a some vital facts about the history of 1980s “Shredder” guitars. I will include some unknown facts about the famous boutique guitar shops and guitar makers that were influential and important in California at the time. I will also reveal just a little about myself The Sensei of vintage 1980s guitars 先生. Buckle up and prepare for an insider view from a Southern California native…

I didn’t make it out of the 1980’s Sunset Strip Era completely unscathed yet at the same time I often feel delightedly touched by its memory. Either way I did make it out unlike many celebrity friends and acquaintances that let the lifestyle consume them… Rest their souls. Today I’m alive to talk about Rock-n-Roll History and The Hollywood Sunset Strip Era. Hopefully this story will reveal some otherwise unknown facts and bring on a few laugh-out-loud moments.


I was born very close to Disneyland in a town called Fullerton. The town is in Orange County California USA. As a young teenager I spent much time with friends at Southern California beaches in the early 80s which was the “pre-glam rock” era. An era that was a hotbed for Punk and Thrash music that had a unique Southern California flavor to it..

Punk and Thrash music styles were much more popular than hard rock there. If you visited these beach cites of California in the early 1980s it was quite evident. There was basically no differences between adolescents that liked Punk and those of us that were hard rock fans. We all coexisted in harmony and went to the same shows and backyard kegger parties. I grew up in the area called the Inland Empire and also the San Gabriel Valley. For a time I attended High School in San Dimas California. Many band names from the late 80’s GlamRock period lived and grew up near me. The Southern California coast was beautiful just like a postcard. The largest music stores in the world were in Southern California such as The Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. There were also well known new guitar brands that manufactured guitars now called shredder guitars in Southern California that had special attention from local Rock stars. The USA economy was strong and peoples parents had disposable income. The youth in the early 1980s was comfortable.


In the city of Glendora was also this guitar shop called Charvel Jackson Guitars and getting a job there was something all us young boys wanted when we were in high school. Grover Jackson said many times “the area was the epicenter for 1980s rock” and proclaimed that his success was “a result of being in the right place at the right time”.

Working at Grover Jackson’s shop became a reality for many of us that lived within a few miles of the Charvel guitar workshop which was actually in the city of Glendora. Because Grover Jackson used a USA Post office box as the address embossed on Charvel neck plates the shop was mistaken for being in San Dimas California.

I’m by default a vintage Charvel Guitar expert. I’m also a guitar luthier. I have inside knowledge of the original San Dimas Glendora shop and the shop on Airport Drive in Ontario California. Things about Charvel Jackson that only a select few people are aware of. I also have owned many hundreds of collectible San Dimas era Charvel guitars. In later years I wnet on to become a well known commercial photographer specializing in product and advertising photography. I‘ve worked in that capacity since 1991.

In my youth I turned a buck photographing bands and swimwear catalogs. I photographed intricately and documented precisely Charvel and Jackson guitars for more than three decades. I still have film based photos of the Charvel original location some of which I documented at this link. I have priceless Charvel shop photos & guitar data written on paper notes from 30 years ago. Some of which you may have seen and has been released on the internet without my knowledge. A few years ago I started a resource website to clear up misconceptions with Import Charvel guitars. I will explore my experience, knowledge and reputation as the expert in ESP and other iconic 1980s electric guitar brands in further reading.

Moving on, the guys from Van Halen are a bit older than me but they grew up very close in the Glendora city and Pasadena California area just down the street from Charvel Guitars. If you read and study the history of Charvel Guitars and the Azusa part of the story it pieces all these historic times in regards to Southern California geography together very nicely. VH the band actually got famous in what i consider the “pre-glam rock” era. This because the true time frame for “Hair Metal” or LA Metal is 1986 - 1991.

Just for some perspective of my age and to spice up this story, Nikki Six from The Crue is 8 years older than me. Tommy Lee is 5 years older than me. Vince Neil who is 7 years my senior was from Covina and Tommy lived on Lyman Street in Covina and attended Charter Oak High School which was nearby to my childhood home.

Another tale from my hometown and some trivia. Vince Neil broke his leg in 1977 at a nearby skateboard park that was famous in my childhood stomping grounds. I spent many many days there. At the Pipeline Vince Neil at age 16 met Tami the mother of Neil Wharton his first kid. The skatepark was called The Pipeline in Upland California and most of us adolescents boys in my hometown would skateboard there.

