Gary Allan Survives Devastation With ‘No Regrets’
For the past six years, Gary Allan has been dealing with the devastating aftermath of his wife Angela's 2004 suicide. Initially, his career was put on hold, and he withdrew from the public light, shunning interviews. Then he turned to music, spilling his agonizing pain into the heart-wrenching 2005 release, 'Tough All Over,' with self-penned songs such as 'Puttin' Memories Away' and 'I Just Got Back From Hell.'
Today, Gary wants the world to know he's doing better by releasing 'No Regrets' off his latest album, 'Get Off on the Pain,' as his current single.
"'No Regrets' is my way of telling the world that I'm sleeping good at night, I'm OK," Gary tells the Dallas Morning News. "I just felt like I could sing it, like I was ready to do it emotionally. The first time I sang it, I didn't make it through. The second time it got a little easier. That's the closest I've let the crowd to me onstage. I felt really exposed."
In the years following his wife's tragic death, Gary has tried with each album he's made to expose his evolving feelings."I always wanted for everything to be different every year," he explains. "I always wanted to give something new of myself. That is just being hardened by life. Everything in my life is a little harder-edged right now. I was very conscious of not doing the same thing or even looking the same way, especially the last four or five years. I'm a little more callous, just because of the lumps that I've taken."
Despite the emotional devastation he's survived, one thing will always remain the same for Gary. "It's always performing for me," the California native tells The Boot. "I write and I record so I can perform. It all ties to that. I've done it since I was a little kid. That's my absolute rush, is playing for different people every night, bringing something else to the table they've never seen.
"You can make 'em laugh, you can make 'em cry, you can piss 'em off -- you have so much control with music," he continues. "You're talking to them. It's basically telling stories."
It's Gary's dream to be that storyteller the rest of his life. "I've always said I've wanted to be around forever. I never wanted to be the latest, greatest thing. I want to be like Willie Nelson -- touring when I'm 70," he tells Ohio newspaper, the Toledo Blade. "To do that, you can't be the latest, greatest thing because those things fizzle out. So I knew I wanted a career that kind of hung in the back and kept growing. I've been proud to be able to do it."
He may be a bit more guarded now, having navigated and survived the last few emotional years since his wife's death, but Gary thankfully seems to be at peace at last.
"She's been gone about three years," he sings in 'No Regrets.' "It's been a long road and a million tears / I'm moving slow, but I'm moving on."
Gary will undergo a minor surgical procedure in late November to remove a polyp from his vocal cord. He is expected to make a full recovery, and will resume his 'Get Off the Pain' Tour in mid-February.