NAMM Sighting: HR Giger Guitars

HR Giger Guitars

NAMM 2006 Winter Show: Ibanez had a very cool display of guitars styled by HR Giger, best known for the creature of “Alien” fame.

“H.R. Giger’s collaboration with Ibanez is a natural pairing when delving into the world of string instruments,” commented H.R. Giger’s agent Les Barany at the convention site. “Mr. Giger is an acknowledged fan of diverse musical styles and an accomplished jazz pianist and saxophone player in his own right. Giger’s musical enthusiasm and his avant-garde approach to industrial and ‘practical’ design is right at home in the Ibanez camp.”

Bill Reim, president of Hoshino U.S.A. which distributes Ibanez in the United States, and who has contributed to many Ibanez designs himself, was extremely enthusiastic about the new partnership. “I was always a big fan of H.R. Giger’s work, and I was influenced during my years in art school by his designs for album covers for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Deborah Harry and others. I had always wanted to use H.R. Giger’s designs for some of our displays, so when the chance came to actually utilize his graphic designs for our guitars, we were more than ready to do so.”

While this is the first collaboration for H.R. Giger and Ibanez, the two have a previous connection with the metal rock band Korn. Giger designed a striking functional sculpture mike stand for Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis while Ibanez has created custom 7-string guitars for Korn guitarists, “Head” and “Munky” and 5-string bass guitars for Korn bassist “Fieldy.”

About H.R. Giger

H. R. Giger is recognized as one of the world’s foremost artists of Fantastic Realism. Born in 1940 to a chemist’s family in Chur, Switzerland, he moved in 1962 to Zurich, where he studied architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts. By 1964 he was producing his first artworks, mostly ink drawings and oil paintings, resulting in his first solo exhibition in 1966, followed by the publication and world-wide distribution of his first poster edition in 1969. Shortly after, he discovered the airbrush and, along with it, his own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation of many of his most well known works, the surrealistic Biomechanical dreamscapes, which formed the cornerstone of his fame. To date, 20 books have been published about Giger’s art.

Giger’s third and most famous book, Necronomicon, published in 1977, served as the visual inspiration for director Ridley Scott’s film Alien, Giger’s first film assignment, which earned him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Eff ects for his designs of the film’s title character and its life cycle, plus the movie’s otherworldly environment. Giger’s other film works include “Poltergeist II”, “Alien3” and “Species”.

Giger’s album covers for Debbie Harry and the band ELP were voted among the 100 best in music history in a survey of rock journalists. Throughout his career, Giger also worked in sculpture and, in 1988, created his first total environment, the Tokyo Giger Bar, and in 1992 a second Giger Bar in Chur.

In 1998, The H.R. Giger Museum was inaugurated in the Chateau St. Germain, a four-level building complex in the historic, medieval walled city of Gruyeres, Switzerland. As the permanent home to many of the artist’s most prominent works, the Giger Museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, furniture and film designs, dating from the early 1960’s until the present day. Displayed on the museum’s top floor is Giger’s own own private art collection, as well as the H.R. Giger Museum Gallery where, on a rotating basis, Giger curates curates one-man shows for other artists.

The adjoining new H.R. Giger Museum Bar was officially opened on April 12, 2003 as part of the museum complex. Giger’s designs for the bar emphasizes the preexisting Gothic architecture of the 400 year old space. The giant skeletal arches covering the vaulted ceiling, together with the bar’s fantastic stony furniture, evoke the building’s original medieval character and give the space a church-like feeling.

September 16, 2004 saw the opening of a six month Giger retrospective at the Museum Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, France. “Le monde selon H.R. Giger” (The World According to H.R. Giger), is the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to ever take place outside of Switzerland. Over one year in preparation, ninety percent of the artwork is on loan from Giger’s collectors, includingthree Swiss museums. The display of more than 200 pieces spansfour decades of the celebrated artist’s career, covering two fl oors of the museum’s exhibition space. On December 17, 2004, H.R. Giger received the prestigious award, “La Medaille de la Ville de Paris”, at Paris City Hall, from Christophe Girard, the city’s Deputy Mayorin charge of Culture.

Giger continues to live in Zurich, working on a variety of new projects, including the fi nal plans for a train ride through the Giger Museum. He is also in the process of completing a series of new sculptures for another retrospective in Prague this upcoming April. To learn more about the artist and his current projects, visit his official web site,

ICHRG2 Specifications

  • * “NY City VI” Graphic Print
  • * Mahogany Body
  • * 3pc Maple Neck
  • * 24 3/4″/Set-In Neck
  • * 22/medium Frets
  • * Rosewood Fingerboard
  • * Parallelogram Inlay
  • * BR-EG Fixed and Quick Change Tailpiece Bridge
  • * Powder Cosmo H/W Color
  • * Ibanez Axis AH1 Humbucker Neck Pickup
  • * Ibanez Axis AH2 Humbucker Bridge Pickup
  • * 3-way switch
  • * Case List Price: TBA
  • * List Price: $929.99

RGTHRG1 Specifications:

  • * “NY City XIX” Graphic Print
  • * Mahogany Body
  • * 5ply Maple/Walnut Neck
  • * 25.5/Neck-Thru Body Neck Scale
  • * 24/jumbo Frets
  • * Rosewood Finger Board
  • * Shark Tooth Inlay
  • * Edge Pro II Bridge
  • * Powder Cosmo H/W Color
  • * Ibanez Infi nity 1 Humbucker Neck Pickup
  • * Ibanez Infi nity 2 Humbucker Bridge Pickup
  • * 5-way switch
  • * Case List Price: TBA
  • * List Price: $929.99

More information is available at the Ibanez site.

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