21 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Kid Rock - Rolling Stone
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21 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Kid Rock

Rock’s revelations include Limp Bizkit’s bad road etiquette and his friendship with David Letterman

Kid RockKid Rock

Kid Rock says he's still not sick of playing "Bawitdaba"

Robert Laberge/Getty

In Rolling Stone’recent article on him, Kid Rock shoots hogs, takes verbal shots at Beyoncé and generally pulls no punches at his home in Troy, Alabama. But there was plenty of material that we didn’t include. Here are some weird, wild things you learn spending time with Rock, who is heading out on tour with Foreigner (most tickets are $20) starting June 24th in Hartford, Connecticut.

He’s “generous to a fault,” according to friend Jamey Johnson
“He’s the kind of guy that does the right thing even when no one’s looking,” says Johnson. “You’re more likely to go and find out some of the charitable things he’s done in his life from other people than from him, because he won’t talk about it. Shit, I’ve been driving with him, and he picks up the phone and hear a conversation go down and I know damn well he just sent a huge check to somebody. I’ll say, ‘Well, what was that all about?’ And he’ll say, ‘Just a friend of mine.’ He’s humble about his charities, I guess. Except the ones he wants to come out and broadcast about. When he wants to come out and make it a big effort and really do something, he’s not humble anymore.”

He still isn’t sick of playing “Bawitdaba”
“‘Bawitdaba’ is tough to beat,” he says of his 1998 hit. “I either do it when I come out or close to the end [of my set]. Put some fucking bitches shaking their ass, shoot some fire in the air, scream out your fucking name, people are pulling out their fucking hair.”

Limp Bizkit showed him how not to treat roadies
Rock was the opening act for the rap-rock crew in the late-Nineties. “I always told my band, ‘You see how Limp Bizkit treats their roadies and shit? We don’t do that.’ I was like, ‘These people are helping us. They’re not trying to harm us. We’re all working together.’ Then we saw Metallica, and they treat their people great. We want to be like them. We want to treat everybody good. Don’t spit on people. Don’t throw microphones at them. Don’t get pissed off. We want to go a long way, and that’s not how you treat people. I had been in the trenches for a lot of years. I was like, ‘Let’s not fuck this up by being brats. I’ll be a brat on the stage. When we get the fuck off, we fucking treat them like they’re part of our fucking family. And luckily, I was right. ‘Cause that fucking helped. You see who’s still standing.”

Being nice has other benefits too
“[Girls] were always throwing themselves [at us]. It’s just when we first put the record out, it was bigger girls in southern Ohio, northern Virginia. Sold 10 million records and I was banging supermodels, which I didn’t have a problem with.

“[But] I always treated people nice. Looking back at those times, I think I got more pussy than fucking anybody because I always treated people nice. That’s probably why I got so much fucking pussy. It doesn’t hurt to write fucking ‘Cowboy,’ I get it. ‘Picture,’ forget about it…. We had our morals in check. We didn’t fuck anybody’s wife, anybody’s girlfriend. We don’t need those headaches.”

It isn’t much easier being a parent when you’re rich and famous
“We went through our periods: ‘Well, you’re famous, I can’t do this and that.’ ‘Cry me a fucking river. Go play fucking Nintendo on your fucking 30-inch TV.’ You know what I mean? We all go through it with our parents, people we love, just a little push and pull, but we love each other. He loves his family and I love him.”

Kid Rock is not a hugger
“Now [my dad’s] crying after shows, like, ‘I’m so proud of you.’ I’m like, ‘Shut the fuck up and quit crying – stop it!’ I don’t like anybody crying. I don’t do well with that. I don’t cry myself. I definitely have emotional issues. We’re not gonna hug it out.”

Rock sells records
“If you look at my radio spins compared to other artists, and you look at the records I sell when they spin me, it’s gotta be fucking insane. Like, if they spin somebody a million times, they sell 500,000 records. If you spin me 500,000 times, I probably sell four million. That’s always been my biggest challenge: getting the music in the people’s hands.”

He has an idea about how to fix the state of rock music
“That fucking nu-metal shit? I think rock radio missed the boat. You listen to these country artists – they’re fucking playing rock music! If they would embrace that, I don’t know if you’d call it ‘heartland rock,’ but they gotta mix it up a little bit. But [nu-metal bands have] stuck with heavy shit that’s not melodic and doesn’t stand the test of time.”

The most talented artist he knows?
“Jamey Johnson is the most talented motherfucker. And if he puts out a real record, he sells a gold record, with nobody fucking with him. They don’t even want to see his face in Nashville.”

Rock gets really pissed off if someone disrespects his friend Hank Williams Jr.
“It takes a whole pile of money to move Bob Ritchie [Rock’s real name] and Hank Williams Jr. to a festival,” says Hank Jr. “There was some guy, he did one here in South Alabama and he said, ‘Hey, I’ll give Hank, so-and-so figure just to walk out there and introduce you?’ [Rock] said, ‘Let me tell you something, motherfucker. Hank Williams Jr. don’t come down here to introduce me.’ Oh, he got hot. He got really hot. He said, ‘Nah, and this will be the last time I do your thing too.’ He said if that happened it would be because we’re doing it for fun. He got hot on that deal.” 

