Dean Guitars Going Away?
Todd Simpson
Dec 27 2021, 06:42 AM
Posts: 24.174
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Over the last several years, most of DEAN GUITARS big names have left the brand. Folks like Dave Mustain, M.A.B., Vinnie Moore, etc. Have all jumped ship and started playing other guitars. Mustaine was one of their biggest remaining names and he’s out there playing Gibson guitars. Not to mention Dimebags wife has a lawsuit against Dean on behalf of his estate. The Dime guitars were the most iconic shapes in the Dean inventory. He only joined Dead shortly before his death and Dean has milked it shamelessly.

Elliot Rubinson was the guy who brought Dean back from near extinction and who had made all of these relationships with artists and brought them all in to become Dean Guitars endorsees. Well, Elliot passed away from cancer in 2017 and his son inherited the company. Right after this, artists started to drop from the roster of Dean Guitars. Sure, Kerry King from slayer signed on to Dean Guitars but only after Slayer had announced their retirement.

The biggest lawsuit that we know about currently going on at Dean is the one from Dime’s wife. She announced the relationship with dean was over a few years ago and then filed suit. She claims that basically Dean didn’t do what they had promised to do in terms of their contract with Dime. Bit of history, many folks think Dime was always with Dean. He wasn’t. He was with Washburn for many years and only joined Dean a few weeks before his death. Dime’s estate claims that Dean was trying to get trademarks for the designs that Dime came up with. This seemed to be Deans plan to pay the estate far less money as time went on. The suit is asking for a full accounting going back to 2004 as they feel they have been way underpaid based on sales of Dime signature guitars.

In addition to Dime’s estate, Gibson Guitars is making a slew of allegations against Dean for running afoul of 7 trademark shapes from Gibson among other things. Some folks think it’s odd that Gibson is only filing suit now. Whatever the reason, they have filed suit. It’s possible Dean will settle out of court now that the Ellio Rubinson has passed on and his son has taken over who is a bit younger and less experienced.

If you have gone to any NAMM conventions in recent years, you’ld have noticed that Dean has had an ever shrinking presence at NAMM and each year it’s gotten smaller and smaller. The same has been true for Dean at other industry conventions. Their footprint has been shrinking for years.

Rumors abound as to why so many folks left Dean and the bottom line seems to be that Dean had simply stopped paying endorsees for the sale of signature guitars in recent years. After Elliot passed away, the payouts seemed to slow and then stop. The artists got more and more frustrated and then finally just started leaving the brand. In addition, when Elliot’s son took over, he hired back many of the same folks that his father had fired. To be sure, he is under a lot of pressure. He has been in charge during the worst era of brand destruction in the brands history. If either one of these big lawsuits goes against Dean guitars, it could spell the end of the story for the long lived brand. Do you guys think they will survive?

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Dec 27 2021, 06:51 AM
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