John Cruz Custom Guitars out of business, says retailer
German retailer ProGuitar has claimed that Cruz “hid behind his lawyer” once he had closed up shop and disposed of all his assets.
John Cruz working at the Fender Custom Shop. Image: Eleanor Jane.
The solo effort of former Fender Custom Shop luthier John Cruz has reportedly shut down, according to a retailer who stocked his guitars.
- READ MORE: Fender appears to have dismissed Custom Shop Master Builder John Cruz over controversial Facebook post
The news of the apparent closure comes from the German retailer ProGuitar, which posted an update on 17 September which both claimed that John Cruz Custom Guitars is out of business, and detailed the retailer’s difficult financial dealings with the company.
The statement reads: “One of the biggest disappointments in my over 30-year career as a high-end dealer of guitars and amps, has been my very disappointing dealings with John Cruz after his surprising departure from Fender.
“I made good faith advances of several hundred thousand euros in 2021 for instruments to be made by his company John Cruz Customs Guitars, LLC. Only a portion of those instruments were ever delivered, some of them with serious quality control problems. As of last October, a sizeable number still remained un-delivered. Of course, I have been reaching out to John during this entire experience, but most of those telephone calls and emails went unanswered.
“I recently got an email from a lawyer representing John that informed me John’s company had gone out of business, disposed of all of its assets. My deposit money still owing me was gone, and there was no hope of receiving that back nor any more of the guitars I had paid for two years ago.
John did not have the courtesy to call me directly, but rather hid behind this lawyer. I am done representing John Cruz guitars! We no longer have any relationship with John or his Company.”
While John Cruz Custom Guitars’ Instagram and Facebook accounts are still live, its website – johncruzcustomguitars.com – is currently defunct. None of its social media pages make any mention of closure. The company did not respond to a request for comment from Gutiar.com.
John Cruz Custom Guitars was started after the luthier was dismissed from the Fender custom shop in 2020. Cruz was dismissed after making a controversial facebook post; during the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, he posted a meme of a bloodied jeep, the caption of which read: “I don’t know what you mean by protestors on the freeway, I came through no problem.” He has since apologised for the offence the meme caused.
This is a developing story.