Monday, February 21, 2011

An Early Paul Reed Smith Band

Years before Paul Reed Smith founded what would become the country's third largest guitar manufacturer (behind Fender and Gibson), he was a member of several local bands around Bowie. Pictures from a performance of one of those bands can be seen below. The photos were probably taken in 1973 or '74.

The following are some interesting facts about Paul Reed Smith and PRS Guitars.
  • Smith grew up in Bowie.
  • Smith's father bought him a ukelulu when he was five.
  • Smith's first job was selling flowers next to a movie theater in Bowie.
  • Smith's worst job was washing dishes at the Dutch Pantry on the corner of Routes 301 and 50 in Bowie.
  • Smith signed up for three or four shop classes at a time while attending Bowie High.
  • Smith made a bass during his time at Bowie High.
  • Smith graduated from Bowie High in 1974.
  • Smith worked as a repairman for the Washington Music Center.
  • Smith repaired a broken Les Paul Junior owned by Joe Perry from Aerosmith.
  • Smith built his first guitar while attending St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City, Maryland.
  • Smith would hang backstage at concerts to attempt to sell his guitars to popular musicians.
  • Smith's first backstage sale was to Derek St. Holmes, the rhythm guitarist for Ted Nugent. St. Holmes now plays with Smith in The Paul Reed Smith Band.
  • When Smith tried selling a guitar to Carlos Santana at the Cap Centre in 1976, Santana asked Smith to play with him.
  • Smith opened The Guitar Shop on West Street in downtown Annapolis in 1985.
  • Smith moved his operation to Virginia Avenue in Annapolis in 1985, and PRS Guitars was born. The company is currently located on Kent Island in Stevensville, Maryland.
  • PRS Guitars have been used professionally by Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Dave Matthews, Dave Navarro, Ricky Skaggs and others. Click here for a picture of Carlos Santana playing a PRS Guitar.
  • PRS Guitars hired former Gibson Guitar Corp president Ted McCarty as a consultant. McCarty designed the Gibson Les Paul with Les Paul.
  • The giant guitar on the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a replica of the PRS Guitar McCarty model - named for Ted McCarty.
  • Inlaid birds are used as fret markers on PRS guitar fingerboards.
  • Gibson Guitar Corp sued PRS Guitars for patent infringement in 2001 claiming that the PRS Singlecut guitar too closely resembled the Gibson Les Paul. Gibson lost.
  • Two PRS guitar models were included in the Guitar Hero video game in 2009.
  • Smith plays with The Paul Reed Smith Band (see video below).

Click each picture to see a larger image.

Paul Reed SmithPaul Reed Smith

Paul Reed SmithPaul Reed Smith

Paul Reed SmithPaul Reed Smith

Paul Reed SmithPaul Reed Smith

Bernadette Bunny Sweeney,Chuck Harding,Paul Reed SmithFrom left to right: Bernadette "Bunny" Sweeney (vocals), Chuck Harding (vocals), Paul Reed Smith (guitar)

Chuck HardingChuck Harding

Scott BurgettScott Burgett

Rick BrezaRick Breza (drums)

Chuck HardingChuck Harding

These pictures were posted as part of the Bowie Blade Pic Project, I've been posting pictures taken by Arnie Miles for the Bowie Blade between 1973 and 1975.

Creative Commons License
Photos of Bowie Maryland 1973 through 1975 by Arnie Miles is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

The Paul Reed Smith Band playing at the 30th Annual Guitar Show in Dallas in 2007.

Other Paul Reed Smith Videos


Other Paul Reed Smith Posts

Other Bowie Blade Pic Project Posts

No comments:

Post a Comment