Well, I didn’t know this about Eric Church. Would you have taken him for the diaper-changing dad-on-a-tour-bus type?
That surprising fact was just one of many enlightening moments during Church’s recent profile and interview on CBS Sunday Morning . I learned many other things about him that only endeared him to me as a loyal listener and fan even more than his quintessential song, “Springsteen.”
In high school, he was apparently an exceptional pupil and student body president. He also was one heck of a basketball player and didn’t purchase his first guitar until age 13, working extra hard to become an exceptional picker and make up for lost time. I learned that during his first gigs at the Olde Hickory Tap Room in his native North Carolina, it wasn’t the soccer moms he was after with his music. It was the guys who wanted to party.
They were definitely his people — the guys and girls not afraid to throw a few back. Their tradition to party hard still carries on at his concerts today. Church quipped during the interview that he’s seen it all during his shows.
“There’s a couple of songs that they … it’s just like clockwork,” he laughed. “They’re gonna fight on this song or that song. I know they’re gonna have sex on this one, kinda openly.”
And whatever you do, don’t try to deter or detain those fans. Church says he sees absolutely nothing wrong with things getting a little rowdy and unpredictable. In fact, when questioned about an incident during a show where a member of the security crew was trying to subdue a fan, Church admitted he got a little physical with the guard.
“It was more of a kick … somewhat of a punch,” he said. “It was a punch-kick. It was however I could get to him. Because we came from bars and clubs, I don’t want anybody to ever assume I can’t handle the environment we’re in. When you’ve played the places we’ve played, and now you’re playing where we are? Let the spirit move, man.”
That message is echoed in The Outsiders, his new album that was released Tuesday (Feb. 11).
On the other hand, it sounds like his wife Katherine and son Boone have contributed to a
softer side of Church.
During the CBS Sunday Morning interview, he recalled leaving the stage and walking to his tour bus and changing his son’s dirty diaper — still in his “Chief” hat, sunglasses and necklace.
It may not sound very rock ’n’ roll, but it sure sounds like real life and real love.