Story Behind the Song: Jason Aldean, ‘Crazy Town’
In March 2010, Jason Aldean released "Crazy Town" as the fourth and final single from his 2009 Wide Open album. Written by Brett Jones and Rodney Clawson, "Crazy Town" became Aldean's 10th consecutive Top 20 hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and has been certified gold by the RIAA. Below, Jones tells The Boot about writing the song.
I was on my way to Rodney's office to write with him. Driving across town, I was thinking what a crazy town Nashville was! I've been writing songs for 20 years now, and some years are good, and some years are not good. One year, you'll make a lot of money, and then the next year, you won't make any money. But that's just part of being a songwriter.
I went through this hot streak in the late '90s when I had four No. 1 records in a row ... and then it got cold for about three or four years. Then it started getting hot again when I had a big hit on Montgomery Gentry, "What Do You Think About That." But then it got cold again for another few years. [Then], all of a sudden, it [was] getting hot again: I [had] a No. 1 hit in March with Billy Currington, "That's How Country Boys Roll." So this is what was going through my mind when I was driving over to Rodney's to write with him that day -- that it's a crazy town!
When I got to Rodney's office, I told him I was thinking about the "crazy town" idea. He said, "OK, that's the one we want to write." We've all had similar experiences in this music business. Jason, myself and Rodney have all had people telling us, "No, your songs aren't any good; you'll never make it." We've all heard that and lived through that, but you can't ever give up. When we were writing that lyric -- "To be a star, you gotta bang, bang, bang" -- that's what we were thinking, that you come to town, you bang on a guitar, you make a lot of noise, and you don't give up. And if you get a "no" when you bang on some doors, you've just got to knock on a lot more doors until you get a "yes."
I've known Jason a really long time, since he first came to Nashville. He and I wrote at Warner Bros. together. He's one of my favorite people in this town. Not only do I admire him as an artist, I admire him as a person. He's very tenacious. He came to Nashville and did so many showcases and kept getting turned down. But he never gave up. What's really weird is, this song actually wound up sounding just like Jason's story. Like the lyric, "Roll into town, step off the bus / Shake off that where-you-came-from dust / Grab your guitar, walk down the street ..."
Rodney wrote a couple of other songs for Jason, "Amarillo Sky" and "Johnny Cash," so we were both hoping he might want to record this one. And he almost did record it for [2007's Relentless], but for some reason didn't. But he liked it so much that he remembered it and recorded it for [Wide Open], so it all magically worked out the way it was supposed to.
This story was originally written by Marianne Horner, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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