Garth Brooks Out of New York

Garth Brooks and the people with him left New York City Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 11) by car.

Brooks, manager Bob Doyle, spokeswoman Karen Byrd and Mt. Juliet, Tenn., schoolteacher Judy Cummings were in the city to record public service announcements for the Read Across America program.

The group was on its way to a recording studio when the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. They returned immediately to their midtown hotel, then left Manhattan.

“We drove north out of the city and across the Tappan Zee Bridge [over the Hudson River] and then back down on the Jersey side,” Byrd told Wednesday. “We’re just looking at a way to get back home, probably via ground, because we certainly can’t go anywhere by air.”

Brooks was to have received the Golden Note award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Tuesday night in Washington. The dinner in his honor was canceled, however. Byrd said Wednesday that there is no word on when the event might be rescheduled.

“All of our thoughts are with the families of the victims and those who are still alive, whom we hope will be rescued,” Byrd said. “We’re also thinking of our nation as we try to recover from this. That’s completely where our focus and our thoughts are.”

Byrd has family in the Philadelphia area. “We hope to get back to Nashville as soon as possible,” she said.

Brooks’ debut of his new single, “BEER RUN (B-double-E-double are you in?),” originally set for Monday (Sept. 17) at the Country Music Hall of Fame, also has been postponed “until a more appropriate time,” according to a release from Capitol Records.

“We are United States citizens first and a record label second,” said Capitol Records chief Mike Dungan in a statement. “Out of respect for the victims of today’s tragedy, we have decided to postpone our event. We know everyone joins our staff and our artists in remembering the victims and their families during this horrific time.”