The entire Kiesel Guitars family is shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our great friend and legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Allan passed away unexpectedly on Saturday at his home in Vista, California.
Allan has been a part of the Kiesel Guitars family since 1994, when he worked with Mark Kiesel to design his innovative signature Holdsworth Series guitars, the single-pickup H1 and dual-pickup H2, which were officially launched in 1996.
Close to a dozen prototypes were designed and built over a two-year period, and the result were instruments that had a unique look, as well as the sound and playability that Allan needed for his influential playing. In 1999, the lineup was expanded with the HF2 Fatboy, which had the same basic design, with a hollow body featuring a unique twin-beam floating suspension system designed by Mark Kiesel. These guitars were instrumental in expanding Kiesel's appeal beyond mainstream rock-n-roll, into jazz and fusion circles.
In 2012, Allan and Mark Kiesel teamed up once more to push the boundaries of guitar design with the Holdsworth Headless Series guitars, once more expanding Kiesel's area of expertise and appeal into new markets. For years, Kiesel players had been asking for a headless model, and it took Allan and Mark's combined playing and building skill to bring this to fruition, which paved the way for many popular Kiesel models, including the headless Vader Series.
Allan was more than just a musician; he was a true friend to everyone at Kiesel Guitars, often appearing at the Kiesel booth at NAMM, and at sponsored clinics and other Kiesel events. He always had time to chat with staff and customers, and contributed not only to the world of music, but to Kiesel Guitars. He will be sadly missed.
Kiesel Guitars would like to extend their most sincere condolences to Allan's family, and the millions of fans around the world that his music touched over his amazing 50-year career.