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2002 .Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award

Johnny Smith Award
Vintage Burst
Exceptionally Fine
Wouldn't finding the perfect and most balanced guitar in the world be like a Shogun finding the perfect katana? Or, shall I say the Katana, or guitar finding you? If you know your Japanese history, then undoubtedly you've heard of Masamune. He was the finest sword maker Japan has ever known. Masamune's "piece de resistance" was the The Honjo Masamune. This particular sword represented the Shogunate during most of the Edo period and had been passed down from one Shogun to another for generations. It is the most highly regarded of all swords created by Masamune and is believed to be one of the finest Japanese katanas ever created. I know you didn't dial into our site for a history lesson, but my point is, in the history of this sword, as you'll read, the sword itself choose it's own master to wield it. Not only that, but the correlation between the sword and craftsman are not unlike Guild and Bob Benedetto. Benedetto, like Masamune is a man that is possessed by perfection. Only 18 of these JS Benedetto's were signed by Johnny Smith and I believe only 76 exist. Masamune only made 61 katanas by comparison.

Someone once said: "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."

I'm quite sure the great sword maker Masamune and Bob subscribed to the same ideology and if you are reading this text, then that tells me something about you. You are not the one who is likely to compromise. More of a "substance over style" kinda guy, who demands only the best. From the hand- carved Spruce top to the stairstep- carved pickguard, no detail went unnoticed while making this modern masterpiece and everything about this guitar says "old world craftsman" to me. What Gibson has forgotten in strategic company bylines, Guild has taken the time to remember. Billy Joel may have said "You can't hurry love," but I beg to differ. You really can't hurry in the construction of a masterfully built guitar, either. As for the sword that choose it's master? That would be Honjo Shigenaga, a general in 16th century Japan. The general was attacked by a rival, whereas the attacker possessed the Masumune sword. As legend has it, the attacker struck the helmet worn by Honjo and cleaved it half, but left Honjo's head intact. The sword was believed to kill only those who deserved it. Rather, it did not needlessly cut that which was innocent and undeserving. That is how the sword got it's name, the "Honjo Masumune." Wouldn't it be nice if guitars could choose those who are deserving? If this guitar chooses you, then by all means, name this guitar with your surname as it is certainly worthy of being passed down for generations to come. Class dismissed...

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