Transcript - Garth Brooks' NBC Chat on TalkCity
Monday, September 27, 1999
Garth Brooks jump-started country music at the beginning of the decade, raising it's worldwide visibility and prestige to an unprecedented level. He went on to become the highest-certified selling solo artist in U.S. music history, according to the Record Industry Association of American (RIAA).
This is Brooks' seventh special for NBC. His new album, "Garth Brooks In 'The Life of Chris Gaines,'" was released today, one day before this latest special is to be telecast.
ASKNBC: honestlywild says: Can you tell us about your upcoming TV special? Who is Chris Gaines? Is he like your alter ego?
Garth_Brooks: Chris is not my alter ego. He is a character in an upcoming film. He is a fictitious pop rock legend who changed the music for the '90s. The NBC special is about Chris's music, so we will not be performing in character. We will be performing as me, Garth, performing Chris's music. It is about Chris's music and what he stands for.
musicfan says: I saw you most recent video and it seemed to have more of a rock-and-roll edge to it. Is this marking a change in what we will be hearing from you in the future?
Garth_Brooks: Again, I believe you're talking about the Chris Gaines character. I am flattered that I was hired by a feature film company to create this character for a future film, and if it is the "Lost In You" video that you're talking about, that is Chris's first video.
gbwranglers says: Garth, is there anything special about the name Chris Gaines? Why this name?
Garth_Brooks: You just kept sticking names with the face until you found one that seemed to work. The first name that worked was Chris Garrett, but there is a famous composer by the name Chris Garrett, so the next choice was Gaines. And it seemed to roll off the tongue so easily that that became his name.
loonie4GB says: Will there be merchandise available for Chris Gaines as there is for Garth Brooks?
Garth_Brooks: Not right now. The important focus for us is his music. If his music and his personality take off, then I would love to see some Christ Gaines merchandise to wear for myself, because I really think he's a cool character.
CoolMama says: Hi, Garth. As a parent of a 13-year-old daughter, I am concerned about the kind of music that is available. I have always been comfortable with her listening to your music because of the positive messages they bring. Will Chris Gaines give parents cause for concern? Does your views as an artist and as a parent differ regarding censorship in music?
Garth_Brooks: A great question! You have to remember, I have three children myself, and yes, I wanted them to listen to this. I think there is a fine line between treating children like adults, and remembering at the same time they are children. All I can tell you is that my kids are wearing the CD out. It is up to you, however, to gather as much information as you can, and make your own choice for your own children. Thank you for what you said about our music as Garth Brooks.
CgFTPA says: Good Evening, Garth. Hope you are having a blast with the new music! If Chris Gaines had the opportunity to sing any song of Garth Brooks, which one do you think he would pick? Keep it ROCK and ROLLIN'.....Judy from PA
Garth_Brooks: I would hope he would pick my favorite Garth Brooks song, "The Dance," which, by the way, Dave Koz just cut for his new album called "The Dance." B.B. Wynans is doing the vocals on the song and I think it is spectacular. I just recently met Dave, and just on first meeting I can tell you, no matter how much success he receives it won't be as much as he deserves. He's a cool dude.
guest-CynGarthFan says: Do you plan to tour as Chris Gaines? I am a huge fan of all your work and would love to see the difference in that show and your original show.
Garth_Brooks: There are no plans to tour for Chris Gaines, because if Garth Brooks does a concert, I can't imagine him doing "Friends In Low Places," or "The Dance." Maybe there's a spot for some Chris music in a Garth show.
CgFTAL says: Garth, did you get the usual butterflies as "Chris Gaines" went on sale today or were they more like elephants in your tummy?
Garth_Brooks: This is probably the most scared I've been on release day, just because it is such a different project. No offense to our industry, but it seems that when you crash it always seems to be harder than how high you fly when you succeed.
If we do succeed on the Chris Gaines project, it will be because of the same reason we've been fortunate enough to have some sort of success in the past with the Garth stuff. And that is because of the people that go out that first week and give us that wonderful support that we need to launch an album for eternity. We'll see how it goes.
cheesewiz says: I read that Don Was, who produced for the B-52's, produced your recent album. You seem from totally different musical backgrounds. What led you to choose him and what was it like working with him?
