Paul Reed Smith: "They're gonna try to write guitar maker on my gravestone – I would want it to be 'a good family member'"

Working Class Music hosts Jason and Tia with Paul Reed Smith
(Image credit: Working Class Music / YouTube)

Paul Reed Smith is a formidable interviewee – not for any unpleasant reason, but because he's both extremely knowledgeable and can go in unpredictable directions during conversations. That can make for memorable moments, and his chat with Jason Mays and Tia Bailey from guitar YouTube channel Working Class Music captured a special one.

After talking about the new NF 53 guitar in their interview with Paul for Sweetewater's Gear Fest the subject of family came up towards the end, and the legendary luthier spoke about what he wants to ultimate legacy to be. When PRS fans Jason and Tia jokingly asked if Paul would adopt them, his answer was surprising but revealed more about the man away from his huge achievements in the guitar industry. 

Sometimes people need other people to get back on their feet. In my world that's just about the most important thing that there is

"My wife and I do take people on, and sometimes people's lives don't work out quite the way they thought and sometimes they need a bit of input to get back on their feet, and I adore being able to do it for people," he explains. "What you said is a joke that I could have jumped on and gone all over but you're actually bringing up a serious issue; sometimes people need other people to get back on their feet. In my world that's just about the most important thing that there is.

In the chat Paul talks about offering guidance to young adults of 17-28 alongside wife; "Those are the times when you're forming the fundamental basis of what you're gonna be later in your life, and have input from people like my wife for these people is extraordinary."

Paul says ultimately this kind of family and support focus is what he wants to be remembered for.

"They're gonna try and write guitar maker on my gravestone, I want nothing to do with it," he adds. "I would want it to be 'a good family member'. That's what I want. I'd rather it was, 'He tried everything he has and at least he was trying to be a good family member. To me, that is way more important. They're not gonna talk about guitar making at my funeral… my daughter's gonna talk about her father."

Check out the full interview above and check out more videos from Working Class Music on YouTube

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.