25 Years of Reverend Memories – Ken Haas
We are looking back at some of our favorite Reverend Guitars memories in honor of our 25th Anniversary.
In this installment, Reverend CEO Ken Haas tells us why one concert meant so much to him.
I was never a hardcore David Bowie fan. I liked him, and I respected him. I went to see the “Spiders from Mars” tour with Peter Frampton on guitar. It was great, but it wasn’t my whole world.
Then Tin Machine happened.
I was blown away! Here was something so outside my previous notion of Bowie that I could sink my teeth into. And who was that guitar player who was playing all these fabulously weird solos? I had to know more.
This was when there were still several guitar magazines in print. I subscribed to as many as I could find. Lo and behold, Reeves Gabrels – the guitarist from Tin Machine — was writing a monthly column in one of them: Guitar for the Practicing Musician. This was during the height of hair metal with all kinds of shredders on the covers. But Reeves was talking about artists I was into, leading me to other artists.
He became one of my heroes.
Fast forward about 20 years, and I’m working for Joe Naylor as the Head of Sales for Reverend Guitars. We were at summer NAMM in Nashville. It was a quiet show – this was in the midst of the Great Recession. Audley Freed, who has owned several Reverends over the years, came into our booth to introduce us to his friend. That friend was Reeves Gabrels. We sent him home with a Double Agent OG. A few weeks later, the phone rang in our Warren, MI office.
“Is this Ken Haas?”
“This is Reeves Gabrels, and I’ve got a problem.” [I’m thinking, really, buddy??]
“I can’t put your guitar down. Let me know if you ever want to do a signature model.”
That conversation led to the Reverend Reeves Gabrels Signature RG-1. When Reeves joined The Cure, we created the Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk.
Penny and I have been to see Reeves a bunch of times. Both with his power trio, Reeves Gabrels and His Imaginary Friends, and with The Cure.
Always a fantastic show, whether we see him in a small club or in a large arena. The idea of my hero — my friend — playing with The Cure seemed unbelievable.
Reeves invited Penny and me to England to see two of The Cure’s shows at Wembley Arena at the end of their 2016 tour. We went to London, and had a fabulous time sightseeing and visiting with Reeves and his wife, Susan. On the night of the show, he tells us to be at his house at a particular time and we will ride over with him. The band sent a driver with a Mercedes to pick us up. We wound our way through the narrow streets of London until we turned into a driveway to go under Wembley Arena. Fans were on the sidewalk looking to see who was in the car.
We hung out for soundcheck, had dinner with the band and the crew, and had excellent seats right at the soundboard. Of course, the show was incredible. They always put on an amazing show.
The whole time, I was thinking: it’s my first time in the UK, and I went to London to see The Cure as a guest in their hometown arena. Mind-blowing.
And Reeves has found his fit in The Cure – he’s still playing all the same songs we know and love, but with his personal Reeves-ness that I was in awe of as a young man. It was awesome to see in that setting, and I am so thankful just to be taken along for the ride.