Part romance novel to the guitar; part business guide; part-self help; part autobiography, Brad Paisley’s Diary of Player is everything you could want in an autobiography and nothing you don’t.
Too many biographies include little-known facts that, for the person of armchair interest, are too much. Unless it is specifically related to their field, you don’t really care what their Junior High Basketball team league championship score was or what part they played in ‘Twelve Angry Men’ during their freshman year of college or what grade they got on their solar system science project in grammar school. When you read about someone you have an interested in: artist, political figure, musician or celebrity (pun intended), what you want is the story of how they got to where to where they’re going (pun intended again). Paisley, along with writer David Wild, clear away all this extra noise; striping this bio down to what would be considered a literatary acoustic version. They manage to give you just enough background information to help form the story of how Brad became the guy with the guitar that we all know today.
We hear about Paisley’s grandpa who gave him his first guitar; beginning lessons with a childhood guitar hero of his, Hank Goddard; first encounters with some country stars playing the Wheeling Jamboree, the second oldest country music program behind the Grand Ole Opry; the move to Nashville where Paisley was determined to learn the music business and not just play; and his rise to celebrity status. All this is told with Paisley’s wink-at-ya humor; shucks humility and general awe at how well it all turned out for him. Every single tale Brad tells is some-way-or-another related to how he achieved his current stature in music.
But more than just a life looked back it mid-life, Paisley also stresses that if you want to get good at something you’ve got to work your ass off. This is the real beauty of the book. At various points, Brad points out that it isn’t all fun and free rides. Being one of the best modern-day pickers takes work; hard work. And he manages to make this message applicable not only to music but to anything. He provides encouragement to all no matter what may be your passion.
And look at the cover!
I’m not a big fawn-over-Brad type like some of my buddies, but this is a book that will definately be face out on my shelf! And the photos aren’t in short supply. Seven page plates of half-a-dozen photos on each are contained in the center. The most humorous of them is a young Brad; 12 or 13 meeting country artist Steve Wariner.
Very rarely does a biography make me want to re-read it and leave me smiling as much as this one did. I’m sure glad that I picked it up. Even if you are just a passing Paisley fan or just someone interested in guitar, I highly recommend this book.