Was Eric Johnson's unreleased PRS prototype guitar the precursor to the Silver Sky?

Eric Johnson PRS prototype
(Image credit: Strat54 / The Fretboard)

In 2018 Fender released a signature Thinline Strat for Eric Johnson. But in the words of Yoda, "There is another…". Another semi-hollow signature model for Johnson that never saw the light of day on a guitar shop floor; and it was made by PRS.

It surfaced at the Dallas International Guitar Festival that took place 5-7 May; a few Eric Johnson models were on display, but not for sale: including the first white Fender (non Thinline) EJ signature Strat and a real oddity; a sunburst 2014 PRS 'prototype' of an EJ thinline guitar.

Eric Johnson Prototype PRS signature

(Image credit: Strat54 / The Fretboard)

Three single-coils and a maple 'board puts it into Silver Sky territory four years before we saw John Mayer's signature model. But the offset body is even more of a revelation – it's a reverse offset that reminds us of a Mosrite. A body shape unlike anything PRS has produced before or since. 

The pic was posted by user Strat54 over at popular guitar forum The Fretboard and is a fascinating glimpse of a guitar that never went beyond Johnson's personal collection – "Never produced – one of a kind", as the label states.  

PRS were certainly not done with the S-style three single-coil project though as we now know from its hugely popular Silver Sky line.  

YouTuber GuitarBeastKing also included some brief footage of the guitar at the show in his walkthrough we've bookmarked above. 

Johnson attended the International Guitar Festival himself and performed a set you can see above. He stuck to his Strats. 

The day before his set on 7 May he also joined Orianthi onstage for a version of BB King's Don't Make Your Move Too Soon – while battling backline issues like a trooper. 

The event also hosted Andy Timmons (who guested during Johnson's set) and JHS Pedals man Josh Scott presenting a talk and demo on the evolution of Jimi Hendrix's effects pedals

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.