View Full Version : True Story behind Brooks as Gaines

09-13-2003, 01:27 AM
Ok. I hope it's ok I share an old Billboard article that I found through eLibrary. If someone has a real link to it please provide.

Flippo, Chet, True story behind Brooks as Gaines. , Billboard, 10-16-1999, pp 45.

Capitol Set Gleans Kennedy/Kirkpatrick/Sims Catalog

NASHVILLE-"He reminds me of George Lucas," says Wayne Kirkpatrick of Garth Brooks apropos his latest project, "In The Life Of Chris Gaines" (Capitol), in which Brooks reprises the greatest hits of faux rocker Chris Gaines' career. "He had the prequels and sequels all lined up.

Kirkpatrick and fellow Nashvillians Gordon Kennedy and Tommy Sims are the primary songwriters of the Gaines oeuvre. They're also the backbone of the Gaines backing band. All three are veteran Nashville singers/songwriters who wrote the song "Change The World," which won a Grammy from Eric Clapton's performance.

Just as Gaines, in Brooks' elaborately concocted biography of the newborn rock singer, was a member of the rock group Crush, so in real life were his songwriters.

Most of these songs, says Gordon Kennedy, were demos that they did as members of Crush in the early '90s and pitched to such groups as Fleetwood Mac.

They were initially unaware of the Chris Gaines concept. "The idea for the movie pre-existed our involvement in it," says Kennedy "One day I was working on a session for [Brooks], and he said, `Oh, by the way, bring me some songs because we're doing a movie.' That grew into a couple of our songs being placed on hold. Then he called back and said he wanted three more songs on hold, and, `Can we utilize some of the tracks you guys used on your demos?' These three songs were from like '91. So he just started combing through our catalog for songs."

It built from there, adds Kirkpatrick. "As he started going through our material, it got bigger than we ever thought it would be."

The first two songs put on hold were "Maybe" and "It Don't Matter To The Sun," followed by "White Flag," "Digging For Gold," and "My Love Tells Me So."

Subsequently, Kennedy says, Brooks asked for more material. Eventually, 12 of the album's 13 songs were Kennedy/Kirkpatrick/ Sims songs in one fashion or another (the Chet Powers/Cheryl Wheeler medley that comprises "Right Now" being the exception). Co-writers with the trio on some songs were Trisha Yearwood, Tony Arata, Phil Madeira, Andrew Logan, and Mike More. Two songs were solo compositions: Sims' "Driftin' Away" and Kennedy's "Way Of The Girl."

The early demos, says Kirkpatrick, were "really well done. That's when Gordon and I were pursuing a band, and they were real production deals." Two songs-"Lost In You" and "It Don't Matter To The Sun"-appear on the album in their original demo form, with Brooks/ Gaines replacing Sims' vocal.

"We were Crush," says Kennedy, "and now when you read Gaines' bio, he was in the group Crush. He has made it so that we actually got the deal."

In fact, on the album, Kennedy sings lead on "My Love Tells Me So." "That's from the period when Chris was in Crush but wasn't the lead singer yet. The lead singer ultimately dies in an accident, and then Chris becomes lead singer," notes Kennedy.

"What Garth did was find the songs he wanted and then made the story that would work with the songs," he says. "We knew there would be a movie, but we didn't know there would be a greatest-hits album first and then a soundtrack to go with the movie later. He's sitting on a bunch of songs now for the soundtrack."

One exception to songs being plucked from their catalog for the greatest- hits album, they say, is the song "Unsigned Letter." "Garth called and said he needed a song about an unsigned letter for the plot line, " says Kirkpatrick, so he and Kennedy wrote one.

Next, they say, in addition to performing as Crush with Gaines on selected showcase dates, they may go back and record the Gaines albums from which the greatest hits supposedly came.

"By putting the Gaines persona out there now," says Kirkpatrick, " he wants everyone to become familiar with him and for him to become believable. As of now, we ourselves have not actually seen Chris yet, although we've heard him."

