As part of Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center’s 60th Anniversary Paul Smith will be going back to work at the place that gave him a chance to work on guitars in the early 70s. “I’d figured out that I could work on guitars, and somehow I finagled a job at WMC as a repairman.” Smith continues, “I walked into WMC and the guy says, “What are you doing? He’d forgotten he’d given me the job at all, I’m hours late, but he let me start and he began teaching me to do guitar repairs. This was the last half -year of my senior high school, I guess I was about eighteen, so I finished senior high school on a half-off work program.”
Smith was at WMC as a repairman for nine months and reckons that during that time he got quite good under the tutelage of repairman Marty Burch.
Smith began repairing and building guitars for many local artists and eventually he took the famous Vintage Yellow prototype to WMC with hopes that they would sell his guitars. Paul Schein, 37 year guitar sales veteran at WMC, recalls “I remember Robert Levin saying to me ‘take a look at this guy’s guitar, he used to work in our shop and now he makes his own guitars.’ I told Robert that I had seen a few of his hand made guitars and found them innovative and beautiful, and when Smith handed me the CU24 proto its quality was so obvious we immediately ordered twenty guitars, and that was the start of a long and happy relationship. Paul became part of the family, and we are proud to have played a part in his journey.”
This year Chuck Levin’s is celebrating their 60th anniversary and to celebrate their partnership, Paul Reed Smith is building fifty unique Wood Library guitars that will be available the day of the event.
“Ever since I came into the music store when I was a kid, I was always taught that PRS is part of the ‘Chuck’s’ story. My family believed in Paul before he was ‘Paul Reed Smith,’” says Adam Levin, third Generation of Levin family ownership at Washington Music Center. “Paul has had respect and faith in us, and we have grown together as partners. It’s a proud moment for us to be able to celebrate our histories together and look to the future and the continuing this amazing relationship.”