department stores. In 1971, Hoshino opened up an office in Philadelphia to help distribute their high quality, reasonably priced guitars in an American market that was being flooded by low quality instruments at high prices.
Soon, the company decided to produce its own unique designs. The Artist line was a solid body guitar that was made famous by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. The Iceman was a favorite of KISS’s Paul Stanley and Swedish metal band Meshuggah. George Benson- the Grammy winning pop and R&B artist- has a jazz guitar line designed for high-volume stage playing. Today, these guitars are collectors items that command high sums. While the company had originally made copycat designs- which cost them a lawsuit in 1976- Ibanez guitars had become successful in their own rights thanks to their innovative designs.
When instrumental rock took off in the mid 1980’s, Ibanez gained a new popularity among 80’s guitarists such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Paul Gilbert. Ibanez appe