Kid Rock

Hank Williams Jr. defends Rock’s controversial Facebook photo with a mountain lion he shot
Rock angered animal rights activists when Ted Nugent posted a photo on Facebook of Rock holding a dead mountain lion. “It was a mountain lion of a lifetime,” says Hank Jr. “You do your world, we’re gonna do ours. [My friend] has been on three hunts in three states: Utah, Arizona and Idaho. He spent a large amount of money on those three hunts. It was eight degrees above zero, he hunted for a minimum of five or six days on all three of those, he never got one. Bobby, they had it in a matter of two hours. It was really, really deep snow. I know a lot about mountain lion and bear hunting. He had perfect conditions. And that’ll never happen again, and it was a huge one.”

Adds Hank Jr., “The other side of that is maybe those people that didn’t like it can look up when a young, beautiful, mid-thirties mother was killed while she was jogging in California by a mountain lion. Or look at the 10-year-old kid that was mauled on a field trip in Montana. Don’t even get me started on that shit. They can and they will kill you. They can and they will.”

Rock loves crawfish broils
“You can cook for 30 fuckin’ people and eat it all fuckin night.”

He loves Hozier
“I’m always scratching my head [at SNL], like, ‘Who the fuck is this band? This is horrible!’ Then I saw that kid and I’m like, ‘Holy shit. I don’t know who the fuck that is but that motherfucker is the best thing I’ve seen in years.’ I turned 20 people on to it.”

David Letterman loves him
“He sent me a letter after I went to Afghanistan once [saying], ‘I’d be proud to have an American badass son like you.’ People like that, you grow up watching, then you get to a point, like, ‘Are we friends? Sounds like it? That’s weird!’ I was at the Kennedy Center doing the Led Zeppelin [tribute]. I saw him at the dinner the night before and he’s like, ‘Bob!’ I’m like, ‘Look at me, hanging with Dave!'”

He’s living the American dream
“I took my dad to meet Jerry Lee Lewis at the Tonight Show. My dad said something smart, and Jerry fucking looked at him like he was fucking going to knock my dad’s head off, cause my dad’s a smartass. But yeah, that shit’s mind-blowing. All the shit I’ve gotten to do. Singing with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, shit like that, it’s like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ I’m a dirty rap DJ who used to breakdance! And I’m up there playing Led Zeppelin songs in front of Led Zeppelin and the President!

He’s a pretty good golfer
“We got him hooked on gold now, he’s a better golfer than I am,” says Jamey Johnson. “I got a year on him, and it really is embarrassing…. Bobby will go out and I mean, he’s a golfer. He might hit a bad shot now and then. I ain’t saying he’s Tiger Woods or nothing, but when he goes out to play, he wants to accomplish something.”

He hates making speeches
“If I go to a speaking engagement, I’m fucking shaking like a leaf on a tree in my mind,” says Rock. “I did it once for Mitt Romney, I’m like, ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ I’m like, ‘Just play the songs and shut up! Who are you? What, are you a political science expert now?’ Even fucking funerals, I’m better singing than speaking. They always ask me to sing. Joe C’s funeral, Billy Powell from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Kilgore, Hank’s manager…. It fucking makes me so fucking nervous and upset.”

He’s done taking photos with fans
“I stopped taking pictures just last week. I’ll sign anything you want. I’ve always taken pictures, but you know what? People can fucking pattern you now. They know when I’m in Florida. They know I’m at Home Depot. Everyone hashtags #kidrock. My girlfriend is on Instagram – I don’t fuck with it – and she’s like, ‘Oh here you are at Home Depot.’ And she found a funny one. I was at this golf store, and this real nice black girl’s like, ‘Oh my God, Kid Rock, can I take a picture?’ and I explain my situation, and she was like, ‘No, I understand,’ but my heart bleeds, because I want to take a picture with her. And she goes, ‘Would you sign this shoebox?’ And then guess what? The shoebox is on Instagram: ‘Look what Kid Rock just signed up here in Jupiter, Florida!'”

Joe Perry contacted him to record with Aerosmith a few years ago when the guitarist had fallen out with Steven Tyler
“Joe Perry did contact me about just going and demoing some songs with him to make Steven jealous. No, I was like, ‘Fuck, I can’t be your sidepiece, man. You just want a hot bitch to make your girlfriend jealous. I get it.’ I love those guys.”

He’s wants to start a supergroup with Yelawolf
The two met one night in Michigan, introduced by Eminem. “Eminem’s manager Paul calls and says, ‘Hey, Em wants to get together with you.’ I’m like, ‘This is weird.’ He’s not the hangout guy. I tell him to come for dinner, I’ll cook him a steak. So he comes over, me and Aud are cooking steaks. ‘Em, what’s going on? What are you doing here? Something’s going on.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, I got this fucking rapper signed who’s the best rapper I’ve ever heard. Will you do a song with him? He’s from Alabama, he fucking raps.’ I looked out there on my porch, and I’m like, ‘The white kid with the mullet?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah man, he’s fucking dope.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even know that kid, but he might be my hero.’ Just by looking at him. I’m like, ‘If you’re telling me that kid’s the best rapper, obviously I believe you.’ So we end up hanging out, playing tunes, and then Em leaves, and we down a fucking bottle of whiskey. We’re thinking about starting a group together called Stray Bullets.”

He knows the secret to handling tabloid disasters
“I’ve been through the tabloid fiascos, especially when I was young, I was like, ‘Fuck! My whole world’s crumbling! What do I do?’ And then I realized, I just wait 24 hours – that’s all you gotta do. And then they’re on to somebody else who fucked up.”

In This Article: Kid Rock


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