I was reading one of those free “Reverb” magazines that you get from Soundcontrol on a train today. When my eye was cast towards the Myspace/PRS guitars advertising campaign.
For those of you who havent seen this. In the United Kingdom PRS are asking guitarists to send in their pics and their bands myspace urls, the best of which will be put in PRS adverts across music media throughout 2007 and into 2008. From the looks of it lots of guitarists have responded to this.
Now you could argue that this is a good thing, PRS giving exposure to new bands/players etc… however I’m afraid its worked in reverse for me.
When I look at that ad, I see 2 types of guitarist
1: Young Lad in a metal band about 14 with his SE Tremonti or Santana pulling his best lead guitarists face, photo taken by mum/dad/care giver. Awwwww Bless him…..at least he’s not out on street corners kicking working class fathers to death.
2: The other sort of contender is older…wiser and erm…. what I’d call…er…theres no easy way to say this….
Yes thats right, you know, the sort of guy who comes in with his band at your local 3-4 band indie night, tries to intimidate every other guitarist on the bill. Has top notch gear and at least 2 PRS guitars (one for spare right?). One of the band members will work in a music shop and the singer will be barechested onstage, the singer and bassist are usually the ones that have long hair, I dont know why…..it just is. They always take years to soundcheck too.
He will scoff at your guitar and remind you that he’s carrying 4 grands plus woth of guitars with him, he will not share amps or cabs and try and maintain a disctinct sense of superiority to any guitarist on the bill, even if they are better than him. He may walk up to your pedalboard…and sniff at it in a dismissive fashion. If he owns a distortion pedal it will always be a Keeley modified one.
Sounding familiar yet?????
The band will have usually managed a decent following, and can usually play, but musically will always be the kind of derivative sub Reef/Stereophonics type “Classic Rock”. Y’know that sort of crap that almost became fashionable after the Darkness first got famous. For this reason alone, they will never become bigger than local heroes to their mates in the local bars and usually struggle on the wider toilet circuit. They will also be angry at promoters as they usually bring a crowd and feel they are not respected and cast aside by the promoter giving attention to more….esoteric fayre.
These guys….theres one in every town, the PRS ad actually confirms that for us. Theres actually 2 or 3 in my town. I’ve seen their bands and….well…..its not pretty. PRS guitars are very very expensive in the UK, people used to call them “Dentists guitars” as it was only the well heeled middle class hobby player who could afford them. Now this advert doesnt have any of those guys in, instead we get much worse.
In a way this ad campaign has put me off PRS guitars. After my dissapointment at my Gibson Les Pauls performance. I’d been impressed with my nephews CE22 and then missing a set neck guitar with a pretty maple top. I was seriously considering a McCarty as a potential purchase in late 2008. However I feel that if I turned up at a gig with a PRS….people might think I’m y’know……one of them!
Back to the drawing board I’m afraid. Ooooooh the power of advertising!