Garth_Brooks: First of all, Don and I are from totally different backgrounds and, at the same time, we are from the exact same background. We believe music should not be judged on format, but on how it makes us feel. With that common bond, we work together effortlessly, but truthfully anybody that works with Don Was - it probably comes effortlessly, because he is that easy to work with.
BluByrd816 says: Garth, the toothbrushing thing on Leno cracked me up. So end the suspense - are you a Colgate or a Crest kid?
Garth_Brooks: I'm a try-them-all kid when you talk about toothbrushes and toothpaste, and I'm proud to say my girls are going through toothbrushes at the same rate I am. I don't know where they got it.
Aunt-Net says: If Chris Gaines were a real person would you want him as a close friend?
Garth_Brooks: Yes, I would. But honestly, he would be hard to get to know, because I think he has this fear within himself that if he gets close to you, something bad will happen to you. Everyone in his past that he has worshipped, with the exception of his mother, has come upon untimely passing. So, he's pretty much within himself, but he's a very tender and loving character, and at the same time does not bend on his belief about his music or about how his people who allow his music to live are treated. He is the Braveheart of the music industry. I like that.
GBSweetPea says: Hi, Garth. This is Arlene from VA. If the Chris Gaines project is successful (and I think it will be MONSTER successful!), can we look forward to more pop (or other genre) characters from you, or more Chris stuff?
Garth_Brooks: The project you will hear from me next is our Garth Brooks Christmas project, that will be out at Thanksgiving. If Chris Gaines is a success, please do not forget this other music that I do. And please know that I cannot forget that or turn away from that, because Chris is a character. Garth is simply who I am.
czy4gb77 says: How many copies of "Chris Gaines' Greatest Hits" are holographic?
Garth_Brooks: A little over 500,000. And only Chris would be cool enough to have a holographic cover and disc. And to tell you the truth, from a very real standpoint from Garth Brooks as an artist, it is to reward those people who are not sitting on the fence on this one. Those people are the people that are going to save this project if it is a success, and I hope they are happy with having this very limited and very special edition of "Chris Gaines' Greatest Hits."
nycntrygal says: Was the recording of the "Chris Gaines' Greatest Hits" CD different to you in any way from your previous country releases?
Garth_Brooks: Oh, in every way. We tried our best to make Chris different from Garth, so when we listened back to certain vocal performances, if there was a certain vocal 'thing' that Garth would do, we got rid of it and re-sang that part to more of what Garth would not do. I tried to make the pictures and the music so opposite of Garth, but after living with the project fully finished for 2 months now, I see Garth so much in the pictures, and hear Garth so much in the music that I realize that even if you're playing a character so much opposite, you ARE the character.
And my Mom always told me that your voice is the window to your soul, and no matter how good you are at acting you cannot hide who you are, or more importantly, what you are not.
purg-o-matic says: Garth, I've noticed on previous albums there is never a song #13. What made you decide to put 13 tracks on this one?
Garth_Brooks: If it were my album I never would have put 13 tracks on an album, but this Chris fella seems to like living on the edge and pushing his luck.
BluByrd816 says: Do you have a favorite song on the "Chris Gaines" album?
Garth_Brooks: Definitely. I think "Right Now" is my favorite track on the album. If it were possible to do this in a 'Garth' way to fit on his albums, I would have found a way to do it.
guest-EZguest435 says: Who are some of your musical influences?
Garth_Brooks: My musical influences range from George Strait, George Jones, James Taylor, Steven Tyler, Freddy Mercury, Boston...just to name a few. Chris's musical influences range from Prince to the Beatles; Freddy Mercury, The Eagles, Springstein, Stevie Wonder, and his all-time favorite, Tina Turner.
guest-michealrain says: Did you ever imagine yourself becoming the music legend you are today?
Garth_Brooks: Hey, Micheal. Please know that by answering this question it does not mean that I agree with the question. It is very sweet that you say that. My legends are more like the people I listed up there, and I would never think of myself on their level or in that class. But again, thank you for the faith.
luvsgarth says: What was going through your mind when you won your first GRAMMY?
Garth_Brooks: I was at home with my pregnant wife when we won our only solo GRAMMY. It was a neat feeling, but the GRAMMY memory of my lifetime happened two years ago when I was at rehearsals for "Saturday Night Live" and I got a call from Trisha Yearwood saying that we had just won the GRAMMY for the duet.
guest-sheeza says: How did you meet your manager Bob Doyle?
