LaDoten Custom Guitars - About Us

Janice & Richard

About Richard

My first experience with the guitar was at the age of 11, and my mother brought home an album by Duane Eddy called ‘Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel’, when I heard that first chord, I was hooked from then on my mind was made up I was going to be a guitar player.

I asked my mother to buy me a guitar, but being a single parent there was not enough money for extravagant gifts like a guitar, but she found out that a neighbor had an old Spanish Arched top guitar for sale for $7.00 dollars. That guitar was just what I needed to get started, but the strings were so far off the body my fingers would be sore after practicing for thirty minutes. This was the beginning of a life long love of the guitar.

In High school I met a friend, Jerry Cotton who had this idea that we could make our own guitars, because there were plenty of trees around for us to use. I believe that LaDoten Custom Guitars is a dream of two young men whose love of the guitar began in a time where musicians like Les Paul, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddily and BB King made a lasting impression that to this day is the reason why LaDoten Custom Guitars is committed to creating guitars that bring out the soul of each person that plays one.

In 2008 I sat down with my lady Janice Zeglen to discuss a business plan for LaDoten Custom Guitars, the plan she developed is the foundation of our company. The plan states our goal of providing quality instruments for artists who want to have a hand in creating the guitar of their dreams.

About Janice
As a child my exposure to music was listening to children’s songs, religious music (my mother occasionally turned on the radio in the kitchen), or country & western music when my father played one of his Johnny Cash LP’s in the living room. I took piano lessons and played in a neighborhood Christmas recital. Boy was I nervous!

In my early teens, I snuck into my older brother’s bedroom when he was not home and I would listen to Deep Purple and ZZ Top. He had a very nice turntable and would get mad if he saw me using it because, “I might scratch his albums”. I heard a lot of lighter rock, disco, and top 40’s too because that is what my sister listened to.

In my late teens, I realized that there was an entire world of music that I needed to hear. I stumbled onto jazz, a capella, blues, rap, classical, gospel, big bands, and R&B. My first purchase on credit was one of those big stereos that you needed to buy the shelves with the glass front door to put it in. My speakers were as big as night stands. Every evening I would sit on the floor in my bedroom, waiting to hear my favorite songs on the radio, and then I would simultaneously push “play” and “record” so I could save the songs on a cassette. I listened to them over and over until I could make sense of how it all (the instruments and vocals) complimented each other. I just needed to make sense of it, and I did.

When I first started talking to Richard, he spoke about building electric guitars. I was very curious about what was driving him to want to do that. I asked many questions and started to get a clear picture of his intentions. More importantly, I learned about Richard’s character. On the day that Richard asked me if I would like to go into business with him, I was prepared to say “yes”. I loved his vision for the business. I knew that he had experience with different types of guitars, both playing them and understanding the history of all music. The main reason that I said “yes” is because I believe in what Richard wants, which is for other people to be able to play their music, their style.

LaDoten Custom Guitars