When I was age 16 year old just a few years age difference was a lot. The older musicians in my local area hung out with The Crue and lots of bands, Stormer , Stryper ( Roxx Regime ) being yet another band based my general area in California USA. Needless to say I hung out and these guys contorted my mind making me lust after Rock-N-Roll.

The Birth Mother Of LA Glam

The San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas, in my opinion, were the birth mother of Glam Metal. This because the fertile soil for “Hair Metal” or LA Metal was the Southern California culture and the over-indulgent modern city life. Which was by far different from the lifestyle of people from the rural areas of the USA which generally still retained a certain amount of morals and family centered lifestyle. The beach cities and the big Southern California cities in the early 1980s were the hot spot for new alternative lifestyles. Virtually every kind of moral debauchery including things that were taboo before the 1980s was readily available in the inner-cities of Southern California and specifically around the movie making town of Hollywood California.

Funny enough, in the early 80’s with so many places for musicians to perform there were really only a handful of true rock-n-roll places that rockers or glam rockers called their own the others inviting a more dance/pop or a punk atmosphere. Gazzarris, The Whiskey and The troubadour being the pinnacle of heavy metal utopia. Later there were many more hard rock clubs but the Quiet Riot’s and the Van Halens of the world ruled the roost at these clubs in the pre hair metal time ( 1978 - 1983 ). In some ways It was the middle class spoiled brat adolescents teens of that time that were more than happy to enroll themselves in the dreams and excesses that Glam Metal preached. I was signed on and signed on whole-heartedly. In the following few years the best of hard rock and glam was yet to come!

An older buddy of mine was a Motley Crue roadie during the first Crue shows at The Starwood in West Hollywood. In between shows he kept Tommys first double bass drum Kit with the pentagrams stored at his house in Ontario California where we use to party in 1981-1982. I would go sit on the kit and be in awe. After-parties at his house were basically an orgy with known glam rockers in their element at his house after every Friday and Saturday night show. I really was too young to be in that element. I hung out with the Crue at a small show they did in August 1982 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. I was 15 years old. I already played guitar but after that show i really wanted to be a showman.

My friends and I attended both the 1982 US Festival at Glen Helen and the 1983 US Festival. There is video of the crowd for Metal Day at The US Festival 83’ . My friends and I can be seen in the video footage thats on youtube. When The Crue’s first Leathur records album Too Fast For Love broke that was a time marker to me for this Sunset Strip genre of music. We all knew the people and the whole story. We all knew each other. Some of our clique were already in Sunset Strip bands and me and my best friend as 9th graders were in backyard party bands. I hung out with an older crowd and went crazy for rocker girls. If you look, there are documentaries such as this and this on YouTube that give some insite and refer to the many names and many musicians forgotten by time. Needless to say if you grew up in Southern California at the time and you were a teenage musician you could feel magic in the air. I personally felt an overwhelming desire to be a musician and rock star. A compulsion that still burns inside and either excites me or annoys me even today in my 50s.


When I was in 9th grade I would sneak out my bedroom window and get picked up by friends. Many times we would ride in the back of a Volkswagon Bug. This chick I was friends with father owned a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro and we rode 8 people in that many times to The Starwood or The Whiskey-A-Go-Go. That car was so awesome and powerful I could chirp the tires on the freeway at 65 miles an hour. Good Times.

Later in High School things heated up. Bands from our area all knew each other and we all made our way back and forth to events in The San Fernando Valley , The Inland Empire and Orange County California. The Scene was semi-seemless. The Hollywood clique and our group in the Inland Empire felt like the same inside bunch of rockers. These older musicians are the ones that corrupted my mind making me want to be a Glam Rock musician. That is what I went on to. I became a regular face on The Sunset Strip.

The Sunset Strip In Its Glory

For me those times in Hollywood when the Sunset Strip was occupied by headbangers and glam rockers is a fond memory. There have been many interpretations in books and movies. Stories that glorify the period told by the likes of The Motleys and The Poisons.

There are many of us that did’t quite attain the level of success that the big names did. Maybe just maybe not becoming famous was a great thing for me. Even without fame the experience itself is something that I can only explain as awesome.

The Strip really was just a number of small rock-n-roll clubs placed very close to each other. It just so happens that a new type of music was born on those streets. At the time we all believed that this to be short lived music type was something so unique that it was quite different from what had come just a few years before. In reality it was quite different to the hard rock music of the 1970s..

