When Garth Brooks delivered Thursday’s (Feb. 23) Inside Studio G keynote address at the Country Radio Seminar 2017, the conversation kept coming back to his connection with his fans.
And when he talked about their experience just getting to a concert, the CMA’s reigning entertainer of the year said he understands the financial sacrifice fans make every time they come to one of his shows.
“Going to a concert might be the biggest pain in the ass,” he said. “Getting tickets? Good luck. Getting honest tickets? Good luck. Now the cost of them — nobody ever goes by themselves. Double that. Bring your kids? Double that. If not, then babysitters. … In Boston, the parking was more than the price of the concert ticket.”
Then he recalled the first time he saw Queen play live. His girlfriend at the time, Tammy, bought 13th row tickets that neither of them could afford.
“All I wanted was for Freddie Mercury to look at me for three seconds so I could go, ’Thank you, man. I know I shouldn’t be making my decisions by listening to your music. But I am,'” he told the CRS gathering in Nashville.
Referring to his time onstage, he added, “So now as you play, all you’re looking for is that three seconds to each person out there to go, ’Thank you. Thank you for my life. Thank you for my children’s college. Thank you for the dream gig.'”
Then he made himself and the attendees laugh when he compared playing music for a living to having sex.
“Our job when we come to the city is to burn that thing down,” he said. “That’s our job. But concerts are like sex, actually. Think about that because the whole time, you’re working to get an invitation back.”
The discussion started with a list of the latest Brooks statistics. His weekly Facebook Live chat had 45 million viewers last year. He’s earned seven Diamond certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America and five CMA entertainer of the year awards. His world tour is about to sell its 5 millionth ticket this weekend in Edmonton, Canada, and he is the No. 1 selling solo artist of all time.
When questions were opened up to the audience, the first question was from a Middle Tennessee State University music business student who asked what he ultimately wanted his legacy to be.
“If it’s this industry,” he said, “I’d love to be remembered as just the guy that kept telling us to love one another — ’That’s all he kept saying.'”
Then he got visibly emotional when he talked about his legacy outside of the spotlight. “I hope [my children] think I’m a good father and a good caretaker to them. I hope my parents on their last breath, thought that I was a child who loved them. Those are the things you want to be remembered for.”