09-13-2003, 03:04 PM
nice article :)

god and peace,
Vanessa :)

09-13-2003, 10:10 PM
Garth Brooks' Chris Gaines Special, Produced by Paradise's Picture Vision, to Air On NBC Tonight At 8:00 P.M. E.D.T.
Date: 09-28-1999; Publication: Business Wire

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 1999--Paradise Music & Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDSE), a multi-faceted entertainment company and producer of music, entertainment and media content, today announced that the made-for-television special, Garth Brooks...In The Life of Chris Gaines, produced and directed by Jon Small of Picture Vision, a subsidiary of Paradise, will air nationwide this evening, Wednesday, September 29th at 8:00 p.m. E.D.T. on NBC. The live-to-tape event introduces the character and music of Chris Gaines, a fictional Australian pop star played by Brooks. The special, and a recently released album of the same name, are a prelude to an upcoming feature film, The Lamb, that stars Brooks in the role of Gaines. The special marks the sixth NBC special, five of which feature Garth Brooks, that Picture Vision founder and CEO Jon Small has produced and directed. Picture Vision also produced the top-rated Garth Brooks, Live from Central Park concert that aired on HBO. In addition, Jon Small and the talented Picture Vision production team recently completed three new music videos that highlight songs from the new album, Garth Brooks...In The Life of Chris Gaines. Jon Small, CEO of Picture Vision, commented: "It is a tremendous privilege to have developed such a close working relationship with Garth Brooks, a ground-breaking country artist who is also the top-selling solo artist in the world. Given our eight-year creative relationship, including work on television specials with unprecedented quality and top ratings, we are thrilled to be involved in developing the look and imagery for the Chris Gaines project, including tonight' s special and three videos. With such tremendous talent, energy and creativity, Garth's move into pop music is a certain success, and we look to ongoing collaboration in the coming years."

There's alot more about the expansion of Paradise into CMT specials and country music video, among other things. Are these the people behind Garth's Inside Fame? At ant rate, it does appear more is expected to come from the Chris Gaines project down the road.

09-14-2003, 12:09 AM
it seems to me that jon small produced a lot of garth's tv specials including this one.. I think he did his CP concert and something else I think..

maybe jon will produce The Lamb :)

god and peace,
Vanessa :)

09-14-2003, 02:03 AM
Vanessa, with Jon's past involvement with Garth he probably already has, with the footage that's in the vaults.

09-14-2003, 04:14 PM
excerpts from:
Garth Brooks as you never have seen him before - with bangs
Date: 09-26-1999; Publication: Minneapolis Star Tribune; Author: Jon Bream

