Brad Paisley Keeps His Promise, Honors Deceased Fan in Very Special Way
Brad Paisley made a promise last autumn to Lee Feldman, an Ephrata, Penn. resident who was stricken with pancreatic cancer. That promise was to use Feldman’s gift of a prized custom-made guitar on Paisley’s new album, ‘Wheelhouse,’ and to not let the guitar lay unused and forgotten.
“I was given a guitar in my meet and greet by a man who was dying of pancreative cancer and had weeks to live,” Paisley explains of how he got the instrument. “He was a really feisty, wonderful old guy, gave me this great old guitar that was an electric, sort of Les Paul-like, and he said, ‘I want you to have this… if you’re going to play it, I want you to have it. If you ain’t going to play it, give it to someone else. I don’t want it collecting dust.’”
Paisley followed the instruction he was given. Toward the end of recording ‘Wheelhouse,’ he brought the guitar into the studio and set it down — and then it hit him. “And I went, ‘I know the song for that,’” the singer recalls, “And that’s what plays the guitar leads on ‘Officially Alive.’ As the album ends, it’s one of the last things you hear.”
“He told me, he said, ‘I want this to live on,’” Paisley remembers. “So we ended the record with it.”
It’s exactly how the terminally ill fan, who sadly passed away in November, would have wanted it. He and his guitar are living on forever in music history on ‘Wheelhouse,’now a No. 1 record for the country star.
Paisley will probably always hold a soft spot in his heart for that special promise and the guitar that Lee Feldman didn’t want just anyone to have. Whether he brings it with him on tour or he leaves it in the safekeeping of his home, it’s certain that the guitar will be cherished by its new owner for years to come.
Watch Brad Paisley Explain How He Kept This Very Special Promise