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I am one of the luckiest guys in the world! Not only do we have the best listeners but I am honored and humbled by the awesome experiences I sometimes get to experience.
Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert, and Love and Theft put on an electrifying concert at Black Oak Amphitheater. I had the privelege of getting the opportunity to hang with Tim McGraw backstage outside his tour bus and on Brantley's tour bus.
Here are some things we learned about both:
1) Tim has a huge Flat Screen TV that he brings out and has installed in one of the cargo bays of his bus. There were camping chairs from a number of SEC teams. (No Mizzou: we'll have to send him one) I'm guessing the LSU chair was Tim's since he's from Louisiana. Imagine a bunch of guys sitting outside during the day, tailgating and watching football.
2) Tim and the band weren't watching football in Lampe though. Tim was watching a video of The Eagles from one of their '70s concerts. Tim is a huge Eagles fan and told us that he thinks they are the best band ever. He loves their harmonies.
3) We compared teenage daughter stories. Tim's eyes really light up when you start talking about his girls. He clearly is a loving father who adores his family. He has one daughter driving, and another about to get her learner's permit. I joked that his auto insurance rates were about to hit the roof and he laughed.
4) Rumor was that he worked out for FIVE hours during the day. I believe it. Tim is in the best shape I've ever seen him. I don't think he has an ounce of fat on his body. It's all muscle. I wish I was as disciplined as he is with training, working out, and eating as healthy as he does.
Sadly, I'm not:
5) Tim's youngest daughter recently broke both of her wrists. He felt bad for her not only cuz he's her dad, but the family is going on vacation to the beach soon. In the old days, she would have had to wear some protective covers to keep the casts dry. (His daughter is a water lover like mine) But he said fortunately the breaks weren't too bad and the casts were removable. Yay!
6) Curly, Nancy Simpson, and I got to meet Brantley after his performance on his bus. We were waiting outside the bus for Brantley to finish his quick shower, when Tim and his guys came strolling down by us. Tim recognized us and gave us a huge smile and a wave. (Nancy was pretty giddy about the wave :)
7) Brantley has a new puppy. A Boxer. The dog's nickname from the crew is Junior. I asked Brantley how big he would grow. About 100 lbs. That's going to be a huge dog! Junior is really lovable and was playing on the bus with us.
8) Brantley and Jana Kramer met at a post CMT Awards party. She likes to tell people that Brantley made eyes at her first. Brantley's story is that they both noticed each other at the same time. (I'll have to teach him the phrase to a happy marriage: "You're right. I'm wrong. I'll change")
9) Brantley knew Jana was special when he brought her home to meet his biker buddies. One of them is like a dad to Brantley The entire group is like family and look out for him. No girlfriend has ever passed the test. Jana did. She won them over right away.
10) Brantley wears cotton sweat pants underneath his black jeans on scorching hot days like it was in Lampe. I asked him why? Here's the condensed story: When he was younger and riding a cycle, he was too big for boys riding chaps but not big enough for men's. So he wore sweatpants under his jeans to give him some protection. He got used to it and noticed that not only on cold days would it keep him warm, but on hot days it kept him cooler. He says the sweatpants absorb sweat and keeps him cooler. So now he wears sweatpants under his jeans on stage if it's really hot or really cold.
11) Yes he is truly a huge new artist Rachel Farley fan. He's a champion for her. He agrees she's gonna be a huge star some day.
12) He's from Georgia. Tim is from Lousiana. I asked them if they've gotten into any rivalry type stuff with them both being in the SEC. He laughed and said no. They don't bring it up. He said Tim's a good buddy and doesn't want to go there. But yes, Brantley is a huge 'Dawgs fan.
13) Brantley has a Keurig coffee maker on the bus. They guy likes his fancy coffee.