Slayer's Kerry King gets his wings and joins Dean Guitars

(Image credit: Dean Guitars)

Collector of snakes, Jägermeister aficionado, and Slayer guitarist and co-founder Kerry King has joined Dean Guitars' artist roster, with an as-yet-unnamed signature electric guitar in the works.

Having endorsed BC Rich for a huge portion of his career – with ESP pickup up the slack for a while in the early '90s – King's move to Dean is kind of unexpected, just as Slayer's epic farewell tour enters the home straight.

The move invites a couple of questions. Firstly, King has said there will be more music for him but what form will that take after Slayer? Secondly, what might a Dean Kerry King signature guitar look like?

On the first count, who knows, though it let's rule out R&B and lounge jazz as too big a stretch. As to the second, expect active EMG humbuckers in there, a Kahler 2315 signature tremolo system, and a gnarly weaponised headstock that you could sell in Games Workshop.

Of the move, King says he is "super-stoked" to join the Dean family. "This has been an insane long time coming!" said King in a statement. "Together we're going to create some amazing guitars that Dean, Slayer, and Kerry King fans will be as excited as I am to play them. It's gonna be a wild ride for years to come!"

Dean Guitars President and CEO Evan Rubinson was similarly ecstatic and promises some unique guitar designs.

"We are thrilled to welcome one of the most iconic guitarists in the world to the Dean family," said Rubinson in a statement. "Our partnership with Kerry King couldn't be a more perfect fit – a legendary metal guitar player and a legendary metal guitar company, collaborating to bring our fans something the world has never before seen."

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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