Kid Rock in Grand Royal Magazine, 1996
When Grand Royal Magazine was soliciting story ideas for issue #4 (circa 1996), I threw out the idea of a Kid Rock interview. I’m not exactly sure what I thought the story would bring, as far as I knew Kid Rock hadn’t made music since 1992’s The Polyfuze Method (an album only known to people living in Detroit or working at college radio). I was just curious. Who was this fellow-midwesterner in the Airwalks making rap-rock sex rhymes? Mike D wasn’t keen on the idea but thankfully then-editor Mark Lewman (Freestylin, Homeboy, Dirt) was as curious as I was and had tracked down Kid Rock’s then-manager in a couple of days. I told Mike I’d do the interview and if it sucks I’d print it in my own zine (I didn’t have one, but I’d cross that bridge when I got there, too).
Now as Kid Rock would be quick to tell you (or Timothy B. Schmit, as it turns out), my intentions were not exactly good. I had every expectation he would have an IQ of about 18, want to tell me how down he was, and would call me “en eye double gee ay” a hundred times. If “Kid Rock” turned out to be a jackass all the better, we’d trash him in the intro and let the interview speak for itself (an idea inspired by the greatest magazine of all time, Motorbooty).
Unexpectedly, I liked Bob Ritchie (pka Kid Rock) from the moment he started talking. He was an honest single dad, making a living doing what he loved, far from giving up, making the best music of his career, and just plain likable. We had a great first conversation (which became the interview), he came to LA for photos on his own dime, we rented a van and went to Vegas with Shewchuk, Dug, Kim, and Dirty D the weekend Biggie got shot, he introduced me to Eminem, and then blew up into the rock star we all knew he was. Once he suggested I should be his manager. I told him I had a degree in Computer Science and had no idea how to be a phone-screaming manager guy. In retrospect I probably should have taken the job. Although then he’d have just fired me for Punch…
Kid Rock has a new album coming out in October. Julie and I got the FULL ON preview which included Bobby basically ACTING OUT the entire record for us while he and I (mostly he) killed a twelve pack of Coors tall cans. Then he put one of his two mastered copies in my hands and sent me out the door (it hasn’t left the car so if/when it leaks don’t look at me, Lyor!). We’ve been pounding the record in the car for about a month now and I’m happy to report it’s his best record yet. There’s one rap song, a country track about that bitch from Baywatch, a Sweet Home Alabama/Werewolves of London mash-up, and more than one song where he’s going for some serious grown-up Night Moves type shit. I’d be happy if it was the last huge-selling album Wal-Mart has before they finally give up that CD real estate for more dish towels and huggies. You can tell he wanted to put the tabloid and “I’m Kid Rock bitch!” shit (mostly) behind him and make some American rock songs that would appeal straight at his red white and blue middle America fans and stand the test of time. If you can drive through Michigan in December and find a truck stop that isn’t selling this CD I’ll be shocked.
So since I have had Kid Rock on the mind lately, I dug out my old copy of Grand Royal #4 (that’s Zoe at age six at the pinball machine) and scanned the now-more-than-ten-years-old article. Now-deservedly-famous Geoff McFetridge not only did the graphic design of the entire mag but also did an amazing “history of the turntable” pull-out poster in the mag and as a result issue #4 is long since out of print but I thought people might like to see the article. I’m still kinda proud of it. I hope you like it.
To read the article, click through to the Flickr page, then go to “all sizes” and choose the largest size. Enjoy.
And as an added bonus, here’s Zoe’s “Why I Love Power 106” article from the same issue.