After building a bass using the neck from a Höfner 500/1 in 1972, Smith made this guitar – neck and body – in 1975 while attending St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The school gave him course credit for the work. “My first attempt at guitar making. When you are early in your musical career and start a band, you always do a few cover tunes first!” Smith says of the effort.
When it comes to a life influenced by rock and roll, Paul Reed Smith’s story is straight out of the baby-boomer handbook. But instead of going into the annals for having penned “Born To Run” or playing the lead break on Tom Petty’s “Refugee,” guitar history will recall Paul Smith as the Leo Fender (or Ted McCarty) of his generation. Smith’s PRS Guitars was literally started from scratch and now enjoys name recognition that ranks alongside Fender and Gibson in the modern musical landscape.