Myles Kennedy bought his first PRS guitar after he borrowed one at a gig and accidentally ruined it

Myles Kennedy performs with a red PRS McCarty
(Image credit: Seth McConnell / Getty)

Myles Kennedy has revealed that his first ever PRS guitar only came into his possession because he felt duty-bound to buy it, having borrowed – and ruined – it at a gig.

In an unpublished segment of his recent interview with Dave Burrluck for Guitarist magazine, Kennedy says he purchased the electric guitar – a red PRS McCarty – following a show in New York, with his old band over 25 years ago.

“My first PRS was a McCarty and I bought that in 1998,” says the guitarist and singer. “I had a manager who just went and bought it at a music store in New York. I was with The Mayfield Four at the time and we were playing CBGB’s that night and he said, ‘Hey, do you want to play it?’ I said, ‘Yes, absolutely!’

“Well, I was wearing a ring and I was doing this Pete Townshend arm-wheel thing at the end of the set and I just mangled the top of the guitar, not even thinking. I took the guitar back to the hotel later that night and thought, ‘Oh no, I’ve just ruined his guitar!’

“I wrote him a cheque the next morning – ‘Go get yourself a brand new one, this one’s mine.’ I still play that guitar – I use it in the set with Alter Bridge, it’s my red McCarty.”

Still, doing the honorable thing seems to have worked out for Kennedy, who now has no shortage of PRS options at his disposal. Not least, his new T-style signature guitar, the PRS Myles Kennedy, which was announced last week.

That guitar had been long-rumored and even pictured at gigs – despite PRS and Kennedy ably sowing the seeds of doubt in our minds as to whether or not it would happen.

PRS Myles Kennedy signature guitar

(Image credit: PRS)

Indeed, in the new issue of Guitarist, Kennedy says that he had to convince the brand to let him take it out live in 2022, something it seems he was only able to do thanks to an intervention from the boss himself – Paul Reed Smith.

“I remember reaching out to PRS [about using it on my solo tour],” explains Kennedy. “They were going, ‘Well, it’s kind of a secret…’ but Paul was like, ‘Come on, the kid wants to play the guitar!’ So I took it out.  But it was also good because it did inform me more, having it in a live environment… I’m glad I was able to take it out of the trenches.”

Let’s hope he was wearing fewer rings at the time. You can read more about the PRS Myles Kennedy in last week’s announcement.

To read the full conversation with Paul Reed Smith and Myles Kennedy, pick up issue 500 of Guitarist from Magazines Direct.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.

With contributions from