Vince Gill Recalls Dodging a Sexual Predator
It’s hard to escape news of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, as more and more disturbing allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky continue to arise. For country legend Vince Gill, the story hits a little too close to home, and makes him realize how lucky he is.
During an interview with CNN‘s ‘Showbiz Tonight,’ the 20-time Grammy winner revealed that he was almost the victim of a sexual predator when he was a kid. Seeing Sandusky on the news night after night brought back the scary memory.
“It conjured up something that happened in my past when I was about that age, as a 12-year-old kid starting seventh grade,” he told CNN. “There was unfortunately a gym teacher at our school that wound up being the same kind of thing … and there were some advances made towards me that were very awkward.
“[When] it started to get weird, I had either the good fortune or the good luck to jump and run,” Vince continued. “But I was so young I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know much about sexuality, didn’t know anything about all that stuff … I grew up in the ’60s. We didn’t know about therapy, we didn’t know about inappropriateness, we didn’t know any of that stuff. We just figured it out in the sandlot, fought it out on the playground, or whatever the hell you did.”
Luckily, the future country superstar escaped unharmed. But the dad of two daughters worries these “beyond evil” situations are all too common.
“I have a 10-year-old kid now, so it’s all of a sudden red flag, red flag, red flag, red flag,” Vince laments. “I just want to go to her and say, ‘Please! Tell me anything that makes you feel awkward or weird that anybody says or does.’ … There are a lot of people unfortunately preying on kids, and it doesn’t get any sicker than that.”
Vince is currently traveling around the country in support of his latest album, ‘Guitar Slinger.’ The new disc is a family affair, featuring guest vocals by wife Amy Grant, both of his daughters and his step-daughter. It’s the first album the Country Music Hall of Famer recorded entirely at home.
“To have the creative side of my life finally within those walls was more gratifying, more peaceful and content than anything I could have imagined,” Vince tells The Boot. “I felt for a long time I was just screwing around; I didn’t think we were really recording or if it really mattered because of the relaxed atmosphere. There was a great spirit when we were playing music because it’s not a commercial building, it’s not a place that’s out there trying to make money being a recording studio.”
The new album features the poignant single, ‘Threaten Me With Heaven.’ Watch Vince perform the tune on NBC’s ‘Today’ show below.
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