You should present Ibanez a complete idea, not just asking if this or that. Glen is right, they lack the time, and certainly won't spend any effort if there is nothing to gain. So we need an idea that is benefitial to them as well as unique and do-able for us. Here's my proposal:
Make use of current production model parts. That way, Ibanez doesn't have to invest in setting up costs for aditional production lines, or alterering current production lines that are busy making current guitars.
For example, Bad Horsie (the orrignial) is quite possible.
It's a 7V neck, with an unfinished or lightly stained body, black pickguard and 7V pickups and golden hardware. This stuff is readaly available. It doesn't matter much what type of wood is going into the CMC machines, so mahogany or swamp or whatever is ok.
To make it unique, let LGM lay in the body with something like www.jemsite.com
or whatever, to make it the jemsite jem. Heck, he can even stain the body too, so complete body's can be delivered to Ibanez.
I'm sure Jeremy can do something very tasty to that body. All they have to do is make a few more 7v necks and slap the thing together for the finished product. Swirls are nice, but very expensive. It will limmit your audience, and provide Ibanez with a lot of production headaches.
You also need to convince them that they *will* be sold. That means basically, sell them before they are produced. Up to 25 people can write in on this Jem, and pay (a part) up front. It will be a legally binding contract. 27 will be made (one for Vai, one for Ibanez itself). Because you've allready sold 25, you can add the caveat to have an option for 25 more. If those won't sell all, you could do something with Vai & make a noise, ebay and auctions. If the first 25 won't all sell, then there will be no deal. No production is done, so nothing is lost.
In exchange, Ibanez can refer to Jemsite.com as proper advertising. I'm sure such an action will draw a lot of attention, so that is good.
In short, the benefits:
- Ibanez uses only current production materials (no extra stuff)
- Production costs won't be over the top (no swirls)
- Ibanez reveneus are guaranteed (sales up front)
- It won't take Steve Vai a lot of time to say "Yes, that's cool, do it and
save me one".
- LGM/Jeremy will get the attention of international market and Ibanez,
which will be good for his business. I'm sure he'll make a special price
for Ibanez in that respect.
- We take the responsability of selling them, and our own efforts decide
the go/no go mark. No time spend by Ibanez marketing and designing
- If the axe is popular, it will be fairly easy to make a second batch, which
if negotiated correctly, should be an option.
- It leaves room for some charity work (this should appeal to Steve Vai)
- We would have our very own Jemsite Jem, and it will be an official and
If this won't work, perhaps you could ask for a licence to have a bunch custom build by EKG/Jeremy/Whoever, and still have an Ibanez approved Jem.
Gosh, and that on a monday..