I was first inspired to pick up the guitar by Mark Tremonti. More specifically, I saw the music video for Alter Bridge’s “Open Your Eyes” and knew that I wanted to learn how to do whatever it was he was doing on that instrument. I also knew that I wanted to have a guitar with those birds. I had no idea what the guitar was called, what it felt like, or what it WAS, but I knew that I liked how it sounded and I loved how it looked. Fast forward a couple years (and a couple guitars) later, and it’s my eighteenth birthday. I can remember going with my mother to Guitar Center to see if they had any PRS guitars. I was in the Vault, enjoying the eye candy, when one with a unique top caught my eye; I would later learn it was burled maple. To my amazement my parents bought it for me, an incredible present for any young guitar player. That guitar is an artist package Custom 22. “Burly,” as I’ve taken to calling it, is now accompanied by a Starla and an SE Angelus Custom. I know that a lot of kids aren’t fortunate enough to have that caliber of guitar as a birthday present, and I’ll always be grateful for how supportive my parents have been of my musical aspirations. Burly has since been put through the ringer since I’ve had it; there’s dings and dents and chips and scratches, and I’ve had a luthier give it an electronics overhaul, but all of the wear and tear only makes it more mine. Every song I’ve ever written, every lick I’ve stayed up until 3 am to learn, and every performance I’ve given has been on this guitar. I know I will have it for the rest of my life.