Paul Reed Smith Electric Guitars
Paul Reed Smith Electric Guitars, otherwise known as PRS Guitars, is a modern story of a guitar luthier that found his own way to guitar building and started as humbly and as small production as any guitar maker ever has.
Once Paul Reed Smith honed his craft, he found himself under the wing of Ted McCarty, a former president of Gibson and the creator of several guitars including the famous Flying V guitar. With the help of McCarty, PRS Guitars really took off, but no credit to be taken away from the hustle of Paul Reed Smith himself.
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Paul Reed Smith put the time in to meet musicians and get his guitar into the hands of prominent players one guitar at a time which is how guitars like Al di Meal and Carlos Santana came to be performing on the now famed Paul Reed Smith guitars.
Today Paul Reed Smith himself performs out with his own PRS Guitars, using one of his early models that he rightly named, “Paul Reed Smith”
I met Paul Reed Smith in the early 2000’s when my band at the time opened for Santana at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia MD. After I finished my soundcheck I went backstage to relax while Santana and his band were taking their turn sound checking and rehearsing.
While I started hanging out with the other band on the bill, Rusted Root, Paul Reed Smith walked in with a guitar case in hand and a huge grin on his face. He put the guitar case on a picnic table backstage and opened it revealing the newly made and infamous Dragon guitar that he had just custom built for Carlos Santana. I walked up to get a closer look and he took it out of the case and handed it to me as he explained and described the inlay, tuning pegs and materials that went into creating the dragon. While he talked and I strummed chords, I realized that I was holding Carlos Santana’s new guitar and that I did not want to risk f’n any thing up, so I quickly handed the guitar back to Paul and let way a way more qualified guitarist play the priceless instrument…Santana