Garth_Brooks: I believe there are angels that are sent into our life. One of those angels for me was a lady named Stephanie Brown. I met her the second or third night I was in Nashville, at a writers' night, and she said there was this gentleman, and she thought the two of us would get along great. His name was Bob Doyle, and I'm very proud to say that for 13 years now he has been my publisher and manager, and will as long as he wants the gig.
galen says: How does it feel knowing you were key in helping bring country music "mainstream" and into the Top 10 on the charts?
Garth_Brooks: Again, galen, thank you for saying that. I feel like I was a part of the country music move of the '90s, but I do not feel like I was the reason why it happened. I believe the reason why it happened was a thing called Sound Scan from Billboard Magazine. It actually reported, by accurate numbers, what was selling. So no longer was it someone's opinion of what was selling; it actually was what the people were buying.
And if I remember correctly, the first week Sound Scan came into existence, country music had, I believe, 20 artists in the top 200 for the first time ever. So I cannot thank Billboard and Sound Scan enough because, like the old saying goes, numbers don't lie.
guest-Cactus says: In some of the pictures, Chris looks like a rather dark and sinister figure. Can you give us any insight into what your character is like?
Garth_Brooks: Great question - thanks for the opportunity. In the letters that I have received so far about Chris, a number of them express a fear of what the music going to sound like, simply based on the pictures they have seen. This is fair. This is also something I didn't plan on encountering.
I guess I always knew what Chris's music sounded like, so his pictures didn't scare me. So that's why this week, on so many different national television shows, we are playing all different songs off the album, to let the listener get as much information as they can about Chris so they can make the best decision for s: themselves on whether they need Chris's music in their life or not.
prettybritishgal says: Garth, what was your reaction the first time you saw yourself in a mirror dressed as Chris?
GarthBrooks: We went through several looks on what Chris should look like, and the first time that I actually looked in the mirror and felt satisfied with how the character looked was after we had already shot two videos, "Lost In You" and "It Don't Matter to the Sun." I believe we have got the character pretty close to being the right look now in the video "Right Now." The makeup is very different, but you still feel like Garth - you just feel like Garth in drag. But when they put the hair on you turn into Chris and you get very withdrawn. You get very sensitive and you get very dark. And it's really weird how easy it is to slip into character that way.
Wendylee16 says: Your female back-up singer did a great job on "The Tonight Show" last night. Who is she?
Garth_Brooks: Her name is Crystal Taliafero. She is quite the extraordinary talent. She has I think at least three solo albums of her own. She has performed...rather, Billy Joel, Bruce Springstein and John Mellencamp are but a few of the names that have performed with her. :-) I have been blessed in my musical career to do some pretty cool things, but performing with Crystal is a player's highlight. And on top of all that, she's very down-to-earth and very genuine, and unlike Garth or Chris, she is extremely easy to work with.
guest-Mysticsky says: I think you are an amazing entertainer. My problem is that I have tried a number of times to go to your concert, but they jack the price of the tickets up to where I can't afford it. Can you do something about regulating the price for people who can't afford it otherwise?
GarthBrooks: If you are talking about scalpers, I think it might be truly one of the last justifications for capital punishment. ;-) Our ticket prices are always hopefully between $17.95 and $19.95, before state taxes or ticket agency fees. To get a letter saying "I would love to see your live show, but I couldn't afford it" is probably one of the hardest letters to get. But the real reason we try to keep our ticket prices so low, is because I've seen the show.
guest-Queenie says: I seem to detect a James Taylor influence in the song "Lost in You." Was he someone you patterned Chris Gaines after?
GarthBrooks: The three writers of "Lost In You" are the same three writers who wrote "Change The World" for Eric Clapton, the GRAMMY award-winning song which Babyface produced. I think the biggest sound influence in "Lost In You" is Babyface. But I don't think there is a musician today, or vocalist today, that couldn't be in some way inspired by James Taylor.
CaptMorgan_2 says: Hi, Garth! Rumor has it that you're going to be hosting "Saturday Night Live" and the musical guest for the night will be Chris Gaines. Is this true? If so, when can we look forward to this?
