Macklemore, Ricky Nix. Kid Rock. Vanilla Ice.
What do all these guys have in common? They are all white rappers.
And I love them all. And no, Eminem is NOT included on my list. He only has ever recorded two singles that didn’t sound like the beat was from a Casio keyboard and he was trying to do a cartoon voice. Those two decent song are “Lose Yourself” and “Stan”.
It was 1999.
I had my first “real” job post-college in an office, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day doing monotonous work.
I was miserable.
Luckily, they let me listen to music while I did my boring data entry work.
At this same time, there was a song on the radio that I really liked. I didn’t know the name of it or who sang it, but I was pretty sure it went as follows:
Break it up let’s tie one on
I gotta get set to go and cut the lawn
So I grab my Walkman but before I cut
I go behind the garage and fire it up
Cause I’m the pool guy
I thought they were weird lyrics, but I definitely liked the Rap Rock mix. At a chance encounter hanging out at a bonfire, I got to hear more of the album. I liked it a lot. I found out the song above is actually called “Bullgod”, and I had misheard the lyrics.
I went out and purchased the CD (Yes, people did that back then): Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”
I listened to it every day for the next year. While I was a good little obedient worker typing away, I was listening to wonderful lyrics about drugs and violence and sex set to a pounding beat on my headphones.
I fell in love with Kid Rock’s music. I bought all his previous CDs that I could get from online auctions. I never managed to get Fire It up, an EP that was released in 1993. I liked listening to his early stuff to hear how he evolved, but I still loved Devil Without A Cause the best.
Kid Rock has a great saying that perfectly describes how his music affected me:
If it looks good, you’ll see it;
If it sounds good, you’ll hear it,
if it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it;
But…if it’s real, you’ll feel it.
At this same time, I started attending rock concerts regularly, which I had never really done before. But I suddenly had opportunities (on rare occasions, we got free tickets at work) and people to attend with me. I learned that some people require alcohol to have a good time on a night out, and some do not. I mostly went to concerts with my green-haired friend, her brother, and my crazy friend. They did not required alcohol to have a good time. We could end up laughing until we couldn’t breath with no help from outside substances whatsoever.
The first time I saw Kid Rock in person was at a Top Dog showcase at the State Theatre (Now known as the Fillmore Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan on July 27, 2000. Top Dog is Kid Rock’s own record label. Kid Rock wasn’t scheduled to perform, but I hoped that he would. I also hoped that he would be there, and maybe there would be a chance to meet him. My green-haired friend, her brother, and I stood in a line that ran down the side of the building, waiting for them to open the doors. We were apparently standing right near a stage door, because guys kept going in and out with guitars and speakers and stuff. I told my friends that I thought the guy with the bright orange dyed hair was in Kid Rock’s band, Twisted Brown Trucker. They did not believe me. Until later, when he was on stage with Uncle Kracker. The orange haired guy was Jason Krause. Although we didn’t get an autograph that day, we would ten months later.
Kid Rock didn’t perform at that show, but he did emcee, announcing the three acts before each one performed. Paradigm, Howling Diablos, and Uncle Kracker performed. I believe Joe C. was there too. We would all go on to become big Uncle Kracker fans, and attend many of his concerts.
The first time I actually saw Kid Rock perform was at Pine Knob (Now known as the DTE Energy Music Theater) in Clarkston, Michigan on August 25, 2000. My green-haired friend and I had stood in line when tickets went on sale early one Saturday morning. It was an outdoor venue, and we had been lucky enough to get pavilion seats, although they were 48 rows back from the stage. The local radio station was having a contest to win tickets. I thought they might have closer seats, so I called and won. Alas, what I won were lawn tickets. So, I invited my boyfriend (now husband) and his best friend along with us.
To my delight, and many other young people’s confusion, David Allan Coe was the opening act. I grew up on 70’s and 80’s country. “You Never Even Call Me By Name” is one of his biggest hits, and one of my favorite country songs. Sadly, that is about all I remember from that concert.
It would be the last time we would see Joe C. in person alive, as he died on November 16, 2000. Eerily enough, my husband and I were driving through Taylor that very evening, coming home from another show. Because I worked with people who worked with record company people, I actually knew the time and location of Joe C.’s funeral, but I didn’t go. I do have SOME stalker morals.
I started to watch Kid Rock on every TV show that he performed on. I started a scrapbook of magazine articles about him. I dressed as Kid Rock for Halloween, and wore it to work. I made a collage on my bedroom door. I hung up posters of him in my cubicle at work. One of my co-workers started to call me Kid Jen. I had a giant cardboard standee of him in my living room. I was obsessed. Which is unfortunate, because there was a lull in Kid Rock activity in the time until his Cocky album was came out in late 2001.
On May 27, 2001, my green-haired friend, her brother, my now-husband, and I went to the 89X 10th Birthday Bash at a venue called Phoenix Plaza. I always get lost in Pontiac. And Phoenix Plaza is a big park on top of a parking garage. All sorts of bands that really have no relation to this story were performing that day. Sum 41 (who we MISSED!), Rehab (who got booed), Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cold, Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Dope. Right when we got there, two members of Treble Charger (who we had seen in concert a few weeks prior, also the concert where I obtained most of my current hearing damage) walked right by us. By the time I convinced my green-haired friend that that is who the guys indeed were, they got on an elevator and left. With later Internet research, we found out one of those guys from Treble Charger sometimes produces Sum 41 albums.
But that would not be the first of our celebrity encounters that day. There was a whole area where the bands would come and sign stuff. Jason Krause, orange-haired guitar player from Twisted Brown Trucker, and Stefanie Eulinberg, Kid Rock’s drummer, were also there. They weren’t performing, just watching the bands. Jason happily signed an autograph for us. We ran into Stephanie in the crowd. She was super nice, then proceeded to work her way forward toward the stage. She was shorter than me, and having trouble seeing the performances.
According to my ticket stubs, next we went to see Uncle Kracker at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on August 24, 2001. It was a beautiful outdoor venue, but VERY far away from my house. Uncle Kracker’s debut CD contained a song with Kid Rock on it. I hoped Kid Rock would appear to perform it with him. He did not. Although, Ron Jeremy introduced Uncle Kracker that day. How many people can say they have seen Ron Jeremy in person?
The concert had an official After Party at the Emerald Ballroom in Mount Clemens. I fell in love with the Emerald Theatre (Now called the Macomb Music Theatre) and its cozy leather chairs. But alas, it was even FURTHER away from my house, and not optimal to frequent for concerts.
Yes, we went to the afterparty, hoping to see Kid Rock. We did not. We did get to see Uncle Kracker’s very attractive guitar player from just a few feet away though. The ride back to Belleville was very, very long. Everyone fell asleep except, luckily, the driver.
Someone at work informed me that Kid Rock was doing a video shoot at the Palace of Auburn Hills. We tried to stalk it.
Come back on Thursday for Part 2 to find out if we ever did find the music video shoot, and if I ever got to meet Kid Rock…
Part 2 can be found here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/05/22/yes-kid-rock-i-have-stalked-you-part-2