Toby Keith: Underage and Overserved

"Drunk Americans" Singer Recalls His First Time

Blame the flaming armadillo. That was what Toby Keith was drinking the first night he ever remembers getting drunk.

“It’s like three liquors, and they set it on fire,” Keith told CMT Radio’s Cody Alan about the tequila/amaretto/rum concoction he was drinking one night at a steak house.

“I remember I said, ’I want another and another and another,'” he said. “I was underage, and I got a little overserved. I puked for like three days. I was really sick.”

But that was not the first time he’d ever tasted alcohol. That came earlier, and it sounds like it was kind of a family bonding experience.

“It would’ve had to have been riding in the front seat with my dad and my uncle, and they had them old beer cans. And they’d put salt on the rim and drink right off the can. I remember being little, and he’d give me a drink once in a while. I knew they had me hooked,” he laughed, saying the beer of choice back then was either Falstaff or Schlitz.

Since his grandmother owned a supper club, Keith says he was around drinking a lot.

“Thank God that I can take it or leave it,” he said of his ability to just say no when he wants to. But when he does say yes, he really says yes.

“It’s like when I’m social, I’m rocking,” he said.

Keith’s new single “Drunk Americans” sounds like it might be about Americans getting drunk, but it’s bigger than that. It’s about people coming together — albeit in a bar — and shedding their CEO, GED, DUI, FBI and PHD labels so they can all just become one and raise their glasses to that.

He described the song from his upcoming album, 35 MPH Town, like this:

“It sounds like ’I Love This Bar’ and ’American Ride’ had a child, and ’Beers Ago’ is their drunk uncle.”

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