GarthBrooks: As of last Friday it is true. November 13 we will be hosting "Saturday Night Live" as Garth Brooks for the second time, and our musical guest will be Chris Gaines. The one and only time that we have scheduled for Chris actually to appear in character.
pooh95 says: People are saying that you have taken a big risk in doing this project. Do you feel like that your career is going to suffer any from this?
GarthBrooks: You never do anything but follow the opportunities that open before you. Opportunities that the music should be taking you to. So therefore, there really cannot be any risk in what you do. The only time risk comes into play is when you make your decisions based on something other than the music. Does that keep me from being any less scared of failure? No, it doesn't. It's just something that comforts me in times when things aren't going exactly the way I would like them to. I am very proud to say, no matter what the result of the Chris Gaines project is, the music came first. So therefore, it is what I should be doing.
sportsnut says: OK, a big question! Was it a life-long dream to go to baseball spring training? Why did you pick the Padres? And did you make the cut? Thanks, Steven!
GarthBrooks: Hey, Steven. Yeah, it's always been a dream of mine to play big league baseball. I picked the Padres because I had gone there the year before for a couple of days to spring training. I was an invitee to spring training, which meant I could not get cut - which was nice! But should I have been cut? The answer to that is -- I shouldn't have even got the honor to suit up with those guys. The charity allowed me such a reason to go and play, and I was treated like a king, and I could only wish everyone that loved baseball would get to do what I was lucky enough to get to do.
Amy4JohnnyBench says: Ok, Garth, I can verify with this question as to whether it's you here or not. What drink in the cafeteria was your favorite,and always ran out on YOU in spring training? God Bless, Amy
GarthBrooks: Oh! Hawaiian Punch. And I am hoping you have got that fixed by now. ;-) I miss you. Tell your daughter I said hi.
KellyS7 says: Garth, you are a great singer, you played baseball for the Padres in spring training, and I saw how funny you were on "Saturday Night Live" when you hosted. What else is there that you want to do that you haven't already done? And is there a chance of you playing baseball for the Padres in spring training of 2000?
GarthBrooks: I went and saw the Padres in L.A. last week. They asked me to come back for spring training again this year, but truthfully I felt I jinxed them this season because I am a very superstitious guy and they made it to the World Series without me the year before. But if they say it's okay I would like to come back for the charity's sake. Oh, who am I kidding? I would love to come back for my sake. Thank you for what you said. I am truly blessed to get to do so many things, and to be treated well in all those things.
guest-kmduran says: Hi, Garth. I was wondering with you being able to do so many different things, like baseball and the Chris Gaines project -- what kind of things is Sandy able to "try"? By the way, love ya, never met ya, but will someday.
GarthBrooks: Thanks for asking about Sandy. Sandy doesn't know this, but there isn't anything Sandy can't do. She has always sacrificed her own future for the freedom to pick up and move with me, especially when the children came along. Now that the touring has slowed for us, she is starting to find herself in what she does. She loves working with animals, especially at the zoo, and her favorite way to spend her time, other than with her children, is with the elderly. I tell her every day I do selfish things for a living, but she is doing God's work. I like her more now than I ever have.
Deafcowboy says: Hello, Garth. My name is Chris Haulmark, from Russellville, AR. How would you be feeling if a deaf person was really heavily influenced by your only music, because of more expressions and more action than the other country artists? Sorry for the long question! hee hee
GarthBrooks: But it's a great question! When I played Texas Stadium in '93 it was my first time ever to play something that big, and I realized then that for those people way away from me, my arms were my eyebrows. My body was my facial expression. Well, if my body is going to be my facial expression, then I could make Richard Simmons look like he was standing still! And thus it started. And I realized the more I could communicate, the more (hopefully) those people would communicate their feelings back to me. Very cool question, and exactly the response I would have wished for from you. Thank you for what you said.
guest-kmduran says: Hi, Garth. Loved your spot on "Rosie." What can you tell us about a Christmas album this year? Next year? Thank you.
GarthBrooks: The Christmas album is coming this year at Thanksgiving. It will be all traditional and it is slated to be the sound track for a movie event for television starring Whoopi Goldberg. Christmas albums are my favorite ones to make. And while we're talking about Christmas albums, please know that Rosie has her own Christmas album coming out this year, to benefit children in need. I cannot think of a better gift to give a child than hope, and that is the gift Rosie is giving this year. Check it out!
chimp_777 says: If there was one thing you could change in the world what would it be?
