After walking into Erlewine’s Guitar in Austin in 1986 and dropping off my Les Paul and my Strat, both my gigging guitars at the time, for a fresh set up, I strolled into the adjacent shop of Guitar Rez (Guitar Resurrection) and was approached by the owner, Jim. He asked how I was doing and what I was up to. I told him of my mission next door. He asked me why I was carrying around two guitars of such ‘mixed heritage’. As most musicians in Austin in ‘86, cover bands were the standard fare, and ours was nothing different. Jim was poking at me. When I started to explain the need for the sonic breadth, he walked me over to the first PRS to show up so far South. A silver Custom 22. It was beautiful. And, well out of my price range. I had spent ~$1200 on both of my current axes and the PRS was coming in at $1500 list. But, I was smitten. For the next few years, I lusted after every PRS I saw, whether in real life or in print, or on MTV (back when they played music videos). After getting married and settling into a ‘real job’, I ended up selling or giving away all of my gear except for a beat up, no name acoustic. But, every mag I picked up with a PRS ad reminded me of that day in Guitar Rez’s shop and that PRS.
In 2000, Guitar Center was having their grand opening in Austin and a couple of friends and I went to check out their wares. Walking in I saw a wall of guitars immediately on the right side of the door. A wall of PRS guitars of all makes and colors. I was drawn to a translucent blue, CE24. I picked it up and played it unplugged, sitting on the floor for the entire time my friends were wandering through the store. I ended up taking it home with me without ever plugging it in. My wife’s only condition for buying it was that I play it every day. So far, so good.
Although, I have added to my PRS addiction through the years, that original CE24 is still my #1. She has the wear of 15 years on her, but her tone is still as sweet as the day I brought her home. Meeting Paul at the Dallas Guitar Show a number of times, along with several other PRS employees always reminds me of the fact that my passion is matched by theirs and solidifies my support of a wonderful company and their great products. The photo is a grainy pic taken by one of the friends who talked me into heading to GC over lunch the day I picked up my #1.