The TRUTH about Larry Lothson of Lothson Guitars and "his" old growth woods:

Back in 1984 I bought and paid for a semi-truck load of wood from Toussaint Wood Services in Palatine, IL after discussing and agreeing with Larry Lothson at Lothson Guitars in DeKalb, IL to build 600 Strat-style bodies and 600 Strat-style necks. This load of wood consisted on LARGE slabs of Swetania Macrophylla (Honduras Mahogany), prime Korina and Brazilian Rosewood. Specifically, enough wood to make 500 Mahogany bodies and necks and 100 Korina bodies and neck, all with the 600 slab Brazilian Rosewood fretboards also included with this load. All wood was delivered to Lothson Guitars' shop in DeKalb.

After a couple of years of various delays on Lothson's part and additional cash layouts to Lothson for various "bills" he purportedly incurred and the slow but sure breakdown in communication and friendship, Larry Lothson told me, "I'm not making your guitars and I'm not giving you your money or wood back." At this point I had no choice but to take Larry Lothson/Lothson Guitars to court and sue to either force Larry to build the guitars for me as agreed upon or retrieve my money and wood. I hired a great lawyer, Rick Turner, in Sycamore, IL and proceeded to sue Lothson. I, of course, won the case in the Sycamore County Courthouse, a judgment against Lothson was entered and I went home. Once I got home, I called Larry and left a message on his machine only asking, "When's a good time to come and pick up my wood?" He never called back, but shortly after leaving a nice, simple message, I had a half dozen Illinois State Police, DuPage County Sheriff Police and local Roselle Police POUNDING at my door. They were screaming, "DO YOU WANT TO GO TO JAIL !!!" I asked what they were talking about. They claimed I was harassing a Federal witness. "A Federal witness? What are you talking about?" Apparently, after losing the trial at the Sycamore Courthouse that afternoon, Larry RAN to the Federal Courthouse in Rockford, IL and filed for Federal Bankruptcy instead of simply giving me my wood back. I didn't really care too much about the money I gave him, figuring it was gone anyway. I didn't want to "go to jail".

Lothson has a history of criminal and other dishonest activity I didn't know about after being what I thought to be friends for several years. It appears, while we were in Court, that Larry tried to burn down the Lothson Guitars shop. Funny thing, a piece of the evidence in that case was that Larry checked out a book from the DeKalb Library THE NIGHT BEFORE he tried to burn down his shop entitled something like "How To Burn Down You Store For Dummies". He blew out the pilot light in a water heater or furnace on one side of the shop and placed a lit candle on the other side. SOMEHOW he got caught. There are other stories I heard in court and from other people since I first wrote about my problem with Lothson, such as one fella named Sheridan Florence from St. Charles, IL who told me about the 1971 Martin D-18 serial #288744 that his brother who died from cancer had left him. All Sheridan wanted was to have Lothson install a Fishman pick up, Larry tried to extort $4000 (FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS to install a Fishman pick up in a D-18 !!!!) or else he wouldn't return the guitar. ANOTHER lawsuit ensued. Poor Sheridan got a judgment where HE had to pay Lothson $2000 for the work, but couldn't afford it and lost his guitar. MORE legal thievery.I

Here's ANOTHER story that I have first hand knowledge of and permission to use publicly. Anyone who knows about late-50s Sunburst Les Pauls knows about Tom Wittrock, one of the premier Sunburst Les Paul dealers in the world. Everyone from rock stars to Japanese collectors know Tom. Somehow, Larry got Tom to ship two Sunburst 1959 Sunburst Les Pauls to him on approval. Tom being the guy he is, did just that. Bursts were only $4000-6000, at the time, in the early-mid 1980s. NOW, a cheap one is $250,000. A good one starts about $350,000 to $450,000. The best are a million. A rock star bought a special one with historic provenance for TWO MILLION DOLLARS !!! Larry, again, refused to pay for or return Tom Wittrock's guitars. Tom, being from Springfield, Missouri, down in The Ozarks wasn't going to stand for this one bit and arranged to come up to DeKalb and collect his guitars with a couple of "good ol' boys" and "go Hillbilly on him", if necessary. Well, they agreed to meet at Larry Hendrickson's old guitar shop, Axe-in-Hand in DeKalb, in the parking lot. From what Tom has told me, they "had to go Hillbilly" on Larry. The police were called. Tom did get his guitars back. Seems Larry has a LONG history of not giving people their money or property back. He does build fine guitars, though, out of the FANTASTIC woods he STOLE from me. I've seen him selling unfinished bodies and necks on eBay made from MY wood under the eBay User ID: max893. See

I've also run into people while buying vintage and used guitars around the Chicago area, like a weird, drunk old biker somewhere out in the sticks off I-55 with a late 60s P-Bass, who claimed Larry's claimed to him that he bought all this prime old growth woods he has from Gibson. I’ve heard this same story from several people. In actuality, LARRY STOLE ALL THIS WOOD FROM ME. I used to run with old Gibson retired employees from the 50s to the 80s who have all told me GIBSON HAS NEVER SOLD ANY OF THEIR WOOD STOCKS TO ANYONE. EVER. Larry is a liar and a thief. You should probably give my wood back to me after all these years Larry. This one theft you did has ruined my and my daughter's life even after 35+ years. At your age, you should probably think REAL hard about how you should repent, redeem and make amends to all the other people you've cheated, stole from and hurt in this lifetime, myself in particular.

***** AGAIN: LARRY STOLE ALL THIS WOOD FROM ME. He STOLE my life’s savings and I’ve never recovered from it since. *****

Larry, return what you KNOW is mine and all will be forgiven. If not, ROT in Hell.

Every bit of the above is TRUE and CORRECT. If not, prove it, LIAR. Thief.


Forewarned is fair warned. GREAT guitar maker, but a proven liar and thief.

Do you really want to take a chance?


                                                    Larry Lothson/Lothson Guitars                                             

 Phone: (815) 756-2031.





My e-mail address:

My phone number: (312) 450-7711

Have a nice day.