GarthBrooks: Man.... I don't know if you know this, but I own the world's largest soapbox! I think God has a tremendous sense of humor, and I think the different colors of skin and the different languages were put upon this earth as barriers to overcome. I think if I could change one thing on this earth, it would be how we treat each other.
katieafan says: I heard once that you would never chat on the Internet because then when people said they saw you you could honestly say it wasn't you. What helped swayed you? Thanks by the way!
GarthBrooks: It is my pleasure. And this is not what I meant by chatting. I meant going on as myself late at night and going into chat rooms and talking. I will probably never do that until you can honestly verify who it is you are talking to. I think we've got a great seed here to knock down the barriers of communication and make our planet smaller, and I am counting on time being our friend for keeping the avenues of wrongdoing to a minimum.
webnut says: Do you have an official web site?
GarthBrooks: I, as Garth Brooks, do not have an official website, but I have heard of this website called planetgarth.com, and I have heard of the effort this website has made to get things right and represent us in the best light. That is very appreciated. Chris, however, is a very hip and cool dude, and has his own website at www.chrisgaines.com, which I have never been to, but I hear is cool.
NBCLive says: Thank you very much for joining tonight, Garth. Any last comments for our audience?
GarthBrooks: I'm having a blast. If it's not too much to ask, would it be alright to extend this chat a while longer?
NBCLive says: Of course!
williraj says: What do you feel your greatest strengths and weaknesses are in life?
GarthBrooks: Great question - easy answer for me. I've always found my life to go extremely easy when I turn things over to God. The times that have been the hardest for me in my life I find are the times when I think I know me a little better than He does. You know what I mean?
guest-garth4ever says: If you could perform with anyone, who would be in your fantasy band?
GarthBrooks: Now, more than ever, I would love to perform with my mom.
NYGarthFan says: What was it like playing in front of the largest crowd ever in NY's Central Park?
GarthBrooks: I don't remember much about Central Park, because I was so scared. But recently Fox Family Channel ran the Central Park concert during Father's Day. This was my first time to see it, ever. Man.... It was...it's hard for me to say this, because it is about something that I had something to do with, but it was cool! And I loved how thin I looked in the blimp shots!
Sally36 says: Your song "The River" has such meaning in my life. Could you explain how that song came to be and what kind of meaning it has on your life?
GarthBrooks: "The River" came to me as an inspiration from a James Taylor song. I can't remember the title of the song right offhand, but it has a line that simply says "the river and the railroad", and it happened to be one of those magical moments in time when those two words "the river" and the way the song was feeling inspired Victoria Shaw and myself to sit down and create "The River." This song had, I guess, a normal effect on my life as far as singing songs about your dreams and following them. When I was told by our mother that that was her favorite song that we did it became very monumental for me.
herrings4u says: Do you have a personal favorite song you love to play live?
GarthBrooks: My three favorite songs of ours that I love to play are "The Dance," "The Dance," and..."The Dance."
alphabetics says: What has been your most embarrassing moment while giving a performance?
GarthBrooks: Most recently at the ACM awards when I tried to give the Artist of the Decade award to Reba McEntire on live national television. I walked down to the seats where she was *supposed* to be, only to find out she had already left the show. There is nothing like making an ass out of yourself on national television because, like the poor guy they showed every week on the "Wide World of Sports" as the "agony of defeat," they will show it over and over and over again.
jaels1970 says: Country music is in need of more venues on TV(It seems that many current channels are canceling shows related to country artists/videos). Any plans of becoming the "Ted Turner" of country?
GarthBrooks: [laughing] Great observation about country music and TV. I will only say one thing to people doing country music TV, or thinking about possibly doing country music TV: Quit thinking that country music has to be fixed. Sincerity and honesty, which are the two biggest ingredients in country music, are always hip and entertaining. Bring us that on television, and I promise we will tune in.
JohnnyFlash says: Hi, Garth...a huge fan here. What was your idea of the perfect life for you when you were younger, and what was your biggest fear? And how has that changed?
