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Thread: My PRS story

  1. #1
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    My PRS story

    This is taken from a letter I wrote to Paul several years back. I think we all enjoy the stories Paul tells, I always enjoyed his stories of the old days when he was just getting started and the history of how it all began. Here's my story.

    It was in the very early 90s, 91 or so that I saw my first PRS. My father used to take me to Madison, WI about every three months for a doctor appointment. Wed always schedule the visit early in the morning so we could go to some of the guitar stores in town, since we didnt have much of anything in our hometown. So we walked into a store that we normally stopped in at, and there on the floor we saw about six or seven of the most beautiful guitars either of us had ever seen before. What really stood out the most, was they had unbelievable, gorgeous 3D looking maple tops on them and these fretboard inlays in the shape of birds. Wed never seen anything like these guitars and were just in complete awe! It wasnt too long before a salesperson came over and asked if wed ever heard of these guitars, called PRS - Paul Reed Smith. We said no, we hadnt but, WOW, they sure are beautiful guitars! He asked if I had wanted to plug one in and try it out. Although I really wanted to play one right then, I said no, thats ok. I knew at that time that they were more than I could afford, or my parents could spend on a guitar. I had only been playing guitar seriously for a year and half, so I thought, man, Im not even good enough to even pick up a guitar that nice, much less plug it in and play it! So we stood and gawked at these beautiful instruments for a while longer. Especially the whale blue one right out in front. Man, that was the coolest guitar, in the most unbelievable color we ever saw. It was all we talked about the rest of the day! I said, Dad, someday Im gonna have one of those guitars." I remember that day like it was yesterday.
    I finally played a PRS guitar several months later and was just blown away by it. Man, did that thing just sing! And it was still a very thick, rich and full sound as well. It was much easier and more comfortable to play than my Epiphone Les Paul & Gibson Studio LP, but was still thick and chunky sounding on the bottom end. I loved it, but still, not within my budget. Fast-forward to 1995. I was out of high school and had a successful rock band as far as high school bands go, we even had recorded a full length CD in a studio in Madison, WI. I was bound and determined, come hell or high water, to get a PRS. I felt like now I had put in some time on the guitar and accomplished a fair amount of things and I deserved a PRS!!! I had a job, but it didnt pay a whole lot, so it would take forever to save up that money. One day, while walking through a pawn shop, I saw some second hand Star Wars toys for salefor A LOT of money. So I thought to myself, I have a ton of these toys, maybe I could find a buyer that would buy all of it. I really had a ton of Star Wars toys, and incidentally, my dad always made me put those toys away and keep things together so I didnt lose pieces. He made me take very good care of that stuff, more so than any other toys or anything else I had. I even had a lot of the boxes for the ships, instructions and everything. So I started doing research, pricing everything that I owned. It turned out it would be enough money for me to buy the PRS I dreamed about for so long! I then asked my dad if it would be ok with him if I sold it all to buy the PRS. He said, "Yeah, go for it, I know how much you want that guitar." So I found a buyer and shipped him everything and went to the music store to get a PRS!!!
    I tried out a few and while talking to the salesman, decided I would special order a guitar, built for me with the options I wanted. I was then pointed to Paul Schluter (Last Crack, Magic 7, Muzzy Luctin) who worked there as well at that time. Paul has serial #5 0057, and has been playing PRS from the beginning. He was the PRS expert around Madison at the time. So I decided, with his help, that Id order a Custom 22 with bird inlays, 10 top, wide thin neck, stoptail - in whale blue, of course. After a long, agonizing wait(I was soooo anxious for this guitar), 8 months if memory serves me correctly. I got the call. It had arrived. I saw it and it was the most beautiful thing - and it was mine. I briefly plugged it in at the store and it just screamed. So off I went back home to show it to my dad. There we sat in the living room at home, just like the first time we saw a PRS guitar. In awe. My mom was even excited. She loved the whale blue color. That memory will forever be engrained in my mind.
    Over the years that guitar has been excellent and has been with me through thick and thin. It now stays at home and gets used at home and in the studio
    . It's the most important thing I have that he and my mom have ever given me. It has been inspiration that creates music. There's not much more important to me in life than that.



    Since that first PRS, I've only strayed once when buying electric guitars...for about 30 days, then that guitar got returned because it was inferior. Many more PRS have followed. After playing only PRS for 10 years, 2006 was the start of my bird tattoos. My father passed away in 1997, so I decided in 2012 that I wanted a portrait of him and a bunch more birds surrounding his portrait.



    This is from when the portrait was just done(don't have any other pics):


    The guitars I currently have:

    The first one













  2. #2
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Fantastic story Vaughn. I'm sorry about your dad.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Outstanding, thank you for sharing.
    I wish I had met your Dad
    If I thought I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!

