The Pinkburst Project was the brainstorm of Twisted Sister guitarist and founder Jay Jay French to raise awareness about Uveitis – the leading cause of blindness among young American women. Jay Jay has a personal stake here, as his daughter Samantha suffers from Uveitis.
The original project was based on one guitar – the Gibson Les Paul that Jay Jay used during Twisted’s club days, which he had custom finished in what came to be known as a ‘Pinkburst’ finish – pink fading to deep red. Jay Jay contacted the world’s biggest musical instrument manufacturers (Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Epiphone, Paul Reed Smith and Martin for guitars; Fender, Marshall, Vox, Orange, Mesa and Hartke for amps), and also included two companies which he regards as the Future of the instrument (Ruokangas Guitars and Diamond amps) and had custom instruments built in the style of his Pinkburst Les Paul – Pinkburst finish, bound neck, and in most cases Gibson-style Trapeziod fret markers. For most of the companies besides Gibson this was unheard of, but they built the instruments (and amplifiers done up in pink Tolex covering) to Jay Jay’s specifications. He then held a public auction of all the instruments, raising over $100,000 for Uveitis research.
The build of the instruments took nearly three years, and I was brought in to build the site – which also took a long time to finish. Photography was done by world-renowned NYC photographer (and guitar collector) John Peden, and we all worked on our own dime to put this together.
I’m still pretty awestruck that I got to work on this project (and I also got to play every one of those gorgeous guitars), and it remains one of my favorite web site projects.
Visit the site at PinkburstProject. org.