I grew up on all the same hard rock bands that everyone claims as influences. When I heard Cheap Trick, Queen, the Scorpions the first time I was magnetized. I dressed like Ace Frehley from Kiss for Halloween every year for like 5 years. I was in 8th grade when On through the Night by Def Leppard came out and us kids were jealous because they were just about our age.

Living and growing up in the area around Los Angeles had its benefits. I got to see Randy Rhoads do sound check up close and personal on Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz tour. The band Girl was supposed to be the opening act for at that particular Ozzy Osbourne show but never performed and we could see their gear on stage before the show.

Later as musicians we thought we were the next big thing. I watched Motley Crue climb the ladder of the LA clubs and we wanted to be more over the top. There were already bands out of the UK like Hanoi Rocks, Dogs D’Amour that fit the glam punk genre. But in Los Angeles in the LATE 80’s we wanted to do it heavier with more guitars, great musicianship and great songs with great hooks. Thrash Metal was there and I liked it a lot but I was too caught up in over-the-top Sunset Strip Glam. The Metallicas were 4-6 years older than me and in 89’ that scene was incubating and not yet hatched. We heard that the bands were getting heavier up in San Francisco and I knew and was acquaintances or friends with many of those musicians. I felt the vibe.

In Orange County California there was one club in Anaheim CA called Jezebels and everyone metal, thrash, glam bands played and hung out there. Everything co-existed in one LA bubble for a while. It all influenced and interested me. There was a convergence of musical styles just before the Seattle scene took over.

The music and our guitar sound was way heavier than anything that had existed up to that time. All of which had to do with Marshall amps and humbucker pickups. It was those musicians and guitar heros from the previous generation that laid the groundwork for what we all thought was our new genre.

In itself the Hollywood clubs and the club owners were usually leftovers or burnouts from the era of The Doors and late 1960s rock. In the 1980s all those old theaters and ancient go-go dancing clubs from the 1930s and beyond were converted to venues for metal bands. It was epic for me at the young age of 20 being in these old buildings that were iconic 60 years before. The many stories about unknown metal bands walking up and down a street filled with girls, rockers and record labels, and passing out promotional fliers is true. In this instance I don’t believe history will repeat itself as the uniqueness of the time was absolute. The music scene today is nothing like that time.

On every Friday and Saturday night during that famous Sunset Strip Era inside those obscure clubs sat industry insiders. Rock Stars and Hollywood actors frequented these places as if these were their second homes.

These music moguls or Hollywood movie executives would be held up in small corners of each club at tables marked VIP. If you knew these people or they know who you were they would cover your bar tab or even more. They all would be there to critique the latest talk-of-the-town band all the while sipping designer drinks and eating sub-par cuisine. The architecture inside and out clearly showing what was in vogue during the early days of the Hollywood Cinema in the 1940 and 50’s. These old venues had been there forever and looked like something from a video game of today.

It seemed like every rock show at The Roxy was labeled a "showcase" where record labels were there to sum up the nights headlining act. The truth is it could happen for you if your band had the right showcase show at the Roxy and the right bigwig saw your act. All the record companies were courting metal bands. Recruiting them right off The Strip and making them bigger than life. Giving out record contracts and putting bands on the payroll was what these people did.

The word would get out that a band like Kiss was looking for a drummer and the whole town would know about it. This bass player friend auditioned for Ozzy and jammed with Jake E lee for his audition. I thought that was really awesome and underneath I was envious at that time. He didn’t get that gig but he did play later in a popular local band. He still tells that story. Musicians from all over the USA were rushing to Los Angeles to get in front of the star makers. It literally was happening instantaneous for many a rock and roll group. You could be a broke fool guitar player one minute and next month frickin Circus Magazine cover child.

After every showcase show the occupants of these clubs spilled out into the street. The street was Sunset Boulevard where every guy was in a band ( or looked like it ) and every girl is an aspiring super-model and looked like one. Almost every time people shuffled their way over to the Rainbow Bar and Grill for another cocktail after checking out a band at one of the nearby rock clubs. Inside was awesome with all the self-indulgents and rock stars. But you never needed to actually go inside the Rainbow or any other venue because outside was wall to wall rockers. Girls and guys from everywhere in the world. It was all about the social environment. Many couples found true love or true lust there on The Strip. It made for an all night circus. One filled with youth, energy and excitement. It was a cacophony of personalities. Everyone had a story to tell and usually the stories were laced with a large dose of hope, a good measure of dreams, and a whole bunch of sleaze.