GarthBrooks: Great question. Probably professional athletics. Probably catching the winning touchdown and hitting your head on the goalpost and dying on national television as a hero. All for the same goal was that you would make your parents proud of you, and not making them proud of you was my biggest fear. What I have found out is that as long as you are happy and proud of whatever it is you do, your parents are happy and proud for you. Becoming a parent myself taught me the definition of true love. And that definition is when someone you love is happy, you are happier for them. And when that someone you love is sad, you are more sad for them.
GarthsSnow says: What did Sandy think of the Chris Gaines look and how did she ever put up with you, going without Taco Bell for 5 days??? LOVE YA! *hugs* - DEB
GarthBrooks: [laughing] Sandy has asked me on several occasions to come home as Chris after the photo shoots. I don't know how to take this. And as long as Sandy doesn't have to go without Taco Bell for five days, she's very easy to get along with. ;-)
RingMaster16 says: Hello, Garth. I'm a big fan. I was wondering -- what do you make of all the mixed thoughts about the Chris Gaines project? Do you still plan to go through with it and give your all, no matter what?
GarthBrooks: Hey, RingMaster. I have found that in music, and most other cases in life, when fear happens in an industry, the one who talks loudest is the one the masses follow. My foundation that I am standing on through all of this is the music, and dude, what I find is there are two different opinions about Chris Gaines. One before they hear the music. And one after. And I am really depending on the music for this project -- probably more than I ever have - to be what brings this project home. Great question.
Los_Chatter says: Garth, how do you think new technologies (like the internet, MP3s, etc.) have changed the music industry?
GarthBrooks: I think one of the biggest new technologies that has changed the music industry forever is cellular phones because one of the hugest times we spent listening to music was in the car. Now, everyone you pass is doing their business on the phone while en route to somewhere else. I think we have lost a huge avenue for our audience to cellular phones.
SnowInJuly says: Hi, Garth. Is there anything you can tell us about the VH1 Concert of the Century at the White House? Will this be open to the public at any level, even a very limited one?
GarthBrooks: I'm sorry I don't know about the open-to-the-public question; I would hope so, but I can't tell you for sure. And all I know is that it's a huge list of music legends, and me, playing songs that have forever changed our lives.
YvonneWolfe says: How do you see your career in ten years?
GarthBrooks: The only thing I am sure of in ten years is, if God allows me to be a father to my children. If I could ask more than that, I would love to still be a son to my father, and a brother to my siblings. And to still have the relationships I'm fortunate enough to have right now.
glfergy says: Are your children showing any inner talents for music? If so will you encourage them to give it a shot?
GarthBrooks: Any time my girls sing music around the house they are quickly beaten. [laughing] I understand they are going to have to do whatever it is they are down here to do. And if it is music, I will try to be their biggest fan. I just have seen how the entertainment industry treats females, and if I could have my choice of what they would do with their lives, I would like to see them working towards world peace and toward curing such beasts as cancer.
CgFTPA says: Garth, you are one of the great communicators. Ever think of running for office? (You got MY vote!)
GarthBrooks: Oh, that's sweet. :-) I know you'll take this right. I am not afraid to sit in the seat, but I would give the system a month before they put a bullet in my head. I know that sounds harsh, but I lightheartedly believe that.
Buggsy55 says: How did it feel to stand opposite and deliver a few lines with Tom Hanks on the "Saturday Night Live" 25th Anniversary special the other night? And thanks for the chat!
GarthBrooks: Let me tell you how it felt before it happened. I was scared #*&^less! When I actually delivered the line to him, he made it feel so much like you were talking to someone you'd known for 100 years. All of a sudden one of the great mysteries of acting became very clear to me. That a great actor not only makes you believe him or her, but even more, makes you believe in yourself.
suemax_231 says: Even when you do what you love, you seem to be giving to others. Is this the bonus you've had in you life? What or who do you give credit to for this? Thanks, Sue.
GarthBrooks: Hey, Sue. I've always had a problem with this one, because people always tend to label me as someone who gives, when I've always felt like someone who takes, or receives. If you could walk in my shoes on that stage, you would understand that I spend the entire time receiving from you all. And like all things good in life, the credit goes to God, or those I truly believe God is using to deliver such gifts.
sassagirl says: Garth, you are very generous with your fans. Tells us what your fans mean to you.
