Country music star Brad Paisley salutes others in the music world in this funny, personal, and fascinating portrait of what it’s like to be country’s leading guitar hero.
The Story of a Life with Strings Attached
Brad Paisley is one of country music’s leading men—admired as a recording artist, a performer, a songwriter, and a guitar slinger. This was not always so. In Diary of a Player, Paisley for the first time fully retraces his entire musical and personal journey to date. And it all began with a loving grandfather who gave eight-year-old Brad Douglas Paisley a Sears Danelectro guitar—the Christmas gift that would alter Brad’s life forever. In Brad’s own words, we read his emotional tribute to his late great “Papaw,” Warren Jarvis, who sparked his dream come true:
When I was eight I got a gift from my grandpa. No coincidence that around that time I also got an identity. See, no matter how I have changed, learned, and evolved as a person, the guitar has been a major part of it, and really the only constant. A crutch, a shrink, a friend, love interest, parachute, flying machine, soapbox, canvas, liability, investment, jackpot, tease, a sage, a gateway, an addiction, a recovery, a temptress, a church, a voice, veil, armor, and lifeline. My grandpa knew it could be many of these things for me, but mostly he just wanted me to never be alone. He said if I learned to play, anything would be manageable, and life would be richer. You can get through some real tough moments with that guitar on your knee. When life gets intense, there are people who drink, who seek counseling, eat, or watch TV, pray, cry, sleep, and so on. I play.
At age twelve, Brad Paisley wrote his first song, “Born on Christmas Day,” and today he boasts sixteen #1 hits. Brad’s latest album, American Saturday Night, was proclaimed by Newsweek as The Album of the Year. He has multiple Grammys, CMA, and ACM awards. Brad is married to actress Kimberly Williams Paisleyand is the father of Huck and Jasper. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
As a graduate of Cornell University, David Wild is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on America: A Tribute to Heroes, a televised telethon held in the wake of 9/11.