There were other clubs close bye but not on The Strip. One example was The Troubadour. For a long while Guns and Roses were basically the house band at the Troubadour way before most anyone even heard the name GNR. In high school we use to ride 7 people in a 1968 Camaro to The Troubadour to be part of that scene. The Troubadour was a great example of a really small intimate club. I feel like there was only ten feet from the front of the stage to the bar stools at the bar there. The sound system sucked there too. Many times Guns and Roses played to a near empty room. People like Tracii Guns, Dana Strum, Lita Ford, Doug Aldrich they were there it seems all the time. But they were all just one of us. Some of the many faces. Everybody was in a band. I had a big crush on the blonde drummer chick from an all girl metal band called Feline who always brushed me off because i was younger than her. Feline who later became Hardly Dangerous always seemed to be the opening act for Guns at the Troubadour saturday nights in 1986.

Some of my rocker buddies came from back east where the New York club scene rocked your ass off too. They got a big kick out of me because I was of Italian decent but born and raised in Orange County California and i had a California OC dude accent. Yet, the Hollywood Sunset Strip was the pinnacle. It was the rock-n-roll utopia. If you were selected for stardome by the rock-n-roll gods above it was your garden of eden. There was a whole lot to do on a small one mile stretch of sidewalk. In addition ALL the best recording studios, the places where all those records were produced, were in the nearby vicinity.

In the mid 1980s a whole bunch of famous little boutique rock-n-roll guitar shops were also right there in a row on Sunset boulevard in Hollywood near Guitar Center on Sunset. I was a 6-string fanatic. Along with a bunch of jewelry I wore a neckless around my neck with a big gothic cross and a sterling silver guitar pick. Back-in-the-day to make a few bucks and for a day job I choose work that didn't pay much, and i was broke, but I thought I was chasing my true calling… guitars and music. I had attended high school in the city of San Dimas California where there was one very famous guitar making company. At that time everyone around wanted one of Grover Jacksons creations and many friends made their own unique guitars in Grovers shop and showed off the guitars with pride. After work and it seems like every night, I prowled The Sunset Strip.

It really was only about four or five years that LA Glam Metal and The Sunset Strip in Hollywood had the whole worlds attention. I could almost mark the day that the Seattle scene took over. Grunge happened just about the same time we saw the demise of Gazzarri's. Inside of a few months in year 1991 the Strip started to die and I started to see lumberjack flannel and plaid replace leather clothes and vinyl mini skirts. The whole thing was an American culture trip.

I remember when I heard Sound Garden for the first time. I was in this clothes shop on Melrose Blvd that sold vinyl clothes and leathers. It was called Retail Slut. A friend that worked there gave me a Sound Garden demo tape and I was like “hey I’m into that kinda music”. It sounded really Doors-ey or Iron Butterfly-ish to me at that time.

In California the music was evolving pre-Nirvana. My best friend lived in Palm Springs and there was a movement of music out there called Desert Rock. It would later be called Stoner Rock. I’d stay in Palm Desert during Spring Break every year and my band then played some backyard parties in Indio California with a band called Kyuss a number of times. One show we did was out in the desert sand and the sound and stage were run off generators. It was 101 degrees at midnight I remember. We would see Ian Asbury from The Cult hangin around in Palm Springs. Kyuss were friends of friends and when a band called Masters of reality took them under their wing that made things happen for Kyuss who later became Queens of the Stone Age. Stoner Rock could have been the next big thing but the Seattle Scene beat Josh and the kids from the desert to the spotlight.

I remember Nirvana as an underground band. I had a demo tape from them a year or two earlier. One year I went to the Seattle clubs and the scene seemed really sparse. The weather up there keeps everyone inside almost all year round. Death Rock was nothing new to me I was friends with a band called Christian Death that was from Pomona California and Roz basically pioneered that early sound along with bands like 45 Grave around LA before my generation of rockers. There were a whole bunch of bands in that Melvins, Skinny Puppy, The Cure style which I thought was more of a college niche thing around Los Angeles. I personally was a huge Siouxie and The Banshees fanatic as was everyone else i knew. I was totally into what was called “Death Rock” bands before anyone penned the name “Goth”. I remember this girl I dated turning me on to Nine Inch Nails and I liked it a lot. But Glam Shock Rock was my thing 100%. No one knew what was about to come.

