Alive and kick­ing!

Multi-plat­inum singer Garth Brooks dis­cusses his new an­thol­ogy, lip-synch­ing at CMAs


NEW YORK — Garth Brooks says he’s happy to share with fans the first of five an­tholo­gies he cre­ated, while he’s still alive and kick­ing.

“Ev­ery artist seems to wait till they’re dead, and I just don’t know how you en­joy that. Or ev­ery­body is so old that no­body can re­mem­ber the sto­ries, it just gets kind of all mud­died up,” he said in a re­cent in­ter­view. “So just to be able to do this while you’re up and run­ning re­ally was cool.” The 55-year-old singer re­leased Garth Brooks: The An­thol­ogy Part 1 The First Five Years last week. It in­cludes a book writ­ten by Brooks, five al­bums — in­clud­ing songs never heard be­fore — and be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries fo­cused on the years 1989-1994.

The multi-plat­inum singer, plans to re­lease the other four an­tholo­gies in the next few years.

Q What was go­ing through your mind when you looked at the first five years of your ca­reer?

To be hon­est I was scared be­cause I’ve told these sto­ries my whole ca­reer. Now I was scared that I’d have to go back and find, “Well maybe that wasn’t ex­actly how it hap­pened. Maybe we were stretch­ing the truth a lit­tle bit or what­ever to make a good story.” And then what I love is you go back — there it is; there is a first take of Much Too Young and that whole thing of you’re look­ing at all these guys who know what they’re do­ing and you don’t know what you’re do­ing.

Q What would Garth Brooks to­day tell the 1989 ver­sion

of Garth?

What I’ll tell him is, “You’re just so full of (ex­ple­tive), you’re scared to death and you’re run­ning and you’re pray­ing to God that each day you don’t kill your­self,” you know. But I think that’s all young artists. We got a kid named Mitch Rossell with us right now (on tour), sweet­est kid on the planet, but ... I am telling you, he’s so far in the dark sim­ply be­cause the great­est lessons in life can­not be taught. You have to learn them. And it’s just cool to see. So what we do to him is the same thing ev­ery­body did to me — they run along­side me with their arms try­ing to keep me from fall­ing ... and that’s what those guys did for me. Every­one in that book did that for me. Q What was it like to win en­ter­tainer of the year at the CMAs for the sec­ond year in a row?

It was very sweet ... Ev­ery­body

was say­ing “Hey ringer,” they were call­ing me ringer ... “You’re a shoo-in” and I was go­ing, “(Ex­ple­tive), we’re not go­ing to take it home this year” be­cause ev­ery­body thinks (we will) . ... We’re still cel­e­brat­ing! Q You’ve per­formed live for years, so why did you de­cide to lip-synch at the CMAs?

I think I know Ta­coma re­ally well, that was five nights (of shows there) three days right be­fore (the CMAs), it’s an in­door foot­ball sta­dium, so you go in there and you’re just fight­ing your guts out to try and reach the per­son that’s in the very back ... it’s real phys­i­cal and real de­mand­ing but very re­ward­ing.

So I knew they were go­ing to kick my (ex­ple­tive) and then I’ve got seven nights in Spokane the day after the CMAs.

So the week be­fore Ta­coma, while we were in Nashville, we went in and did a (pre-recorded) track just for the CMAs, and then de­cided we’d do a game-time de­ci­sion, and when it was game time it wasn’t a hard de­ci­sion for me to make at all. I don’t think it’s any se­cret some peo­ple have a dif­fer­ent opin­ion. Know­ing now what I knew then, even after all this crap, if it hap­pened the same way again next week, I’d do lip­synch­ing again. Q How’s the new al­bum com­ing along?

It’s just in pieces right now. We’ve been tour­ing so hard, so right now it’s in thoughts and pieces. We’re kind of work­ing on the an­thol­ogy, get­ting to work on that in your spare time.

To be hon­est I was scared be­cause I’ve told these sto­ries my whole ca­reer. Now I was scared that I’d have to go back and find, ‘Well maybe that wasn’t ex­actly how it hap­pened.

Garth Brooks


Garth Brooks wants to share his mu­sic with fans while he’s still young enough to en­joy the trip down mem­ory lane.

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