GarthBrooks: By answering this question, please note I am not agreeing with your sweet comment of being generous to the people, but in a statement of honesty, and not trying to kiss anyone's ass, the roof over my family's head, the food in front of my children, and their college futures are there because of the people. You can never treat everyone the way you would like to, but I think you can only say that if you've tried. And I hope that I have tried.
ASKNBC: Sally36 says: Do you think fans can get to be too obsessive about you and your music? Does it bother you?
GarthBrooks: As an artist, maybe a fan can get too obsessive, but don't forget I'm a fan of other artists, and I am very obsessive of "my" artists as a fan. So, for example, on the Chris Gaines project, I cannot blame people if they say "hey, don't mess with my Garth". For those people hopefully there is something down the line that we will bring to them that we can dance to again. For the people who understand, it is truly a character and a very fun ride. I hope they're going to have as much fun as I am having.
guest-alex says: How does your personal life influence the songs you choose to perform?
GarthBrooks: Mark Miller is the engineer of every Garth record there's ever been, and one night he simply threw a phrase out that changed the way I look at recorded music forever. He simply said, "As a fan, I like for an artist to give a little bit of himself away in each song." I couldn't agree more. I believe that might be the foundation of honesty in music.
guest-alex says: How often do you feel connected to your fans, and do you wish you could feel that way more often?
GarthBrooks: The more you're in this business, the more it seems that the business tries to separate you from the people that allow you to be "you," and that is the fans. The closest I have ever felt to the people was in Ireland, in '97, when they actually passed me around on a song called "The River," and I could feel these people doing what I knew they had done for an entire decade, and that was to carry me. But it was so cool to feel their presence so close, and to hear them singing the song right there in my ears as I was being passed around. The common question when people see this footage is, "Were you scared?" And the honest answer is that I never felt more safe in my life.
irish_italian101 says: How did the "Touch 'em All" Foundation get started and where can I give to this worthy organization?
GarthBrooks: Touch 'em All was started in San Diego with the Padres, and it now exists as an organization out of Denver. To get accurate information on Touch 'em All, please call 615-329-0166, or write 1111 17th Avenue South, Nashville, 37212 And they do have an email address; I'm just not hip enough to know what it is. But check the website at www.touchemall.com. Thank you for your interest. And the children thank you.
Dawn3251 says: You and Trisha are a duet made in Heaven. You both compliment each other in such a way that it makes angels sing. How do you know when a song has it or not, and who to sing with if with someone?
GarthBrooks: As far as who to sing a duet with...in 1988 I was quoted as saying the two people I would love to do duets with in my career are my mom and Trisha Yearwood. So, as far as who to sing duets with for me from here on out, is a pretty easy answer. As far as which songs to sing, that becomes more complicated because not only must you sing a song that you believe in, but that your partner believe on as well. And when it comes to me and Yearwood, we seldom agree on anything!
garthgroupie says: What happened to the Believer magazine? Will it be making a comeback?
GarthBrooks: The Believer magazine, like all other entities associated with Garth, went on hiatus in November of '98, and will continue to do so until November of 2000. And once it's decided where Garth's career goes, if anywhere, after that, I can't imagine not having a Believer magazine. Thank you for your dedication through the years, and please have faith that the right decision will be made. Thanks again!
abcsoup_99 says: Hi, Garth...Michelle from Wisconsin here. Do you feel that traditional country music is leaning more towards pop? How do we get back to our roots?
GarthBrooks: Hey, Michelle. I think in your life and mine there have been times when we all search for our identity, so it should be okay and encouraged that country music is allowed to search for its identity. What I'm about to tell you is my opinion only, and I can understand if other people do not share in this thought. I believe country music is searching right now for its identity, and I believe one of the steps in the right direction is to play music that people want, that does not fit and you will not hear on any other format. In my opinion, that is the only way you gain your own identity. Great question, and remember what Alan Reynolds always says -- Music is like water. You can dam it up for a while, but it's going to find a way to start flowing again.
jazzii says: Garth, are you ticklish??
GarthBrooks: [laughing] Yes. And that's as far as I'm going.
delphan says: Garth, I was at a concert you performed in Boise, Idaho, several years ago. I don't know when I enjoyed anything more. My question is: HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU PERFORM LIKE THAT NIGHT AFTER NIGHT ON TOUR WITHOUT WINDING UP IN THE HOSPITAL?
