Diary of a Player

How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me

Diary of a Player

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.
  • Howard Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451625530 | 
  • November 2011

Articles About This Book

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Posted on Tips on Life & Love

Posted by Sharon Knolle

Country singer Brad Paisley says he had no idea that his new single would ignite a media firestorm. The song, "Accidental Racist," has Paisley and rapper LL Cool J arguing some hot-button topics from the point of view of a stereotypical southern...

About the Authors

Brad Paisley
Photograph © Jeremy Cowart

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley was given his first Sears Danelectro guitar by his grandfather when he was only eight years old. This guitar changed the whole direction of his life. By the age of twelve, Brad had already written his first song, “Born on Christmas Day.” At thirteen his growing talent was spotted and he began opening public performances by major country stars such as The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, and even George Jones at the Capital Music Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia. Today, Brad is an acclaimed music superstar artist still in his thirties and the very blessed husband to the lovely and talented actress Kimberly Williams Paisley (whom Brad fell for the moment he saw her onscreen in Father of the Bride), as well as the father of two beautiful sons, Huck and Jasper.

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David Wild
Photograph by Richard Berman

David Wild

As a graduate of Cornell University, David Wild first worked for Esquire before moving to Rolling Stone. In the mid 90s, Wild started working extensively in television as well as print. Among his numerous credits, he was Emmy-nominated as the head writer for America: A Tribute to Heroes, an all-network telethon held in the wake of 9/11. His TV credits include all the Grammy Awards since 1999, the Country Music Association Awards since 2002, the Emmy Awards since 2005, and much more. He has also written liner notes essays for dozens of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frnak Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Eagles, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Randy Newman, Van Halen, and Van Morrison. David lives in Los Angeles with his wife, his two sons, and multiple iPods.

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