The touching reason Paul Reed Smith doesn’t want the words ‘guitar maker’ on his gravestone

“Believe me, they’re not gonna talk about guitar making at my funeral,” says the luthier.

Paul Reed Smith

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Paul Reed Smith has revealed the heartwarming reason he doesn’t need — nor want — the world ‘guitar maker’ written on his gravestone.

Speaking to Working Class Music for SweetWater’s GearFest2023, the PRS founder opens up about the philosophy with which he approaches life and the legacy he wishes to leave behind eventually.

Asked jokingly by hosts Tia and Jason if he’d adopt them, Paul replies (via MusicRadar): “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 says.

“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.”

The luthier also reveals that he gets many young adults coming up to him and his wife for guidance, saying: “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.”

“They’re gonna try and write guitar maker on my gravestone, I want nothing to do with it,” Paul 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. Believe me, they’re not gonna talk about guitar making at my funeral… my daughter’s gonna talk about her father.”

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