  4. #4
    My name be scrambled ElrytNamrogo's Avatar
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    What an excellent, inspiring story. Thank you for sharing!!!
    --Tyler G--
    2012 PRS Custom 24
    - Burnt Maple Leaf 10-top
    2008 PRS Custom 22 - Santana Yellow - Rosewood Neck - 10-top
    PRS SE Singlecut Trem - Tobacco Sunburst -Grover Locking Tuners - Bareknuckle Rebel Yells - Push/Pull Volume and Tone - Graphtech Self Lubricating nut

  5. #5
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Wow, what a cool story. That blue custom looks great too, a very cool treasure indeed!
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  6. #6
    Rigid Member Sekunda's Avatar
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    Awesome story! I remember the first time I played a PRS... I took it home with me and I still have it 13 years later... I had 3 at one time but traded one away for a Martin acoustic... wish I would have kept that 20th Anniversary Singlecut.

    It has been such a pleasure to own such high quality instruments... Nothing else does it
    ~ Matt

    PRS HX/DA | 2x12 Stealth Cab | 2011 Stripped 58 - Angry Larry | 2000 Custom 22 - Dark Cherry Burst
    1985 Takamine GX-100 | 1993 Jackson Soloist XL Pro |Martin Acoustic | Ibanez Acoustic

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Bangin' story, want that white McCarty!

  8. #8
    Senior Member south89's Avatar
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    Great story with memories that will stay with you for a life time. Keep those memories close because that is what will get you through on the tough days
    My name is Matt and I'm a guitarholic

    1994 McCarty; 2010 Charcoal Burst Modern Eagle Quatro; 2012 Fire Red Burst Signature Limited;2012 Charcoal Buster Siggy ( PTC Modified ); 2012 Vintage Burst Stripper; 2012 Charcoal 408 Standard w/ Crackwood; 2012 NOS ME1 Tiger Eye

  9. #9
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Those are some great memories. Madison is a special PRS place for me, too. I was there in '98 visiting family and that's when I first laid ears/eyes/hands on the Hollowbody II. I saved for four years to be able to custom order one. That guitar is staying with me 'til the end!
    --Garrett--

  10. #10
    Member Jose's Avatar
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    Lovely story. Thanks of sharing it...

  11. #11
    Member mapleleaf14's Avatar
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    Vaughn, great post! Very cool story. Glad you shared it.
    Paul's Guitar - Charcoal || DGT Std. - Frost Blue Metallic ||DGT 10 Top - Yellow Tiger || DGT Artist - Faded Blue Jean Tobacco Burst || C.A.D. Custom 50 2-Channel - Slate || 2x12 Pine Cabinet - Charcoal

  12. #12
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Awesome story dude. Here's to your pop.
    Plank Owner

  13. #13
    Great story!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  14. #14
    Vaughan, you just made my day with that story. I may have bought a PRS or 2 with the help of Paul Schluter.

  15. #15
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    Man, that is a cool story. Lots of wonderful memories.
    Last edited by WishICouldPlay; 08-27-2013 at 02:59 PM.

  16. #16
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    Great story, thanks for sharing that with us.

  17. #17
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
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    Awesome story! Great guitars too!
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
    CR Guitar Demos
    More guitars than I can afford!
    #1 fan of Doug "DA MAN" Sewell!!

  18. #18
    Yo Vaughn! Thanks for posting this. It's clearly a very personal story which expresses a great deal of your trust in the rest of us. Thank you for that.
    One Life

  19. #19
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Fantastic story Vaughn. I'm sorry about your dad.
    Thanks Shawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rango View Post
    Outstanding, thank you for sharing.
    I wish I had met your Dad
    Last year was my 1st time at Experience. As awesome as it was, I was sad he couldn't be there to share it. I'm adopted and I couldn't have been blessed with anything better. I've never thought of them as anything other than blood.

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Bangin' story, want that white McCarty!
    Before PTC started, I had it custom painted by larry(paintguy). Based off ford color tricolor platinum white metallic with some tweaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    Those are some great memories. Madison is a special PRS place for me, too. I was there in '98 visiting family and that's when I first laid ears/eyes/hands on the Hollowbody II. I saved for four years to be able to custom order one. That guitar is staying with me 'til the end!
    Yeah, my band is finishing recording a couple tracks with him at his studio(Megatone studios).

  20. #20
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    Yo Vaughn! Thanks for posting this. It's clearly a very personal story which expresses a great deal of your trust in the rest of us. Thank you for that.
    Of course. I posted it at BaM before it died, I figured as important as PRS is to me, it should be here.

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