Recently at a Birth Boot Camp training workshop, one of the trainees told me that I was exactly the way she thought I would be from reading my blog -- except she had no idea how much I love Tim McGraw. Yes, I will find a way to work him into almost any conversation. It's been great fun over the years. I don't do anything in moderation and this obsession was no exception.
|I took this one at Cowboys Stadium.|
I've seen Tim play live 16 times and in all kinds of settings -- huge stadiums, front row at a casino, from the PIT with beer spilled all over me more times than I care to remember, the set of CMT Invitation Only: Tim McGraw (I'm on the front row, right to Tim's left), and we even did the Tim McGraw cruise to the Bahamas in 2007.
|My "Tim eyes"|
I've seen him play drunk and reckless, even tossing a glass he'd been drinking from into the audience.
I've seen him forget the words to songs and let the audience sing the entire song (more than once!).
I've seen him hold a stadium full of screaming fans captive, hushing everyone to where you could hear a pin drop.
I've seen him and Faith play together twice and they are just amazing together. Really, a great show.
I've seen him play acoustic songs, sitting on the stage, just him and a guitar.
|I took this picture at Winstar Casino.|
I really love "Cowboy Tim". I've always thought with him, what you see is what you get. He's pretty honest about where he's been and he loves his wife and family. He looks great in a cowboy hat and jeans and boots. I love his music and the way he sings the word "can't"... Sigh..
So... the last couple of years things have changed with Tim. He broke his foot but never said how. There was a lot of speculation but nothing ever confirmed. In fact, I saw him play with the broken foot in Indianapolis. (Indy fans, y'all were the most drunk and the rudest bunch I'd ever seen Tim with!)
Two months later, he fired nearly his entire band, many of which had been with him since the beginning of his career. Together, they bucked the system, recording albums with his touring band, the Dancehall Doctors, instead of a studio band, which apparently is unheard of in country music. I loved Tim's band and he seemed to really love his band too. Again, not a lot of information about why they were fired, but a lot of speculation. I hated to believe what the band members were saying was true -- is Tim a "tyrant"?
His new band? Really really hard to love. Mohawks and they are nearly all from Europe. Do they even listen to country music in Europe?!
And have you seen Tim lately? Let's face it, Tim is a skinny guy. Even when he was drinking a lot, he has never been overweight. But he's lost 40 pounds since starting Cross Fit. You may not know this about Tim, but he has (or shall we say had) chest hair. Where'd it go?! He's all slicked up and shiny now.
|As skinny as Faith....|
His music feels different. He's lost the facial hair and sideburns. Many people have asked me if something is wrong with Tim, if he is sick.
Here's what I think -- he had a nasty lawsuit with his record label who was holding his new music hostage. It did a number on his career and he's been trying to make up for it ever since.
The unfortunate thing is that it feels so ... fake. So strategic. He's so polished and scrubbed up now, I don't know what's real and what isn't.
It's with a very sad heart that I am taking him off my header of my blog. I think this ship has sailed. I will always see him when he comes to town and always buy his new album, but I've traveled a lot over the years to see him play and I believe those days are over. I can't believe this is happening but I can't change the way I feel. It is what it is. Chris Young might take his place... ;-)
I will leave you with my favorite Tim McGraw live recording ever. His hair was long, he had awesome sideburns and chest hair, and he wasn't so skinny! I just love it. Oh yeah, and he had his old band playing with him. This is how I will always remember Tim...