There were a lot of good times. I did some very awesome live shows with all the typical craziness of the time. I had a roadie for a while named Yōichi from Japan and he’s the one that got me hooked up with ESP Guitars. That said, I wanted fame and thought I deserved success but never "made it". Far from it. And, like a lot of the LA rockers, when The Strip died I went to college, worked a day job and found my place in another career called advertising. Which is a pretty cool story of business success on its own merits.

As glam as I was in that time of the 1980s, today I know I got lucky. LA musicians just never imagined the grunge scene prevailing like it did. I met my wife at the age of 23. I married this extremely beautiful, size three, young blonde and had a family. Called it quits. I knew when i met her she was everything I ever dreamed about, plus some, and not part of That Scene. She pulled me out. We had our first child in 1992. I never looked back to that time until recently.

We all were sure the mystique of Hollywood Glam Metal music and its appeal would live on and live on. A philosopher once said “All good things must come to an end” ...and end it did.  Some even seek to persuade that the excesses and extremes of the LA Glam Metal genre should have ended a decade before. Shouldn’t we all have known it? Shouldn’t we have seen it coming?

Before the Seattle invasion kids from Japan to Europe from New York to the UK all the worlds youth felt like rock stars. I remember clearly the day Steve Clark from Def Leppard died. It was January I believe. I was on The Strip at a club called Red Light District that night. Everyone was talking about it and mourning the loss. It was like the whole Sunset Strip was depressed.

That day puts a marker in time for me. I played my last live shows around this time. My best childhood friend that I still consider my brother and I were in band together. We did a number of Southern California shows supporting bands like Molly Hatchet, Lil Ceasar, Bang Tango and the list goes on. Those times are close to my heart and it feels good to remember some of our shenanigans. I wouldn’t perform again live for many many moons.

The decadence of the Sunset Strip was historic. The LA Metal scene influenced a generation. We had waist length hair with extreme clothes. At first we fancied ourselves a narcissistic pirates and glam gypsies in the classic Aerosmith style of garb. But towards the end cowboy boots, jeans and rock-n-roll t-shits went hand in hand with our music that was getting heavier and heavier.

In that time rockers and musicians around the world didn't just look the part and dress the part, we lived it. We really wanted to be great players. But now that all is called a fad, disregarded and considered cliche. There are new names for that music. Names like hair metal. Even so its very interesting how many pop stars and musician people cite that time of the 80s as an influence in interviews today.

Yet back in the hey day. When The Strip was a roaring fire you might have found me and metal heads in Hollywood California at The Whisky-A-Go-Go, for a time Coconut Teaszer, Gazzarris. I was prowling around The Famous Cathouse it seems every weekend for a long while. If you look close many of those MTV videos were shot in the crazy places in and around The Strip. My friends and I actually got 75$ a day one summer to be extras in a video and to just look like ourselves all day.

I can’t forget those eclectic places and underground clubs just off The Strip. Venues such as The Scream which could have been compared to a giant Rave today. The Scream was a sort-of Rave for rockers with multiple stages on different levels of the building. Three live bands could be on at the same time and there were like 5 big bar rooms all held inside of a giant turn of the century hotel in downtown Los Angeles. All the LA bands gig-ed there. The line around the outside to get in seemed like it went for miles.

The Long Beach arena was also hot spot on any certain night. I met Ozzy Osbourne for the first time backstage there and he had his two little baby kids riding on his shoulders. That should put a time signature on this story. Famous rock stars were actually acquaintances or friends but for whatever reason hanging out with Ozzy was a really big deal. Ozzy was the first to tell me that George Lynch was forming a new band called Lynch Mob and that they were really good. He also told me he was not drinking anymore so leave the beer I had over where the food was served in the backstage area.

Backstage at The Long Beach Arena was always a blast. Yet, the intimate club scene of The Sunset Strip in its peak period and the city of Hollywood itself had a magical feeling about it. After every show the city never slept. The party just moved. Places like Rock N Roll Denny’s Restaurant on Sunset or The Rainbow Bar and Grill were always packed with vampires, rockstars and starlets at the end of a Saturday night gig. Inevitably girls and guys were out of control and unashamed. Myself included. In part thats what makes that time so animated.

