Keith Urban on His “Tragic, Ill-Fitting Demo”

His 1989 Nashville Memories Are Still Vivid

A few years before Keith Urban took the plunge and officially moved to America, he visited Nashville. And he remembers it like it was yesterday.

“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here,” Urban said recently during a radio interview.

“It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here,” he explained. “It was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville.”

Urban recalls taking his demo around Music City and not getting very much positive feedback.

“I think I humored everybody more than anything else with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time,” he laughed. “So I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”

That visit was when Urban was only 22 years old. But by that time, he’d already had so many successes in Australia (one of which was his performance of Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” on the New Faces television show when he was 16), that his success in America was just a matter of time.

And after making to move to Nashville once and for all, one of his first gigs was a small part portraying a backing musician Alan Jackson’s 1993 video for “Mercury Blues.” See if the silhouette of the guitar player looks familiar.

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