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Glenn Beck

Honest Questions with Trace Adkins

Aired November 16, 2007 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, CNN HN HOST: He`s as laid back and country as it gets. But don`t let the cowboy hat fool you. Trace Adkins is a force to be reckoned with. Millions of fans listen to his music. Now with a new book, "A Personal Stand," he wants them to hear what`s on his mind. From politics to parenting, Adkins is sounding off and pulling no punches. Get ready for an incredible hour of honest questions and controversial, although some would say common sense, answers, with country music sensation Trace Adkins.
Hello, America. Joining me tonight, country legend, author of "A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions of a Free-Thinking Roughneck," in stores now. Trace, how are you?

TRACE ADKINS, COUNTRY STAR: Please back of that legend thing, man. Where`d that come from?

BECK: You know, you said to me -- I said, what a fantastic book, and you`re so humble. You`re like, oh, no, it`s not all that. You know what it is? Well, first of all, let me start with this question. I really don`t want to know the opinions of people in Hollywood or music usually.

ADKINS: Nor do I.

BECK: Why would you do this book full of opinions?

ADKINS: Look, you know what? I entered into this exercise reluctantly. I have to be honest with you. I`ve had people that have been asking me and urging me to write this for years, literally years now. And I`ve just said you know, I really don`t want to enter into that world, I don`t want to get into that arena, I think I just need to stay away from that.

BECK: So why did you do it?

ADKINS: Well, finally, I just -- because I was getting -- it was getting to the point where I was asked the questions so often, and people were trying to pull it out of me all the time, and for another reason, I don`t think that the stage and where I make my living, I don`t think the stage is a place to espouse my political views and talk about that kind of stuff. And I found myself more and more kind of feeling like maybe I need to because I was getting asked so much and people were making aspersions and, you know, thinking that things that weren`t true. I hate people that do that. I do. I don`t do it. I think my fans come to my shows to hear the songs .

BECK: Oh, yeah.

ADKINS: . and that`s what they appreciate and that they enjoy. And that`s what I give them. I don`t get on my stump and speak and preach to them. I don`t do that. And I resent other artists that do, quite frankly.

BECK: So what you`re saying is, it`s all in the book .

ADKINS: If you`re going to do it, this is the arena to do it in.

BECK: America, here`s the thing. If you like Trace but you`re not necessarily traditional-valued or common sense-based, you should turn the channel because I may wreck you for him. The rest of the country is going to love you. I have to tell you, I really didn`t -- I mean, I`m not kidding you. I have two stacks of books this high on my nightstand that I have to read.

ADKINS: I`m sure.

BECK: And you were coming on, and I said, oh, please, would somebody just highlight for me? And as you can see, they highlighted it. It is tremendous. I got into this book. I don`t mean this as a slam. I think we`re brothers. I mean, there are so many experiences in here. And values that you have that I have not heard a celebrity say quite possibly ever, since maybe Jimmy Stewart. Let`s talk about -- let`s first of all -- Ramos and Compean.


BECK: Talk about them.

ADKINS: Well, it`s a travesty. I mean, they`re in prison for doing something that was their job, basically. And it`s just a travesty of justice. And I think I say in the book, I may have stated it in too abrasive a way, but whoever is responsible for not getting them out of jail, whoever doesn`t have the cojones to sign a pardon and release these two men should be impeached or fired or run out of the country.

BECK: It`s so amazing, Trace, that we live in a country -- let me ask you this way. Do you want to have the views that you have right now? Do you want to be so concerned about our country and say what the hell is happening, what has happened to our government? I don`t want to be that guy. Do you?

ADKINS: No, not really. But you know what has happened to me? Parenthood. You know. That`s what happens when you mature and you get older and you have a child and then another one and another one and those responsibilities start to weigh heavier on your shoulders, you know. You start to realize that you have to take a stand for their sake.

BECK: Yeah. You have five girls, right?

ADKINS: I have five girls.

