OFFSTAGE: Dinner With Kid Rock Makes My Top 10 of ’10

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

As I continue my countdown of my most memorable country music moments of 2010, this night definitely comes to mind. And it happened completely by accident. I mean, how else would I have ended up at Kid Rock‘s table at the Palm restaurant in Nashville? But once I was there, I was not about to leave. It’s not every day Jamey Johnson invites me to dinner with “friends,” and then those “friends” turn out to be Kid Rock, Nickelback‘s Chad Kroeger, Uncle Kracker and an assortment of other Nashville bigshots. It lasted a good three hours, and was full of platters of oysters, bottles of not-even-on-the-list wine, and some Bob Seger singalongs. But what made the night stand out to me was watching all the other patrons in the place watch us. Some were graciously ignoring the big flurry of rock stars. Others had their cell phones out and were taking picture after picture that you just knew they were going to text to their friends with captions like “Look! Kid Rock’s eating a salad!” A few people even approached the table asking if they could get their picture taken with the guys. For the first time in my life, I was on the other side of that fans + stars equation, and it was a very valuable lesson in celeb etiquette.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.