In the beginning...  

   there was a dare.

   I had just finished building a 6-string 000. My mentor and good friend Al Carruth and I were batting around ideas for my next opus. We had gotten into a friendly contest over the nature of my next project. We were trying to top each other in coming up with the most outrageous guitar I could build. I said, "How about a 12-string resonator, hah!" Al said, "Build it!" Thus was born Forbidden Fruit Guitars.

Paul Norman

   I'm Paul Norman, Renaissance man. Why give myself such a title? I used to believe that only those who have spent most of their working lives building stringed instruments were entitled to the exalted title of luthier. I am a relative newcomer, having studied guitar making for nearly 6 years. Renaissance men, on the other hand, have very broad interests . They dive deeply into several disciplines at the same time, searching for connections. Kind of like luthiers.

   I have been (in order) a finish carpenter, an architect, an actor, a theater technician, a theatrical scene designer, a designer/draftsman, a printed wiring board designer, and a software engineer, the latter for over 20 years. I grew up in Northeast Ohio, where every boy child of my generation was expected to be able to field-strip a '56 Chevy. The logic went that one would be a better driver if one knew how a car was put together. Having proven myself to be only a fair guitar player after years of instruction, I figured I would give guitar construction a shot. Late bloomers rejoice! I had found the synthesis of all my previous experiences.

   Not only had I chosen the right profession, but I had stumbled upon the recipe for the perfect blues guitar. My 12-string resonator cuts through the din of the noisiest bar room. It's a freight train of an instrument. All of the engineering methodology I used to create and debug complex systems perfected the roar of this beast.

   The forbidden fruit was attained through curiosity. It was the path to self-knowledge. That's what you are getting when you purchase a Forbidden Fruit 12-string resonator guitar. Something new that you didn't know you needed. Go ahead, take a bite!