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Q & A: Kid Rock

The Detroit rocker celebrates summer with beers, strippers, fireworks and lots of yardwork

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Austin Scaggs Aug 10, 2011
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After particularly intense shows, it’s not surprising that Kid Rock has some pain in his lower back ”“ after all, the guy is 40. But he’s just glad it isn’t worse. “I honestly thought my knees would be gone by this point,” says Rock, checking in from a tour stop in Boston. “But I just got a physical and a finger up my ass, and everything checked out. The doctor was like, ”˜Holy shit! You’re healthy!’” Rock is spending his summer playing shows with Sheryl Crow, and a highlight has been his cover of rocker John Eddie’s ”˜Forty’ ”“ on which he sings, “I’m fuckin’ 40/But Bruce Springsteen’s fuckin’ 61, and the Stones are almost dead.” Says Rock, “It will be fucked up when they carry on to the next life and we have to switch that lyric. But it doesn’t look like there’s any end in sight ”“ those fuckers just keep ticking.”
How much did you spend on fireworks for the Fourth of July?
$1,100. Being the brainiac I am, we loaded up on fireworks in Indiana, because you get way better shit there than in Michigan. We got a good display. Sheryl and her kids and crew came to Michigan and we had a great day of swimming, drinking, playing horseshoes and setting off fireworks.
I heard you’ve been easing off the marching powder. True?
Yeah, slowing down on the drugs. Which never really got out of control, like, I never missed shows or anything. But drinking is different when you’re not high as hell. I used to drink a fifth of whiskey and pound beers all night and still be level-headed. Now I do that without the drugs and I’m like, “Fuck, I’m shitfaced and acting like an idiot.” It’s been interesting.
Who in the Twisted Brown Trucker Band parties the hardest?
It’s definitely me and Aaron, our bass player. We’re like gasoline and fire. And our new girl we have singing, Shannon, she likes to throw down. Everybody has a good time, but it’s not like the [1999] Destroy Your Liver tour. Now I just want to fly home between shows.
Why?
I just like it: pruning trees, straightening lawn chairs and shit. And camera phones have made the world difficult to live in. I’m approachable and always up to take pictures, but it gets old.
Have your bandmates ever pranked you?
No. We had that talk years ago when the Punk’d show was big. I said, “There’s two things that will happen if you ever punk me: You’ll get fired, but before that, I’ll punch you in the face.”
You rang in your 40th with stadium shows in Detroit. What was the most emotional moment of that day for you?
Well, the biggest thing was 60,000 people in my hometown showing up and celebrating with me. I put everything into that show ”“ it was like putting on the Grammys or something. The next morning, when the sun was coming up, I was sitting at the top of Motor City, overlooking the town, having a little whiskey. That was fucking cool.
You’re already working on another album, right?
We’re writing and fucking around with riffs at soundcheck. I want to make a greatest-hits record of all new songs, from all the genres I’ve touched on. There’s one I’m working on, it goes, “I’ll be somewhere up in heaven, raising hell.”
Who do you look forward to meeting in heaven?
Joe C. I’m sure he’ll meet me at the Pearly Gates and we’ll smoke a fatty. There are four strippers onstage every night. What’s that auditioning process like? The promoters find them. We actually need to devise a better system, because night to night it’s pretty fucking shaky. There are certain nights when I’m like, “Wow, what the fuck?” Not that you notice 20 rows back.
How is Sheryl handling the carnival-like atmosphere?
Sheryl is out of her fucking mind. Trying to babysit her on this tour has become a fucking chore. She’s throwing TVs out of windows, drinking all the whiskey, chasing guys after the shows. She’s nuts! Someone has to slow her down.

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