When I finished last night’s post, Deb asked if I’d join her to watch “Life of a Rockstar: Kid Rock” on Fox Nation. We’d already seen intriguing snippets of Tucker Carlson’s interviews with Kid Rock, and more of the same sounded appealing, so we settled in the living room for the one-hour special.
It was, in a word, magnificent, raw and real and raucous. Kid Rock is unapologetically patriotic and never — ever — stumbles into political correctness, not accidentally and not intentionally: He doesn’t bow to the mainstream, declaring himself proudly immune to its sanctions:
“I am uncancelable… because I don’t give a fuck,” he says.
I tend to describe Rock in the same way that I do, say, Ted Nugent and Aaron Lewis. In fact, there’s a connection between Lewis and Rock that you might not know about.
In the late ’90s, when Staind was touring with Kid Rock, Lewis was inspired by Rock playing the likes of Waylon, Haggard, Jones, Cash and other legends on the bus. The experience reignited Lewis’s love of Real Country, and Rock encouraged him to pursue it.
“He reintroduced me,” Lewis said later. “[It] all came rushing back like a flood.”
The encounter may seem unlikely, and their musical styles certainly are nothing alike, but often that’s how the best stuff happens. It’s how we got “Country Boy” and all that’s come after.
Speaking of unlikely, a profile of Kid Rock by Tucker Carlson must sound like strange match, Carlson’s ageless preppie at odds with Rock’s chaotic redneck. But it really works, which says a lot about both men. Each is comfortable with who they are. Neither is a chameleon.
And like Aaron Lewis and Ted Nugent, both Kid and Tucker are fearless.
At one point in the Fox Nation episode, Carlson quipped about the difference in how he and Kid Rock were dressed.
“I didn’t pick out your outfit,” Rock shot back.
Carlson, sitting there in his navy sweater and khakis, replied, “Hey, I haven’t changed my clothes since 1985 and I’m not going to start now.”
I was watching him on PBS back in the ’80s, and he’s right — he hasn’t changed a thing. And he didn’t consult the Fox Nation wardrobe department before visiting Kid Rock’s “Redneck Paradise.”
Deb remarked about that afterward. She observed that we’re the same way, and that so are our closest friends. We don’t play dress-up and (beyond what’s prudent for survival) we don’t superficially adapt to “fit in” with a crowd.
We know who we are.
It might be more accurate to say that we’ve arrived at who we are. We didn’t get there all at once. Like most people we bounced around over the years, and we’re fortunate to have settled into a skin in which we’re comfortable and confident.
We are who we are. We don’t conform and we don’t follow. But if we were still looking for how to do that the right way, we’d take the examples set by Kid, Tucker, Aaron and Ted.
One year ago today, after spending two days glamping with good friends near the Metroplex, we were perched on a ridge above Bandera in the Texas Hill Country.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.