Seattle Times

There’s a gleaming slab of cow skull on Randy Parsons’ work bench. Nearby are several smaller pieces that have been sliced with such precision they look like captured frames from an MRI scan. The polished bone is destined for the ribbing and neck of an electric guitar that Parsons is building for an unnamed luminary of the local music community. It’s the second instrument in a design run of two that Parsons has dubbed “Strolling With Bones.” No. 1 is in the possession of Jimmy Page, making this extremely limited-edition guitar a collectors’ item of the highest order. Parsons Guitars is an unassuming hideaway on Westlake Avenue North adjacent to the superstore of the Seattle Guitar Center, the flagship of five shops Parsons operates. With a shadowy interior swathed in candlelight, worn leather furniture, the lingering scent of incense and a background soundtrack of classic rock riffs, the environment Parsons has created fits his personality and trade in a way that’s akin to Dale Chihuly’s glassblowing shop on North Lake Union. Parsons is a modern luthier — a maker of stringed musical instruments — and it’s not just his ego talking when he describes himself as the Chihuly of electric guitars. Parsons and his guitars are featured in the rousing new documentary It Might Get Loud directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), which opens Aug. 28.


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