Garth Brooks: When the Old Stuff Was New

Reflecting on His First Shows in New York City

“The last time I worked for a living, I was 23 and I was roofing houses.”

That’s what Garth Brooks had to say about the long hours he and his band and crew are putting in on their current tour and how it still doesn’t feel like work.

It’s one of those love-what-you-do-and-do-what-you-love mantras that seemed to come up again and again in Brooks’ recent press conference about his shows at Yankee Stadium this summer.

Brooks also talked about how he has always loved playing New York City, even back when the old stuff was new.

“This place has shown — every time I’ve ever played here, be it at a club the first date we had here or at an outdoor park for a Toys for Tots drive or in Central Park or Madison Square Garden — they know their country music here,” Brooks said of New York City. “It feels very at home to play here.

“You’re guaranteed that whatever happens in this town is going to be epic. Whatever happens in this town is going to be fantastic. They know no center. It’s either full left or full right here,” he added.

His last New York City show was in August 1997, when he played for roughly 750,000 fans in Central Park.

And the reason New York wasn’t originally on this new tour, Brooks admitted, was because he wasn’t sure how to top Central Park.

“We were trying to figure out a way to come back from Central Park, and how to do it again. That (show) was a gift I don’t think a lot of artists get,” Brooks said. “I think Yankee Stadium is a wonderful way to come back.”

Brooks will be playing there July 8-9.

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