I'm going to do a couple copy/pastes here, one from Rich Harris, and one from a friend of mine who worked at Hoshino in the 90s, regarding a fundraiser to help Jim Donohue (who has some pretty insane history with developing guitars for Ibanez during the Golden Years, especially with Steve and Joe).
Rich (from over at Jemsite):
"Any old timers here will know who JD is and what he meant to Ibanez from the beginning of the Golden Era, his work with Steve and Joe, as well as helping anybody in the community that needed it. He will always be remembered as one of the co-authors of "Ibanez - The Untold Story", and a personal mentor to me starting 20 years ago when I would pester him relentlessly for information, which he freely shared. But the last few years have not been kind and Larry Larson was gracious enough to step up and do for Jim what Jim would never do for himself. This is our opportunity to help repay some of his generosity. You can read the rest of the story on the page below."
My friend Jim:
"Those of you who've known me a long time know that I spent half a decade working for Hoshino USA, the USA parent company of Ibanez guitars and Tama drums (late '94 to late 99). The job itself (phone-based customer service and dealer support) wasn't anything glamorous, but there were things about that job that were the best of any job I've ever had: The free concert tickets and passes to endorser's shows. The laid-back atmosphere. The good discounts on products. And, most importantly, the co-workers who became friends (and who still are!).
One guy in particular who I am fortunate to have worked with is Jim Donahue. For those who don't know, if you're holding an Ibanez guitar made any time in the "modern" era, you're holding something he influenced. People talk about the "legendary" LA Custom Shop that Ibanez had for endorsers, but Jim was the east coast-based R&D for some of the most famous guitarists who've ever picked up an Ibanez (people like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani), AND a font of knowledge.
Jim's the kind of guy who is endlessly patient with any questions about guitar-building and history, no matter how esoteric. I know because I used to pester him *at least* once a day, every day of the week, asking things about obscure models from the '70s, or why Steve Vai's JEM was basswood, or how in the hell they got the shattered mirror pieces to stay on Paul Stanley's Iceman. And when I got it in my head that I wanted to build a guitar, this master took the time to show an office kid how to use a pin router and a template, how to not lose a finger. He didn't have to do that, but he did -- and I'll never forget it.
Now, since I left Ibanez, Jim has as well. He's struck out on his own building custom guitars. He does fantastic work and I'm looking forward to having him build me something custom as soon as I 1) can figure out what I want, and 2) can save the scratch to commission him.
However the world of custom guitar building isn't what it once was, and Jim's had some setbacks - both personally, and business-wise. The latest thing to strike is the demise of his CNC router, his primary tool for his craft. Without it, his business is effectively off-line and he's been picking up jobs all over the place to scrape by until he can afford to get the CNC up and running again.
And so, here we are. Larry Larsen, a long-time member of the JEM guitar community and Ibanez lover, has put together a GoFundMe to help Jim get his CNC up and running again. This is, honestly, the first GoFundMe I'm going to contribute to. It won't take much to help a fella out and get him rolling again, creating beautiful instruments and doing what he loves to do.
If you're a fan of Ibanez guitars, or of any of the music made on them, would you consider helping Jim out? The fund is almost to [$1200] of the needed $4000 to get him back to what he loves to do."
The fundraiser is here: https://www.gofundme.com/FixJimsCNC?utm ... _receiptv5