Garth Brooks wasn’t taking things for granted in the ’90s.
He said so himself during a Tuesday morning (May 17) press conference at New York’s Yankee Stadium, where he announced he’ll will be performing on July 9.
“I don’t think I was an ass in the ’90s. I don’t think I took things for granted,” he said about how his gratitude has changed over the years. “But there’s a level of getting to tour at this age, this late in your career, with the numbers of people showing up and the attitude they’re showing up with: grateful.”
But Brooks also talked at length about how his relationship with his fans.
“If you think I belong to them, yes, I do. They are my boss,” Brooks said of his loyal fans everywhere. “Never worked for better people in my life. I love it. And the great thing about my gig is that what is good for them is good for me. How sweet is that? I do work for them. And I’m proud to.”
What Brooks tries to do for his fans during shows is lock eyes with them, even for a few seconds, so they know how much he appreciates them. It’s a trick inspired by a trip to see Queen when he was a teenager in Oklahoma.
“When I was 17, my high school sweetheart Tammy surprised me with tickets to go see Queen. Now we’re talking. This is the guy. Freddie Mercury is the entertainer of a lifetime,” he recalled. “So I’m sitting there the whole time during this concert — remember it like yesterday– trying for three seconds to lock eyes with this guy. Just to say, ’Thank you,’ and, ’I’ve made decisions based on your lyrics.’ I’ve spent last 25 years of my life as an entertainer trying as much as I can to lock eyes (with fans) and say, ’Thank you for my life.'”
Wearing his own black ball cap and jeans, holding a New York Yankees ball cap in one hand, Brooks talked for more than 30 minutes about his return to New York City. His last show there was in Central Park on August 7, 1997, when he played for roughly 750,000 fans.
Tickets for the July 9 show go on sale on Friday.