The first things you notice when you meet Jean Larrivée, the founder of high-end guitar maker Jean Larrivée Guitars, aren’t the test instruments leaning against the wall of his office, the tool chest in the corner or the small bottles of wood stain that dot the windowsill.
It’s the giant red banners bearing Cyrillic script, the hammer and sickle and Vladimir Lenin. Larrivée is probably the only factory owner in Oxnard with those on his wall.
But the banners aren’t about Larrivée’s political beliefs. They’re artifacts from the travels of a veteran luthier whose guitars have ended up in the hands of Grammy winners such as Brad Paisley.