BECK: You know what`s causing that pregnancy thing, right?

ADKINS: Yeah. But see, I wanted that boy, you know. That`s why I have five daughters, because I wanted one son. And I just .

BECK: I have three daughters. We adopted a son. Completely different. They are as different as night and day.

ADKINS: I`ll never know that.

BECK: Yeah. You could always adopt.

ADKINS: Good for you.

BECK: Have you given that any thought?

ADKINS: No, I`m done. You know, I`m not in control in my house as it is.

BECK: That`s because you`re surrounded by chicks.

ADKINS: I know.

BECK: Believe me, it gets insane. I know, I`m with you, brother.

ADKINS: And this book is an easy read, too. It`s about a four-movement book. Well, depending on how much fiber you get, it could be another movement. But I`m just saying, you know, you can put it on the back of your potty and escape from the women in the house.

BECK: It is a sanctuary in that room. But that`s a different story. So we kind of started going down the road of disenfranchisement. I`m always interested -- I was just talking to Jeff Foxworthy a couple of days ago on the radio.

ADKINS: I love Jeff.

BECK: Yeah. He`s a great guy.

ADKINS: He`s a great guy.

BECK: Here`s a guy who -- well, you`re probably the same guy. You come to New York, and people are like, who`s the guy in the cowboy hat? You go in the center of the country and everybody knows who you are.


BECK: And I asked Jeff this, and I`d love to get your opinion. As someone who works in the center of the country, what does your gut tell you -- are the American people the same as they were five years ago? Or do you feel or sense something in America that`s different?

ADKINS: Well, I think there is a frustration, and it`s building. You know, but they are still pretty much the same. You know, I do -- I get to rub shoulders with the ordinary people. You know, the average Joe. That`s how I make my living. I play -- I do those shows in the middle of the country. And I still do meet and greets. And I still get to meet all these people and talk to them and kind of get a sense of where their head`s at.

And it`s flyover land I call it. A lot of people call it that. But there is still hope out there, but there is a frustration as well. And people just don`t understand why, you know, the politicians in Washington just can`t seem to get a grip on anything and make anything happen at all.

BECK: Do you think it`s almost like the politicians have a different language? I mean, they don`t even hear us when they talk to us. I don`t know how many times I`ve listened to a politician and go what the hell does that even mean?

ADKINS: I know. I had a personal experience with that. I went to Capitol Hill to lobby for some legislation that I worked with this charity organization called FAAN, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network because my six-year-old daughter has severe food allergies. That`s something I`ve really gotten involved with.

We went to Capitol Hill to just try to get some things done in the public school systems in this country just to try to make people more aware and to educate people of ways they could be more vigilant, keeping these kids from being exposed to these kinds of foods that could possibly kill them. And it was just amazing what I ran into. I had politicians that would sit there and listen to what I said, and then they would always say the same thing after. They would go, "I agree with what you`re saying. I understand your concern. I`m concerned too. But."

BECK: But meanwhile I`d just like to try to help as many illegal aliens come into our country as possible.

ADKINS: Yeah, and then they just talk to you for another half an hour, and then you get the sense that if you don`t slip the check under the table then they didn`t hear a word you said. And the ones that I`m talking about know who I`m talking about. They are representatives of mine from the State of Tennessee. And they just gave me the run around just like it just -- it was the most frustrating, infuriating experience.

BECK: All right. We`re going to talk about -- we`re going to talk really about everything. Next, Trace hit rock bottom, and he`s lived to tell about it. Talk about it next.



BECK: You were a pipe fitter.

ADKINS: I was a pipe fitter for a while when I was working construction. That was at the tail end of my blue-collar career.

BECK: Yeah.

ADKINS: But I was a roughneck on a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico for about six years. Worked derricks.

BECK: You ever kill a man? Don`t answer that.

ADKINS: Not on purpose.