GarthBrooks: [laughing] There have been times when you actually feel like you need someone to carry you to the stage, when you think there is no way I can go out there and give these people any kind of a show, much less one that justifies what they paid to be here. But once the lights go down, the crowd goes up, and the whole thing starts up, you could be out there for 12 hours straight, and it would not be enough. The best way I can sum up playing live music is that it should be illegal! Thanks for the crime. ;-)
shameless_dreamer31 says: Garth, how do you stay so 'normal'? I mean, you seem so approachable.
GarthBrooks: Thank you for what you said. Normal is the last word I ever thought would be used to describe me! And if you were looking at people coming at you with those big bags of M & Ms, you would be very approachable too. ;-)
jazzii says: Hi Garth, We know that you love M&M's, but do you prefer peanut or plain?? Gotta know what to bring to your next concert!! ~Your Friend in Canada, Diana~
GarthBrooks: I am very picky about my M&M's. I only like plain, peanut, almond, crispy, Easter, Valentine, Hallowe'en and Christmas and St. Patrick's Day M & M's. Oh, they don't HAVE St. Patrick's day M & Ms?!!! Well, if I was President, I would fix that. ;-)
Renkar says: Why do you always tip your hat to Chris LeDoux?
GarthBrooks: Where I am from the tipping or taking one's hat off always meant one thing: respect. And when it comes to Chris LeDoux, not only for the fact of how much he loves music, and treats it so well. The greatest thing about Chris LeDoux is the kind of human being that he is. I am fortunate enough to get letters that talk about Garth being a role model for children. Although the comment is appreciated, I always make an effort to make sure that the writer knows of a guy named Chris LeDoux. To me *the* perfect role model for any child or any adult. Great guy.
whaleofanick says: Who makes your hats? Are they really custom made Stetsons?
GarthBrooks: What I wear most is a simple XXXX Tyler. If you are a guy that wears hats, then you might be aware that Stetson has had a line of hats called the Thunder Rolls, Shameless and other titles of Garth songs. This is something they do on their own, that I have nothing to do with. Stetson has been a good company to me, but I do not have my own line of hats. I simply buy a Tyler, go home, stick it in the shower, and shape it myself. That's as non-hip as it gets. ;-)
guest-alex says: How many countries have you visited during your professional career and which impacted you the most? Why?
GarthBrooks: Other than our own nation, I have to say Ireland has impacted me the most. Growing up I thought Canada was another nation, and if Canada does not take this as an insult, I have found Canada to be very much like home to me - in the way of America. So, the first time we ever took a full blown-out tour across the water, Ireland was the first stop.
Ireland will never know how important that stop was for me, because it was to set the tone of whether we could take the music anywhere other than our back yard. And I'm sure the reception was better in my mind than it was in real life. But the way they treated me and our music gave me the confidence to take our music around the world, to at least fifteen other countries.
guest-Legolas says: What went through your mind when your wife received such an amazing reaction during the Ireland concert?
GarthBrooks: I was happy, at first. But when they didn't stop, and she got a bigger ovation than I got, I got real mad, real quick! So I had security remove her from the show. ;-) Truthfully, it is yet another testimony for the Irish fans. They tend to love everyone. What I like best about us as a nation I find I like best about them. And that is when we give people the benefit of the doubt, that we are all good people. Ireland is a very loving country of people.
Garth_7 says: Can you tell us your favorite memory of your mom?
Garth_Brooks: I don't think I can bring it down to one thing. I can tell you this. I do not have a bad memory of the woman.
NBC-Live says: Thanks, Garth, for a great - and extended - chat! Any last thoughts for your fans?
Garth_Brooks: I think one of the coolest traits that seems to be consistent in our career is that no one can explain the reason for whatever amount of success that we've been fortunate enough to have. And to me it seems simple. I don't know why, but it's not hard to see that the people have always supported me when I tried to fly. And, truthfully, I don't know if I'm flying or not - or I'm being carried - but either way, I'm getting to my goals, and I think I have God, my family, and the people to thank for that. Tonight was a blast, and just another example of that.
Have a good night! And thank you for your interest now, over the last decade, and hopefully in the future.
NBC-Live: A very special thanks to
NBC-Live: ~*~ Garth Brooks ~*~
NBC-Live: for participating tonight.