From Santa Monica, CA. Neil Smith owns Vegas Guitars and Neil Smith Guitars. He has been building and repairing for over 25 years. Neil apprenticed with master fretted instrument technician Jim Anderson of the Notorious Guitar Hospital in Sparks, NV. Neil holds the only Fender Custom Shop Custom Care authorization in Nevada (only 28 in all of N. America). He is further the only publicly referred FMIC Gold level authorized technician in Nevada or Utah. He is a professional level member of the National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers (UK). He is a level II Buzz Feiten installer (acoustics and electrics). Examples of Neil’s repair work has been published in two major lutherie magazines. Furthermore, he is a fully committed guitar builder – who has built countless custom guitars and basses. Over the years he’s repaired and built for many celebrities or their band members including: Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Little River Band, John Fogerty, Celine Dione, Shania Twain, Elton John, Chicago, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper, The Righteous Brothers, Billy Cobham, Gladys Knight, Cirque Du Soleil Mystere, Ka & Zumanity, Chris Isaak, Greg Howe, Conan O’Brien, Neil Merryweather and many others.
Before becoming a guitar builder and repairer Neil was on the road as a guitar player and band leader for 10 years and toured 17 states, Canada and south east Asia. During his time as a musician he opened for or backed Little Anthony, Delbert McClinton, Blood Sweat and Tears, Jr. Walker, Commander Cody, Bo Diddley (recorded with Bo), The Chiffons – others. As guitarist and leader his band was a awarded a citation from the Pacific Air Command for outstanding performances at over 70 performance sites over seas including the demilitarized zone on the boarder of North Korea. Neil is also an honors graduate of both CSN and UNLV.