BECK: All right. We`re with Trace Adkins, and he`s got a new book out called "A Personal Stand." And it was refreshing to read the chapter about you -- facing your demons of alcoholism and how you didn`t take the Lindsay Lohan road. You didn`t make any excuses for it. You got pulled over for a DUI, right? In 2001.

ADKINS: Mm-hmm.

BECK: How long had you been drinking?

ADKINS: Oh, 25 years. Twenty years probably.

BECK: Ever try to stop?

ADKINS: Yeah, I did. I tried on several occasions, you know, to abstain myself, just convinced I`d quit long enough -- you know the thing. You`d quit long enough to convince yourself you never had a problem in the first place. If I truly had a problem, I wouldn`t have been able to have gone the last three months without a drink.

BECK: Wow, did you really -- I could never do it. I grew to hate myself so much. And I`m still kind of iffy-iffy.

ADKINS: Me too.

BECK: But I grew to hate myself because I couldn`t stop.


BECK: You .

ADKINS: Well, it got to that point for me eventually. I mean, a lot of people don`t realize that alcoholism is a progressive disease and it`s going to continue to progress whether you`re practicing or not. It`s going to continue to get worse. If you buy into it being a disease and that whole thing.

BECK: Do you really care? I don`t really care .

ADKINS: I don`t really care either. I know it`s something that I have -- it almost ended my life. That was enough for me. But yeah, so you know, I got a DUI and you know, I went in to plead guilty because that`s what I was going to do, because you know, when they asked me, you know, are you drunk, I`m like, and how, you bet, man, wooo! You know. It was like, "Not nearly as drunk as I was yesterday when I drove home and I got past you." You know, but it was bad. So I went in and just said yeah, I`m guilty, no, I`m not going to pick up trash, how long do I got to stay in jail? Two days. Fine.

BECK: So this is not you bottom?

ADKINS: No, it wasn`t.

BECK: What was your pivot point? What was the -- I think anybody who says that they have recovered -- I`m stalling to give you a chance to make up a pivot point. Anybody who says that they are changed but they can`t tell you that moment, they`re lying.

ADKINS: Well, it was an intervention for me. And what it took was people who I loved and who love me, you know, finally, with the aid of a professional -- and if you`re ever going to do an intervention with somebody, I highly recommend that you get a professional to run the show, you know. And he did. And they sat around. And after two or three letters I was just like, I give up, take me away, I can`t take this anymore. Because they .

BECK: Were you pissed or did it break you?

ADKINS: No. I was just brokenhearted. You know. But they said no, you`re going to sit here and listen to everybody`s letter, and they`re going to read their letter.

BECK: Who is the one that really -- if you don`t mind?

ADKINS: Well, it was my wife really that was just -- and my manager. My manager, that hurt me too. But .

BECK: What did -- I mean, you don`t have to get personal. But what did they say that .

ADKINS: It was just how disappointed they were and brokenhearted that they were that -- and it was only then that I realized the destruction. Because it was always that thing, I`m not hurting anybody else, you know, it`s just me. And then it was only then that I realized just the despair that these people felt because they couldn`t help me. And so anyway, I surrendered, they hauled me off and institutionalized me for a month or so.

And you know, and I just had an epiphany I guess about three weeks into the deal, and just that moment of clarity where I just was like, God, and I realized how lucky I was and how fortunate I was to be blessed with, you know, the good road that I`ve been given and the talent that I have and the ability to make a living without actually having to work. I was just like, just keep it together and you`ll never have to really work ever again, just have fun and do this.

BECK: Are you a God guy?

ADKINS: Well, I`m a spiritual guy, I think. I would consider myself a spiritual guy. I`m not very religious at all, which is going to break my mother`s heart again to hear me say that. But I think that, you know, that`s apparent in this book. I just have -- you know, the organized thing is just .

BECK: Yeah.

ADKINS: Lost its sparkle for me.

