Toby Duets With Trace, Chews Tobacco With Shania
You can always count on Toby Keith for a good laugh ... especially when he's talking about women, big decks, tobacco and embarrassing iPod songs.
When Detroit radio station WYCD caught up with Toby for an interview at the opening of his seventh I Love This Bar and Grill -- located right next door to Bass Pro Shops in Detroit, Mich. -- listeners got a sweet taste of the country giant's sense of humor.
Toby began by explaining the marketing strategy for selecting the location for his newest eatery. "We get all the people who come down to buy shotgun shells and stuff to run their ranch," says the enterprising superstar. "They come to Bass Pro Shops to get their fishing supplies, and they may drive a hundred miles to come to Bass Pro Shops, so they trek in here, and they look next door, and they go, 'Oh, my gosh, there is the Mecca. I've arrived. Let's get some shotgun shells and a beer and a fried bologna sandwich.'"
Toby also talked about getting Trace Adkins to join his new Show Dog-Universal record label, saying, "Trace and I go way, way back. It made me feel wonderful that Trace put his trust in me, because he could have gone anywhere. There's a lot of major [labels] in town, and for somebody to put their career on the line and give it to a guy you would think is your competitor ... it would be like [pro golfer] Phil Mickelson going to work for Tiger Woods. Can you trust your career with that? And for him to have that much trust ... Trace and I have toured together a lot. He sees what we do out there every day. He sees how we handle our business, and he wanted to be a part of it. He said, 'I want that smile on my face when I come off stage every night that you have.' He also said, 'I know you're happy when you come off stage at night, and you're not faking it because you're not that good of an actor!'"
Toby also revealed details of the humorous duets the pair have planned to record, saying, "We've each got one we want to do. His is titled, 'If I Were a Woman, I'd Love a Man Like Me." And so we thought you'd have to be really comfortable in your own skin -- a couple of big knuckleheads like us up there singing."
"I have a song that I want him to cut with me," Toby continues, "called, 'Mine's Bigger.' It starts out with two neighbors having a deck built on the back of their house ... a deck. You've got to say it right!
He was also asked about a story that circulated a few years ago claiming that Toby taught Shania Twain to chew tobacco. "She actually admitted to that," he reveals. "She's the one who leaked that story years ago. That was in 1993. We were on a Triple Play tour. I had 'Should've Been a Cowboy,' out; she had a song out, and there was a third artist named John Brannen. We went out, rode the same bus, and she was from Canada. She came up front, and I was sitting with the bus driver, driving down the road. And she [said], 'What do you have in your mouth?' I said, 'Chewing tobacco.' She [said], 'What is it? I've never seen it before.' And I said, 'Here it is,' and I showed her the pouch. She said, 'I want some.' I looked over at the driver, and we kind of grinned at each other and said, 'Help yourself.' She said, 'What do you do?' I said, 'Roll it up and put it in your mouth.' She did, and went back there and sat down, and about five minutes later she's going, 'This is terrible!'"
Asked to name the most embarrassing things he might have on his iPod, he replies, "I've actually got ABBA on there, but I'm not embarrassed by that. I've got so much '70s rock on there. What about something likeLiberace?"
Toby plays the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif., on April 25.