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Personal History

   Hi, my name is Steve Crisp and I was born in Houston, Texas. My dad is an accomplished guitar player and he got me interested in playing seriously by the age of 13. I've always had artistic abilities and was very good with my hands which helped me a lot when I started "tinkering" with guitars. Everyone seemed to like what I did, so I kept doing it and improved with each guitar that I worked on.

I moved to Austin, Texas in 1973 and customized my first guitar. It was a "pawn shop" Les Paul Jr. with a bad neck joint and a stripped finish. After two humbuckers, diamond shaped neck inlays and a baby blue finish, it got me lots of attention and requests for work from my friends and others.

I was a house painter, a cook and woodworker before becoming the guitar repairman at Heart Of Texas Music. After a few years, I was asked to join luthier, Michael Stevens (, at his shop in Austin. He was my mentor and taught me many valuable skills that I still utilize today. He left Austin in the mid '80s to work at Fender's new custom shop and I went back to my bench at Heart of Texas Music, where I established a loyal clientele of some of the city's finest players. (Austin had quite a few in the '80s and '90s)

Soon after that, I opened my own South Austin Custom Shop with a partner, Rob Hacker. Five years later, I met world famous designer and builder, Rick Turner, on one of his business trips to Austin. He was expanding his new company, Renaissance Guitars, and asked me to relocate to California and help develop his new line of acoustic/electric instruments, as well as to continue production of the instantly recognizable Model 1. That's the guitar that Lindsay Buckingham (of Fleetwood Mac) has made famous on many recordings and videos.

I was honored and accepted the invitation to work with one of my guitar building heroes. However, after five years, I left Turner Guitars for various personal and financial reasons. During the next ten years, I was a cabinetmaker and continued to do guitar repair at my home shop, developing a good reputation with a following in the Santa Cruz area. In 2010, I left the woodworking industry to open The Guitar Shop full time. Here I plan to share my skills and love for all things guitar with the great musical community of Santa Cruz and the greater Central Coast.

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