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