Brad Paisley and Steve Wariner Share ‘Goosebump’ Moment
When Brad Paisley invited Steve Wariner to collaborate with him on 'More Than Just This Song' on his new 'Play' CD, he had no idea that a ghost story would emerge from the writing session. The song is a tribute to their late guitar mentors, and Paisley says the day they recorded it was definitely a "goosebump moment" for the two friends.
"My verse of the song was written about my guitar teacher, Clarence 'Hank' Goddard," he tells The Boot. "I got the flu in March and I had a 102 temperature, so I slept for three days, and in the midst of this fevered state, I came up with the words, 'I met this angel with callused hands.' I sang it into my computer and then went back to sleep. I found out later my teacher died the night I had the idea for the song."
Paisley, who says Wariner was a big influence on him, goes on to explain that Wariner was also heavily influenced by the man who taught him to play guitar. "You know my story -- as a teenage boy I was taking guitar lessons and allowed into this band by a much older and wiser guitar hero. Steve has the same story, but the man who taught him was Chet Atkins."
Paisley wrote the first verse and chorus for 'More Than Just This Song' and then asked Wariner to help finish writing it. They set a date to record and in the meantime, Paisley's father brought him Goddard's guitar. So Paisley decided to use it on the song, while Wariner planned to play one of Atkins' guitars.
"On the day of the session, Steve brought in Chet's guitar and I brought in Hank's guitar and we sat them down in the room. As I was opening the case, I told Steve to check it out because Hank had this old Gibson. When I opened the case, the bulletin from his funeral service was laying on the top of the guitar.
"Steve opened the case with Chet's guitar and said, 'You are not going to believe this.' Steve was the music director for Chet's funeral, and on top of that guitar was the bulletin from Chet's service at the Ryman. So here we sit with the cases open and the bulletins for both funerals are on top of the guitars. It was really weird; you get chills all over you. It was one of those moments that just felt very poetic. I cried the first few times I heard the song because I thought about Hank and how he would have loved it."