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Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford loves John Mayer's PRS Silver Sky: "I could literally play the whole show with it if I wanted to"

Brad Whitford might be known primarily as a Les Paul and Strat guy, but the Aerosmith man recently went on record about his long love affair with PRS electric guitar models.

“What’s cool is that, from day one, Paul was striving to be the best – and he’s never stopped. Especially when it comes to his pickups – they’ve come so far,” Whitford told Guitar.com (opens in new tab).

“My PRS 594 can sound as mellow as a kitten or as vicious as a panther. When you want that thing to bark, wow! And it’s got sustain that’s just – I’ve never heard a guitar sustain like it.”

Whitford also handed out high praise for one of the guitar maker’s most recent – and controversial – models, the John Mayer-designed Silver Sky, which he called his “favorite.”

Said Whitford, “That’s the one that I sit around and play more than any other. I love the way it feels. To me, [Smith has] taken the Stratocaster but he hasn’t just stuck a different headstock on it. He’s come with all these modern views about how to use the idea of this instrument, and evolve the body, the neck and that sort of thing. 

"It’s Strat-like in its sound, yeah, but it’s not a Strat. It’s kind of created this whole new family of sounds.

“I play it every night. I could literally play the whole show with it if I wanted to. But I’ve got all these other pretty guitars that I like to show off.”

And Whitford, who calls himself PRS’s “first endorsee,” knows a thing or two about Smith’s guitars.

“PRS has been a part of my career for a long time, going back to when Paul was building guitars in his garage,” he said.

“He liked my style and, one time, [Aerosmith] were playing near his home in Baltimore, so he came to the show with his guitars. At this point, nobody really knew his guitars because he was still a small garage builder. But they were incredible. They were so well built, so well thought out, and really cool looking.”

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.