There were a few cool bars in big hotels where famous rockers hung out just on the border of Beverly Hills. You’d get all kinds. People and faces you would see on TV and movies would bump around these places and the whole area was like Hollywoods back yard keg-er party. Unfortunately the 80s where about overindulgence in more than just beer. I managed to make music my focus and pretty much steer clear of drugs.

Maybe that whole lifestyle is one of the reasons why I kinda started fading out of the scene in 1991 right there at the end. But i hadn’t completely given up my connections or aspirations just yet. Then the breakup of my own project which was a much heavier band with a great double bass drummer got me very very discouraged. I won’t mention names, but I had one opportunity as the fill-in guitar player for a gig-ing Sunset Strip band but that fizzled. I guess I did’t have enough enthusiasm for their direction. Progressively my girl and I were getting serious. But in retrospect, hey 1990, grunge was coming, it was a good time to get discouraged and throw in the towel. Hindsite is 20/20!

Getting back on topic about The Strip. I'n many of the high priced homes overlooking the city Hollywood's High Rollers, Movie Executives and Rock Stars who already had success kept the drinks and whatever else flowing to ensure they got their piece of cherry pie. It was routine that people moved from The Strip right up the road to someones pad for an afterparty with a pool, a spa, and bedrooms with views of the Hollywood hills. Being the young 20 something kid that I was the whole Hollywood allure was sheer unforgettable heavy metal excitement. The movie The Decline of Western Civilization Part II produced by Filmmaker Penelope Spheeris is 100% accurate. Someone posted the video online here.

Now as an older dude some details have faded. But once in a while I’ll remember a face. I will remember just a feeling I had. I’ll recall a circumstance that happened and I’ll say to my self “no one will believe that, its to awesome” or “how the hell did I pull -—- off” or “what the fuck was I thinking? Was I stupid?” and the answer is… stupid is as stupid does.

But I’d never trade any of that. Nor do I wish it didn’t happen no matter the costs. It makes my youth feel really special. Those experiences are part of who i am. If things today weren’t so good I might wish myself back there again. Maybe my dad was right then when he said take off the makeup, get a haircut and get a f_ing real job. For a while there i had the candle burning on both ends.

Oddly enough, because of my age today and the many personalities going on around me right now in this minute, writing these stories down gives me some sort of warm fuzzy feeling. In some weird way its euphoric trying my memory and penciling these tales down. But more often than not lately I’ll think to myself “ I glad my kids don’t do that kind of shit ”.

LOL .. In closing, just like you, we had a lot of great times and have many great stories about our youth that we actually lived to tell. Stories of big hair, hot chicks, and 1980s Metal. Now nearly thirty years later all of us here that are part of The AlienXnation™ Team draw upon my experiences and information to create a guitar experience true to the memory of Hollywood Glam Metal.

Our AXN™ Guitars are authentic. So are my intentions. I want every guy, and every girl, to have a renewed feeling of excitement about being able to play the guitar! I make our AXN™ Guitars and my expertise at this stuff available to you in my store.

Also I want everyone to let their mind relax from the day to day grind by enjoying and playing a truly fun instrument.. the guitar! - Johnny - AXN™ Guitars

Johnny - AXN™ Guitars

The AlienXnation™ Team - The AlienXnation™ Locations

The AlienXnation™ Team is a dedicated group of friends. An ex-rocker, a guitar luthier, and a seasoned business owner and accountant. Each team member has spent over 30 years either performing music, building guitars while searching  the world for ultra-playable guitars, collecting vintage guitars or a combination thereof. All three boasting a musical resume of there own.

We now have multiple warehouse and manufacturing locations in both California and Arizona. We devoted all our efforts to the niche markets that we now operate within. We have gained notoriety worldwide because of our knowledge base which is centered around vintage 1980s guitars and guitar manufacturing. In 2010 we stopped foot traffic at our small guitar shop located in The Big Bear Village, Big Bear California and it was there that we began production of our AXN™ Hand Crafted Guitars. We now offer our unique items to customers around the globe through our various internet stores.

The AlienXnation™ Boutique is an Online-Only music store. We have over 1000 internet transactions and proudly retain an online reputation for integrity, honesty and accurate product descriptions. When visiting The AlienXnation™ Boutique you will get the full guitar experience — not only with our diverse taste in instruments, but with great examples of self indulgent guitars created for self indulgent individuals.

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