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Local guitar picks featured in Rock of Ages
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David Khinoo shows off a display of his guitar picks The EBE Piks at Dales Guitars in downtown Turlock.

The new film “Rock of Ages,” has a star-studded cast.

But right there alongside Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is a piece of Turlock – a little guitar pick with an alien face on it.

Since Dec. 10, 1990 Turlocker David Khinoo has been producing those picks – The EBE Pik – to worldwide acclaim.

The EBE Pik’s roots lie in a joking conversation Khinoo, a UFO enthusiast and long-time guitar player, was having with a friend. The friend said he would start a fictional music store called Guitars from Mars.

And what else would that music store sell but guitar picks with alien faces on them, Khinoo asked?

“Light bulb moment,” Khinoo, now president/CEO of EBE Universal, Inc., said. “It changed my life.”

After a few months spent tweaking the design, including consultations with four artists, The EBE Pik was born. Since that fateful day, Khinoo has sold 10 million guitar picks, more than 100,000 alien-emblazoned guitar straps, and countless more musical accessories.

EBE Universal equipment, named after the term “extraterrestrial biological entity,” has been used by musicians like The Dixie Chicks, Joe Satriani, and Hank Williams III. Khinoo has even produced custom picks for Michael Shenker.

“He’s kind of my idol,” Khinoo said.

And The EBE Pik has been seen on the silver screen as well, making a cameo in the 2006 film “Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny,” starring Jack Black and Kyle Gass.

Khinoo has not yet seen “Rock of Ages,” which opened Friday, but said he was grateful for The EBE Pik’s recognition in such a blockbuster movie.

Khinoo operates EBE Universal, Inc. entirely on his own. But Khinoo said he’s always working on new ideas, new pick designs, and other unique musical accessories.

“I’m a one-man wrecking crew,” Khinoo said. “It makes it easier on me.”

EBE Universal music accessories are available in Turlock at Dale’s Guitar, 240 E. Olive Ave., or at Ingram’s Music, 673 W. Main St.