David Antony Reid

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Perth guitar maker and repairer David Antony Reid has lived an interesting life so far! His unique business means he can mix his love for guitars with his passion for photography and every day throws up something different!

We managed to catch up with David when he had a spare moment from his hectic schedule to have a quick chat about his work, how he likes to spend his free time and to find out more about the man himself!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

My work is just far too varied and spontaneous to be typical!  I have very little idea of what I’ll be doing from week to week, really.  On any given day I could be working on any number of things, from the post-production of a photo shoot for someone’s website, to the making of a guitar commission build, or continuing work on a big guitar restoration, doing a re-fret, fret dress, re-wiring an electric guitar, fitting pickups, customising a wiring harness, anything guitar related, basically - I do all fretted instrument repairs and customising. I could be arranging to give a talk or seminar somewhere, entertaining a client, going to a meeting, setting up a photo shoot in my home studio, entering a photo competition, getting artworks printed, organising a location/country for a next shoot, looking for models, working on my website or social media – though admittedly I’m a bit slack with the social media -, or, just going to a café and writing. 

What signals the start of your weekend / days off?

Waking on a Sunday and knowing neither of us really needs to get up – bliss! 

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I once was part of a team who won silver at the Chelsea Flower Show – they usually got the gold, I must have let the side down that year! I’ve held practically every position there is in the construction industry at some point.  I was a DJ in the 90’s - although not a very good one! I handmade made my fiancés engagement ring aided by the watchful eye of the Perth jeweller Linda Byres - she’s great!  I handmade made my fiancés engagement ring aided by the watchful eye of the Perth jeweller Linda Byres - she’s great! 

I was a guitar-making college lecturer in London for two and a half years, and ran my own guitar making school in Battersea for 3 years – I’m actually considering starting-up one here, in Perth…  Lastly and hopefully to never be again - I’ve been homeless three times, twice in London and once in Majorca.

Top of your bucket list?

Learn to fly a plane!

Worst job you’ve ever had?

Sweeping the building yard in B&Q whilst hiding from customers – yep, that’s what’s happening when you’re looking for an orange bib in one of them.  Worst job by a long shot!  I’ve had 12 jobs in my life, and that one was the most short-lived of all - five weekends.  It was at the Drumchapel B&Q Warehouse, in Glasgow.  Just awful!   Dressing slates up in the Highlands in the rain is a very close 2nd!

Who or what inspires you? 

Living at this time in the evolution of the human race – I feel we all should be extraordinarily excited to be living in what is the most progressive period in history. Though some might argue it’s the scariest, I have more faith.  From Nano technology to 3D printing, and the LHC to autonomous vehicles, I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.  YouTube and its hundreds of thousands of gratuitous contributors and educators, for me they make it the greatest learning tool on the planet; it is absolutely priceless to me.  Precision engineering is high on my list as well.  From Rolls Royce jet engines to Ferrari cars, and The Large Hadron Collider to the Burj Khalifa, I’m totally blown-away by technologically advanced marvels of engineering.  Nature in its entirety, the whole universe – it’s just mind-boggling.

David Anthony Reid - St. Andrews Beach

Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?

In October 2011, I’d been back in touch with an old Perth friend of 21 years. We’d always kept in touch over the years when I was in London, mainly just the occasional lunch when I was back home, but I’d resigned myself to the fact that we’d only ever just be friends – I’d basically had a ridiculously huge crush on her for 21 years, but the timing was never right… I was coming up from London to Scotland for The Ullapool Guitar Festival and staying the night at my old best mate’s in Scone. I'd arranged a meal with a group of friends that Friday at Grand Italia, and invited the lady in question along.  She’d agreed and I was buzzing with excitement to see her again! Everyone arrived and she looked amazing.  She’s now the love of my life and we’re now almost 6 years in and engaged to be married. A great meal ensued, and a good-old catch-up with everyone was had; but at the end, as we all parted company, my dream lady just left without even a goodbye peck on the cheek.  I couldn’t help but feel hugely dejected as I’d felt the vibe that there might have been so much more there; but it was great to see her anyway. I headed for the Highlands and attended the festival the next day and I thought all was lost with my dream girl, but I received a text from her suggesting we might be able to meet-up again just before I head back to London.  I didn’t know how it was going to pan-out, but I didn’t have to wonder for very long, because as soon as the front door was closed she pounced on me in the hallway, completely taking me by surprise, and right there and then we had our first kiss. She’s now the love of my life and we’re now almost 6 years in and engaged to be married. I’ve been back up here living and running my business from Perth for the last two years.  If you told me “that” six years ago, I’d have never believed you in a million years!

What’s the best part about your job?

Never having a typical day.  No day is ever the same.  The sheer variety of aspects to what I do, the incredibly eclectic and interesting mix of people I meet, the places I travel to and see all over the world, the passion I have for it; oh, and getting to play so many different guitars!  

What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?

Masala Dosa, though they’re kind of hard to find around here…

Complete this sentence; The best things in life are….

Good relationships, music, film, art, food and nature.

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