OFFSTAGE: I Read Dierks Bentley’s Diary

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

Dierks Bentley showed his diary to me. Willingly. So it’s not like I was reading from it without his permission. I’m not crazy like some other fans. But when we were chatting on his bus last week, he went and got the diary (OK, “journal” is probably a better, more masculine word) out of his bunk to show me.

“I was just writing about the girls,” he told me as he showed me the lengthy entry he’d just finished. “I can write little things about them. Like back in August I wrote, ‘When I see E next, she’ll probably already have her first day of school under her belt. I know she’s gonna change so much this Fall. I hate it. I don’t want her to ever lose that sweet innocence.’”

Bentley told me, with a laugh, “Every entry starts out with ‘It’s been so long since I wrote in here.’ I just miss them and everything’s flying by. I write down little moments. Words she was saying, things that make her laugh. I write down dates of when she has first smiles, first steps. I wanna give this to her because I’ve been away a lot.’”

He also uses the journal like a scrapbook. So it had his all-access sticker from The Tonight Show, a photo of his wife when she was having their first daughter and a picture of Bentley playing the Springwater Supper Club and Lounge in 1998. And he said in one of his journals he still has copies of the flyers he’d make for those kinds of gigs, when his first band — the Uptown Ramblers — played their acoustic shows full of old-school country.

“We didn’t do the hits. We didn’t do anything current,” he told me. “Just ’50s and ’60s country.”

Stay tuned next week for more of Bentley’s diary. I mean, his, um, road journals. I’ll tell you why his band got fired from the Stage, all about his dream garage and his favorite Minnie Pearl quote.

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