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2005 .Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award

Johnny Smith Award
Antique 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 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 chose its 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 in 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 its 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.

As an aside, it seems as though the Russians were up to no good long before they meddled in our last presidential election. During the final inspection process for these guitars, we think that Mr. Benedetto may have slipped out for a coffee break or to take a phone call. At that precise moment, a sneaky and underhanded Soviet sparrow spy eased into the processing room and took this guitar, serial number CBB2000078 and quietly switched it into the next case in line belonging to serial number CBB2000079. That's why the paperwork and guitar are off by one number. Unbelievable, isn't it? In any event, if whomever out there has #79 and would like to swap paperwork and certificates, we're good on our end. If not, then somebody's going to get a J. Smith Award at an exceptional price!

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