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I started this project July 24th 2008, while I was working on my Custom Dean V model.
I was doing some preparations on some other guitars from my “to do” list; the John Petrucci Ibanez Picasso project for which at this point I still needed a neck.
When I was searching on the internet for some, I got a mail from a friend of me who owned an original Ibanez RG620, which has a same body configuration like the Ibanez John Petrucci I was working on.

He was selling the neck and if I was interested I could also buy the body also from him.
I wanted to use the neck on the Petrucci model that I am working on, and save

the body for a project later on, which turn out to be this Ibanez RK1 Richie Kotzen project.
Why the Richie Kotzen Ibanez?
Well, first of all I love the music of Richie Kotzen and I am a big fan of his work for years, second I loved the guitar since I had seen it on the REH instructional Tape Rock Chops.
During some Google search, I found a website where you could order sticker body decals that would cover the whole body, and you could customize the sticker in any shape, form or pictured that you wanted to apply to your guitar body.

I contacted those people, and asked if they where able to make a body decal like the Richie Kotzen Ibanez and included a picture of that model.
A few days later, I got a reply telling me that they could and they would love to make me one like this all they needed from me was the size of the body that I planned on using.
They send me some nice picture of an earlier Richie Kotzen decal they did, to see if this was something I could use.

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Wizard neck
RG Type 620
24 jumbo frets
Dimarzio Paf Pro mixed cap
Dimarzio HS-2
Dimarzio Paf Pro mixed cap
Dimarzio Ep1104 5-way switch
Ibanez Cosmo Black Lo-pro edge
Ibanez Cosmo Black locking system

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On the internet it wasn’t said which pickups Richie use to have in his Ibanez RK1 guitar.
All I know was that this was some ’80 ’90 model, and in that time a lot of Ibanez guitars were wired with some PAF pro Humbucker pickups and a HS-2 or Jem single coil.
The sound was really close to the Ibanez Jem guitars and those where also with this configuration of pickups.

This was the same configuration like my very first Ibanez Jem, and I really loved the sound, so for that reason I ordered a PAF Pro set with a mixed color cap in both pickups and the single coil would be a pick cap and added them in the Pick pickup rings.

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On this project I didn’t do much routing since this was an original Ibanez; I could leave it as it was.
But since the original routing on this body was different then a standard Ibanez RG model, I had to come up with a solution to make the Dimarzio EP1104 5way switch to fit in this body routing.
And I didn’t want to use the tune knob on this guitar, so I set the volume knob at the original Tone knob spot, so I had some free space to customize the cavity hole for this new Dimarzio switch.
I took some 1cm widex5cm long left over wood of 2mm thick, and glued it inside the cavity hole.
And with some wood filler I filled the original volume and switch holes, and left it for a while to hard out for sanding it down and cleaning everything up.

For the Single Coil space I used my Ibanez Jem template to get the right centered spot.
I had drawn the line on the body, so that I could do some free hand routing for this later on.
For the Dimarzio EP1104 switch, I used the same template.
And since I glued some extra wood inside the cavity space, I had enough wood to be sure that once I would route the switch space in it, my wood filler wouldn’t break off.
I took the center from the original hole and drawn the line first, so I could route a little bit of wood away.
I had to keep in mind that later the decal and its coat would be applied, so I didn’t need to drill the screw holes to deep.
This was done very quickly and now I could do the rest of the routing part for the switch arm space to make it more even and centered on the switching part.

Once the routing was done for the switch part, I could start routing the single coil spacing.
In the routed single coil space I added a little wire guide line, so once the guitar is done and I would add all the hardware on it, the single coil wouldn’t rest in its own wiring.
I drilled the hole into the cavity space and this was all set and done for shielding everything.
I wanted to do the shielding before the body would go to my painter, so once the guitar was coated the shielding part was also hidden under the coat.
And this worked wonderful.

