Gretchen Wilson Interview: 11 Questions
Gretchen Wilson, who releases her album 'I Got Your Country Right Here' today (March 30), sat down with The Boot to talk about her favorite bus food, her most memorable vacation, her definition of happiness and her crazy bar concoctions!
What food will you always find on your tour bus?
The double-stuff kind or regular Oreos?
It doesn't matter, as long as there's milk and cookies for the late-night movies!
So, what's your favorite movie?
I have to give you two, because when I'm out there by myself without my daughter, 'Braveheart.' When I've got Grace out there, we watch 'Throw Mama From the Train,' and the old classic comedies like that.
What's been your biggest accomplishment, personal or professional?
My daughter. She's the best thing I've ever done in my life. Next to that, my diploma, my GED. That's my favorite award I've ever won, the thing that I hang on the wall that's most precious to me. But my daughter -- she's been such an amazing thing in my life. She's really changed me as a human being.
Which legendary female country singer do you identify with the most?
I would say probably Patsy [Cline]. Her life, the way she lived -- the moving and the struggling, the crazy husband and the violence and the arguments, I grew up in that same situation, watching the same thing. It forms the person you are. It's probably the reason why I'm who I am and the reason why there's walls built in certain places in my life and not in others.
We know you don't take many vacations, so what has been your best vacation thus far?
The best vacation I've had was just recently, and it was tied to a gig. I went over to play a private gig, but then I ended up just keeping the band and the crew and everybody there for another three days. We went to Puerto Rico, stayed at a resort, and it was something I've never even thought about doing before. Because I didn't have my daughter with me, I just got to be an adult for a few days. I got up, shaved my legs and put on my suntan lotion, and I was poolside having frozen drinks at 10:00 AM and soaking in the sun. I acted like I was in my early twenties again for a few days. It was very relaxing, and it was just beautiful, beautiful scenery ... And it was during the Super Bowl, so we bellied up to one of the outdoor bars and watched the Super Bowl.
As a bartender in your pre-fame life, what was your signature cocktail?
I worked in bars that were so busy, and people would come up and ask for a drink, and I would just make it red! And if they tasted it and said something to me like, "Well, this doesn't taste like [what I ordered]," I'd just say, "That's how we make it here." Because you've got to cover your butt and move when you're a bartender. When I wasn't in a place that busy, like back home bartending, nobody asked for anything more difficult than a Jack and Coke. One time, way back in the day, I was probably only 17 or 18, but I made up a drink at Big O's, called a Blackberry Brandy shot, and I can't remember what all I put into it. I think it was Brandy and Blackberry Schnapps and maybe some sour mix and a splash of Seven, or something. We had fun with 'em for about a week until somebody threw up and then they weren't a good drink anymore!
Are you organized or messy?
Organized, like O.C.D. organized. And I break out in hives if I don't get everything done before I go to bed at night ... but I just completely stress if I don't have it all together before I go to bed at night.
Bacon or croutons?
Croutons ... I love bacon, but no artificial stuff, and I can't get bacon from the fast food [restaurants] because it's rubbery. I like the real thick-cut crispy bacon.
You seem to be in such a good place now. How would you define your happiness?
It's a combination of having your family near and finding time to do the little things in life that count. And combined with having that sense of self-pride and accomplishment that you work hard enough to deserve all the things that you have in life ... And that you spend those times away from home to benefit by having that day completely off where you don't answer the door or the phone or nothing and sit and just hold your baby. Happiness is what you make it. For me, it's being satisfied and feeling complete in both my work and home life.
How about love?
I don't know if you can define love. Love is such a powerful feeling. It renders you completely helpless to control yourself. Love is a very deep and scary emotion. I know what love for your child feels like. It's completely undying and it's totally different than any other love that you experience for another person. Love for your children is the ultimate love. To me, that's what I think of when I say the word 'love,' is I think of my daughter, and it's pretty hard to top that.