...don't fret, country lovers. This is not about Brooks trying to go pop or even becoming an alter ego. He is Gaines, he says, in much the same way that Tom Hanks portrayed Forrest Gump. This is not some kind of Prince/The Artist dichotomy. ``Anybody that's diehard country knows Hank Williams Sr. and Luke the Drifter,'' Brooks said, referring to country's first superstar. Williams recorded philosophical recitations as Luke, though everyone knew who it really was. Except this is more complicated... Brooks will record another Gaines album as the soundtrack to a movie, ``The Lamb,'' in which the Gaines character will be featured but not be the focus. Brooks isn't certain if he'll portray Gaines in the film, because it hasn't been cast yet. ``Chris on film is a small guy, somebody totally opposite from Garth,'' Brooks, 37, said in a recent phone interview from Nashville. ``But when you see him move and stuff, that's a 220-pound guy out there. . . . Steven Tyler [Aerosmith's singer] is what I wanted him to look like. Somebody who's built like a rock 'n' roller, and gorgeous, and time doesn't seem to affect his look.'' The idea for this project came when a producer for Red Strokes Entertainment, Brooks' film company, approached him about writing and recording music for ``The Lamb,'' a joint production with music producer Babyface's film company, due from Paramount Pictures in December 2000. Paramount pushed for Brooks - who has sold more albums (95 million and counting) than any artist except the Beatles - to get involved. He agreed to do four songs, but the project snowballed from there. Don Was, known for his Grammy-winning work with Bonnie Raitt, produced the recording sessions. The songs were composed by Nashville writers Tommy Sims, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Gordon Kennedy, best known for writing Eric Clapton's smash ``Change the World.'' As the songs were created, Was realized they were covering a range of styles from the '70s and '80s and declared that the album would be a greatest- hits collection. Thus, a fictitious biography of Gaines was hatched. And a VH1 mockumentary is in the works, though Brooks cautions that this isn't Spinal Tap or the Rutles, two mock rock bands. . the press dubbed him ``the new Prince.' ' ``Prince was a big influence on him,'' Brooks said of Gaines. ``His live-in girlfriend, her favorite artist is Prince. His stuff starts to swing toward R&B at the end of the decade. His R&B side is his least accepted side by his fans.'' Brooks describes ``The Way of the Girl,'' a track on the new album, as ``Prince meets Aerosmith head-on.'' Almost all the tunes sound like someone other than Garth Brooks. ..Gaines' current single, ``Lost in You,'' is a falsetto ballad that suggests Babyface more than Brooks. Oddly, it has turned out to be the country star's biggest pop hit, climbing to No. 5. ``This is a pop album and a rock album, and we don't want to mislead people,'' said Brooks, who has given his band two years off. He says that if the public demands more Gaines music and he feels right about it, he'll make additional recordings. But he promises to eventually return to country. ``I love all kinds of music,'' he said. ``But doing country is so me. Doing this stuff is me, but you feel a lot more tired at the end of the day.''

Karyn Hughes
09-15-2003, 11:56 AM
...don't fret, country lovers. This is not about Brooks trying to go pop or even becoming an alter ego. He is Gaines, he says, in much the same way that Tom Hanks portrayed Forrest Gump.[/QUOTE]

I "git it"! I can think of no examples, but the closest I can think of is Michael Jackson bleaching his skin, or whatever it was he did! He will always be Michael Jackson, but in my understanding, that was sort of an effort to show his talent to people who were against black people! Garth is country, and Gaines is another whole person (bear with me!) and people who are against country-music, will listen to Gaines, because he is not a country star, whereas Garth is accepted country, and well-known! Let's just let it go! Not Garth, or Chris, but, you follow me?

09-18-2003, 11:32 PM
more excerpts:

Brooks' set as fictitious pop star due from Capitol
Date: 07-31-1999; Publication: Billboard; Author: Newman, Melinda

The "pre-soundtrack," as Capitol is calling the Sept. 28 set, features Brooks assuming the role of a pop/rock singer named Chris Gaines. Gaines is a fictitious character who will have the main role in "The Lamb," a movie that Brooks' Red Strokes Entertainment and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Tracey Edmonds are developing for Paramount Pictures for release by December 2000. Brooks will play Gaines in the movie.

Trying to dispel the "Huh?" factor, Brooks says, "There's no story here about an alter ego. There's no story here about Garth wanting to break out of country. There's no story here about Garth getting so fed up he's got to stretch out . . . If I hadn't been approached by Paramount, I would have made this album and played it in my house. I'd never have put it out, because it's not what I am."

When discussing how to market the project, Capitol and Capitol Nashville execs frequently repeat the mantra that while Gaines is fictitious, this isn't Spinal Tap or the Rutles, and the music should be taken seriously

"It's a fun project, but Garth head-checks us when we get too giggly, " says Stacy Conde, Capitol VP of marketing. "The main thing we need to do is educate the public. It's not Garth Brooks dressed up in some weird moppy wig and outfit. This character is a movie hero. This album is trying to set up everyone early so that they care about the character and go along for the ride."

