Garth Anonymous

Admitting You Watched
his TV Special is the

First Step in Joining
“Garth Brooks Anonymous”

Garth Brooks at We Are One (edit)Hi, my name is Zach, and I watched the Garth Brooks TV special; and I did it voluntarily.  Honest.  No lying.  Several years ago, I wouldn’t have admitted that even under torture measures as bad as being in charge of Derek Dooley’s hair or feet care.

When I was growing up (assumes I have), country music consisted of Merle Haggard, Lynn Anderson, Charley Pride, and the cast of Hee Haw.  I never was a fan. The closest I got was attending the Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam and buying a cowboy hat after Urban Cowboy came out.  You’ve never heard of Urban Cowboy?  Try Google.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Then during the mid to late ‘80’s, some country music started becoming popular with younger folks.  Names like Randy Travis and Travis Tritt started popping up.  CMT came around and the country singer had to clean up and not look/smell like the aftermath of the bender they were on the night before.  Then folks started going nuts over a singer from Oklahoma named Garth Brooks who quickly became just Garth.  When people mentioned “Garth” now, it wasn’t following the phrase “party on”.

I noticed that country music started sounding more and more like some of the early “rock” music I liked such as the Eagles, Bob Seger, etc.

Since I have never bought Thriller, watched Gone with the Wind or Titanic, I didn’t jump on the Garth bandwagon, and I wore that badge with pride.  I never really became a country music fan.  I would occasionally switch to CMT hoping that the Lorrie Morgan video would be running.  Mainly, I kept up with country music because 1) I lived in Nashville and 2) females liked country and I needed something to talk about.  As I grew older, I noticed that country music started sounding more and more like some of the early “rock” music I liked such as the Eagles, Bob Seger, etc.  Yes, I am rationalizing why I started listening to some country music.

Back to the Garth special.  So Garth walked away a few years ago while he was king of the country and pop mountain to be a Dad and a husband.  Then about three years ago he signed a monster deal with the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas to basically be flown on a private jet from Oklahoma to Vegas for a one-night-a-week show that was just him and his guitar.  Oh, yeah and he got paid a pile of money.  Not a bad gig if you can get it.  So for his last gig at the Wynn, Garth played it live (7 second delay, thank goodness) for America.  It was billed as an evening with Garth as he explored his musical roots.

The show started with Garth and just his guitar. He spent the first hour and a half talking his way through his personal history and his influences.  He talks about his musical influences coming from his mother and father until he heard folk/pop music.  He would then play a snippet of a song from a particular artist and occasionally morph the song into one of his one popular songs to demonstrate how the song influenced his writing.  His running back and forth all over the stage got a little tiresome, but I imagine that comes off better with a full band, lights, and special effects.  Speaking of a full blown concert, I understand Garth is a huge KISS fan (mentions them in the show).  From what I have seen of his concert footage, he “borrows” some of their antics – such as flying out over the crowd, spitting water (instead of flames).  There is no question that the guy is an entertainer.  He brought his wife out (Trisha Yearwood) to sing one of her songs and a duet.  He finished the show with his own hits.  I assume “Friends in Low Places” was the last song – the DVR quit after the first verse.

This special coincided with the release of a box set labeled “Blame It All on My Roots” in which Garth performs songs which influenced his musical tastes, including the requisite DVD and photo booklet.  The song count is at 81 songs, including his own hits.  The timing is perfect to coincide with the rumored re-emergence of Brooks on the concert scene in 2014.  I would bet the ranch on that happening.  Trust me.  Songwriters all over Nashville with cuts on this box set are rejoicing.

To bring this thing home, I watched it.  I liked it.  I even liked it enough that I may slide by Wal-Mart and pick up the box set.  Not solely for the music. You see, Garth stepped up to the plate in 2010 after Nashville and the surrounding area was flooded.  We take care of our own.  He announced a flood relief concert with tickets at $25.  What?  That’s cheap (and means not much money).  But they kept adding shows as each would sell out.  They stopped at nine shows.  That’s right, nine shows and $5 million.  He also did a huge favor for a sick friend of mine at one of those shows.  Because of these last two things – I can now say out loud that I am a Garth fan.  Meet you at Wally World.

About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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