Reverend has grown from auspicious beginnings to become one of the fastest growing, and most respected US guitar companies today. Based in the greater Detroit area, Reverend enjoys worldwide acclaim, having established an extensive US and international dealer network, an enviable artist roster, and numerous industry awards.
Joe Naylor launched Reverend in 1997, working out of a small East Detroit garage behind a bicycle shop. Drawing heavily on his industrial design background, luthiery school training, and professional guitar repair experience, Joe’s guitars and basses turned heads right from the start.
As Reverend rapidly grew, Naylor knew he needed a business partner who could handle the growing sales and general day-to-day management. Enter Ken Haas, respected local player and guitar fanatic, who just happened to be a professional sales rep as well! As fate would have it, one of Ken’s close friends told him about “a really cool guitar from some new local company”. Intrigued, Haas purchased said guitar, then headed to the Reverend facility and insisted he be put to work. Joe agreed, and the rest is history. Haas was named Head of Sales in 2007, became General Manager in 2010, and the successful partnership continues to this day.
Another key player on the Rev team is Zack Green. This boy wonder has served as Naylor’s chief setup guru since 1999, and you’ll find his initials hand written on the back of every headstock. It’s this kind of hands-on attention to detail that makes every Reverend gig-ready right out of the box. Over the years, Reverend has established a refreshing yet practical design approach, melding player-friendly features with classic style that recalls the greats of yesteryear without looking or sounding like cheap, slavish imitations. This forward thinking attitude has attracted musicians of all levels and genres.
Some of the company’s earliest players included local-boy-makes-good Kid Rock, virtuosos Carl Verheyen, Rick Vito and Brad Houser, and Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan. These artists were soon followed by Reeves Gabrels, Ron Asheton, Pete Anderson, Meshell Ndegeocello and many, many more. Of course, this short list doesn’t include everybody. From the well known to the just-now-making-a-name-for-themselves, players of all stripes are impressed because Reverend pays attention to what makes an instrument the kind of instrument players want to play. And that, by the way, is where Reverend’s attention will always lie.