Brooks did showcases for top 40 and AC programmers in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago where he explained the concept and performed tunes from the album.

"People get lost in how we're going to break Chris Gaines as an artist. That's not the marketing approach I'm taking," says Pat Quigley, president of Capitol Nashville. "I'm taking this as a Garth Brooks record and that Chris Gaines is a character in a movie he's playing. I know Garth would like his rock career to be Chris Gaines, and that's fine with me, but to me, Chris Gaines is just a vehicle for Garth Brooks."

Indeed, should the project do well -Capitol Records Group president/ CEO Roy Lott says his goal is "to sell more than the recent Garth Brooks' studio albums" (1997's "Sevens" is at 6 million)-the album could propel Brooks past the 100 million mark for total career album sales. According to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, Brooks stands at 89 million. (A Brooks Christmas album, slated for Nov. 23 release, will also undoubtedly help.)

For most talk-show appearances, Brooks will appear as himself and show video footage of Gaines, just as any actor promoting a movie would.

Starting Sept. 14, 15-second TV spots teasing both the NBC special and the album will begin airing. They'll be followed Sept. 23 by a 30second spot featuring snippets of three songs and Brooks as himself explaining the album.

An official Chris Gaines Web site will feature trivia, pseudo-press clippings that illustrate Gaines' 15-year career, and even a real- life auction of Gaines "memorabilia" created by the label. Money raised from the auction will go to charity, says Capitol newmedia head Robin Bechtel.

In terms of where to stock the title, Brooks says he'd prefer that retailers put it under his own name in the country section and create a new Gaines header card for the pop section.

However, Eric Keil, buyer for 10store, Plainfield, N.J.-based Compact Disc World, says he'll only stock the record under Brooks' name in the country section. "I don't see a point in creating a Chris Gaines slot in pop," he says. "It's not going to be a mystery who Chris is."

"It's going to be under Garth Brooks in both pop and country," says John Artale, buyer for 181store, Carnegie, Pa.-based National Record Mart.

Although country radio will not be officially serviced with a single, stations will receive the commercial single of "Lost In You," which is backed with the country-leaning "It Don't Matter To The Sun."

Additionally, a video for the track features Brooks, Brooks as Gaines, and footage from an upcoming Kevin Costner movie, "For The Love Of The Game," which features "It Don't Matter To The Sun" and "Lost In You." Neither song is on that film's soundtrack.

"The video of `It Don't Matter To The Sun' is the morphing of Garth to Chris," says Brooks. "There's a lot of people in our country music audience who don't get or watch VH1. They watch CMT, and this will hopefully explain it to them . . . I'd love to see the country fans that we have embrace the album, because I don't think it's far off from what a lot of our country fans were raised on."

"We've tested the music with about 3,000 Garth fans, and I think he' s going to lose 10% of his listeners for just this project," says Quigley. "If you're a 40-plus, rocksolid country guy, you're probably not going to take this trip."

One thing is certain: Should the project do well, Capitol will look at releasing more Gaines albums beyond "The Lamb" soundtrack.

"That's really up to the people," says Brooks. "Would you ever have seen the prequel to `Star Wars' if the others hadn't taken off? I think you just play the music; that's all you can do. If the movie works, and people seem to have a hunger for Chris Gaines' style of music, then maybe we'll go on."

Some questions this raised for me:

What charity would Chris Gaines merchandise be involved with? Teammates?
Why do most of the earlier writings on The Lamb assume Garth is playing the role?
Why did we never see the full video to "It Don't Matter to the Sun" if it's supposed to explain Garth morphing into CG better to the audience? And what about the VIDEO that goes with For Love of the Game?
Kinda interesting two that Pat Quilgley says Garth would like Chris Gaines to be his rock career.
And what of those promotion showcases and 30second clips?

I guess there is alot that never materialized yet from Chris Gaines except one thing! ME! His fan! ;)