The sport of motocross has been a part of my family's life for a very long time. Having grown up in Southern California in the 60's and 70's, the race scene was never far from my front steps, as Anaheim Stadium was minutes away, and parks like Saddleback and Escape Country were a short drive. The early pioneers in the sport, like Marty Smith and Roger DeCoster, had huge impacts in my life and made me want to go riding as much as I could.
I appreciate, on a more personal level, the relationship that this sport has with St Jude’s and the importance of the work they do. My wife and I lost our 12 year old son in 2008, and while we didn’t directly receive help from St Jude’s, we did benefit from the Ronald McDonald House, and the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Their help, experience, and care is one of the reasons I am still breathing today. I hate that parents have to endure such tragedies. However, knowing that there are agencies out there like St Jude’s who are doing as much as they possibly can to alleviate the pain and possibly reduce the impact of these horrible diagnoses, I feel enticed to be involved and want to be a part of the solution.
I am the owner of Zoe Guitars, a small shop in Oceanside, California that produces high-end custom acoustic guitars. I build each one, by myself, by hand. Most of these go to working musicians but also end up in the hands of collectors and avid players. Honestly, I only build 10-14 a year, as each one can take months.
As a testament to my journey, many years ago, I chose the name Zoe for my guitars. The name in Greek literally means to “live life abundantly”. Not just survive, but to thrive. That idea took me a long time to come back to after losing our son.
This particular guitar was created to show off the beauty of one of the most beautiful woods in the world - Koa, from Hawaii. This wood is getting to be very rare, especially when the wood has figuring. I wanted to create a grand guitar that showcases the beauty and sounds of Koa. In building the guitar, materials were sourced from over 10 origins.
This custom, hand-built, cutaway Super Jumbo Model SJ31 features an Englemann Spruce soundboard and exhibition/museum grade flamed Koa (Acacia), from Hawaii.
The slotted headstock is adorned with Austrian Schertler tuners and Abalone inlay on the West African Ebony fretboard.
The guitar's binding is East Indian Rosewood and the rosette is Mexican Ebony.
Additionally, this guitar comes with a handmade Hiscox Blonde hard shell case from England.
Aaron Plessinger, at Daytona, signing and showing the Zoe guitar being donated to the 2022 Supercross auction to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital
Aaron Plessinger showing off the Zoe guitar being auctioned.
Aaron Plessinger, Top Ten 450 Class Supercross Rider, playing the beautiful, Koa, handmade acoustic guitar that Zoe Guitars is donating to the 2022 Supercross auction to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.