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To be sure the decal would fit on my guitar configuration; I had to re-design the body decal they have sent me in Photoshop.
For this I started with the text “Edgar Wallace – Return of the Terror”.
With some cloning, copy and pasting to cover up the whole space….like there wasn’t any knob or switch at al.
I did this, just to be sure that later when I would apply the decal to my body this would still cover up all those changes.
From there I started a search on the fonts that was used in the original so I could build up from there.
I found some nice one, which was very close to the original, From there I went on with the rest of the body text, like the Cinema, The Hands of Orlac and the House Haunted Hill.

Now most of it was done, all I needed to do is to cover up the single coil and the neck pickup ring.
With some imagination I formed Frankenstein's  head and added a border around this.
Part of this was already masking the single coil so the rest only needed to be blacked out.
And for the left over space, I wanted to be sure this would cover some parts of it.

For this I used a comic banner “the curse of Frankenstein” which fitted very nice in the middle and over the top of the Frankenstein head.
So now the decal was done and ready to be printed, so I sent my photo-shopped version to those people and hoped they could use the one I did.
They where amazed and very happy with the work I did.
Then they told me about the back picture, which was the “Phantom of the opera” monster.
This was also a decal they had used in the past, and asked if I was interested in using one of those.
And when they had my ok, they added it to my order.

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For this guitar I used again a Dimarzio Clip lock strap, but I couldn’t find a pink one, so I ordered a white strap and washed it with pink ink color wash (Dylon clod A20 Radian Pink Textile paint) to make it look like the strap Richie had on his original guitar, and I think you can't really tell that I did it my self.
I removed the Dimarzio labels first and after the paint-wash I re-attached them to the strap.

I think both the Fever Dream and the REH Rock Chop instructional video are amazing, and I was in love with this guitar from the moment when I first saw it....and now it is a true beauty in my collection.
It was by far the easiest project I ever worked on, but I had  great fun making it and came across some new challenges and some very cool designing in the Photoshop just me make this guitar look great for both the body and neck decal design.

Thanks to the people of and who helped me making this guitar come to life.
This guitar rocks, and like Richie said in the Rock Chops….but sure you rock this guitar, or this guy will hunt you in your dreams.
The strings on this guitar are the blue steal Dean Markley 0.09 strings of 0.09, 0.11, 0.16, 0.24, 0.32 and 0.42 on the low E string.

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The neck is a 3 piece maple/mahogany wizard neck with a mahogany fret board and 24 jumbo frets.
The head was already sanded by the former owner and because of this I needed to repaint it and add some logo decal to it.
There where a few ideas for this, I could stay with the Black paint and the Ibanez logo or I could do some customization on the whole decal logo.
I started messing around with some ideas, at first I wanted to try a decal that would have the same art like the body decal.

For this I did another Edgar Wallace picture search and I found some usable “the cures of Frankenstein” pictures.
I used this picture to cover the head and I did some reshaping on it, without the Ibanez logo on it, it look ok but once I added the logo the whole head looked a bit overdone.
I tried many things, but still there was something missing.
I did another search and found a very clear photo of the Original Signature Fender Model of Richie Kotzen.

On this headstock there was a signature of Richie, and that made me wonder what it would look like once this would be added to the head decal I already had.
I look great, but still I had this “overdone” feeling.
So I wanted to start over again.
I did a hide on the Frankenstein pictures in Photoshop and wanted to start from there, but against all expectations this was already looking great.

The only downside to this was the color, I mean….the body decal is very colorful and now that head was again black and white.
So I started to change the colors on the Ibanez decal, I tried many colors but nothing was at my liking at all.
Once I split the logo in two and give the name and wave there very own color it started to look great.
I ended up with yellow for the wave and High pink on the name. (Same pink as the pickups and volume knob.) And this worked great.

I contacted the people of best decal, who always do my head decals, and asked them if there where able to help me with this idea.
I sent then the Photoshop pictures and told then what my plans where, and that I left it up to them in which color the signature would be made in.
Since I had no idea what the Richie Kotzen signature would look like once it would be added to the guitar head stock.
At first I wanted the signature to be in satin or mirror gold, but it could be so that this would be totally blurred out by the yellow Ibanez wave and this doesn’t look good.
So I gave the free space to work in this.
Later when the decal was in my mail box, I was blown away.
They made the signature in green, which work perfect for me because there was also a lot of green in the guitar and pickups.

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