BECK: For a long time organized religion, my wife said -- I asked her to marry me. I actually asked her hypothetically, if a guy like me was to ask a woman like you to marry, what would you say? And she said, a guy like you? That`s a person like me? She said hypothetically speaking? I said yes. She said no. And I said why? She said because God`s not the center of my life. I said ah, geez, for the love of Pete I can`t do organized religion, it`s about power and manipulation and everything else. But you know, if you can find something that works for you. So what is the -- because you`re not an A.A. guy either.


BECK: How do you stay sober?

ADKINS: I just -- I don`t know, man. It`s just my own willpower and constitution and fortitude. I just don`t -- I don`t think about it. I don`t allow myself to -- and I`m around it all the time. I mean, what I do for a living, I mean, I`m constantly in the presence of people that are partaking. And it actually makes me angry if somebody abstains because I`m around. That really makes me mad.

BECK: I hate that.

ADKINS: It does. Go ahead. Get puking drunk. I love to see people throw up on themselves. Knock yourself out, Hoss. Fall off table. I`ll be laughing uproariously with everybody else.

BECK: Yeah. The only problem with being an alcoholic for me is -- because I`m the same way. It doesn`t bother me. It`s also something in my religion we don`t partake in. It doesn`t bother me. It`s OK. The thing that bothers me is now going to like parties because you get into a party situation, a couple of hours into it, I mean, it`s just like you just want to videotape and say look how stupid you look, you know, the next day. You`re the only one that -- the whole room is moved in a certain direction, and you`re the only one viewing it now.

ADKINS: Right. And then you realize what you were doing to people all those years. And they were having to tolerate your ignorance.

BECK: I know. At least in my case I was the worst. All right. Coming up next, what happens when a pinkie-less oil rigger takes Nashville by storm? Back with Trace Adkins in a minute.




BECK: Back with Trace Adkins. First time you picked up a guitar, how old are you?

ADKINS: Ten. First real guitar.

BECK: When did you decide -- because you were working on an oil rig. What did you decide screw it, I`m going to pursue music?

ADKINS: It didn`t happen for me that way. I played clubs and stuff for a while. I actually took a leave of absence when I was working for Global Marine Drilling Company. I took a leave of absence, and I was going to try it for about six months, playing clubs in Texas. And I stayed about almost five years. And then I went back to work. I just got so burned out on the whole club scene, I couldn`t do it anymore, and I hated myself.

BECK: Wait, wait. Why did you hate yourself?

ADKINS: Well, just for what I turned into. I was doing a lot of drugs and drinking a lot and all that stuff. And I remember it came that moment for me.

BECK: So it was worse in clubs than it was at an oil rig?

ADKINS: Oh, yeah.

BECK: Wow.

ADKINS: Well, I was killing myself. You know, I was ashamed of myself for what I`d become. And I remember one morning looking in the mirror. I woke up and I remember saying audibly, you know, five years ago I wouldn`t have been caught hanging out with somebody like you. And that was it. I quit and called my old boss back on the drilling rig. He gave me my job back, and I went back to work. And I stayed out there another three years before I moved to Nashville.

And I moved to Nashville because an old guy that used to book me in clubs called me one day on the phone and he said you singing anymore? I said I don`t even sing in the shower, I`m done. You know. I was that burned out on it.

And he said, well, one of these days you`re going to have to ask yourself the question, I wonder what if. He said don`t let that happen. And then I said you`ve got to go ahead and do it. And I said do what? And he said throw down the pompoms and get in the game. You know, move to Nashville. That`s where the factory is. That`s where they make the product that you want to be. And that`s where you need to be. So that`s what I did.

BECK: How long did it take you?

ADKINS: To move?

BECK: No. To -- when you got there.

ADKINS: I was only there for -- I was there for three years. You know, my story is not like most of them. I didn`t move to Nashville and starve to death and beat on everybody`s door and do that whole thing. It was nothing like that for me. I didn`t feel that desperation. My wife at the time had a good job, insurance salesman. And I was working a good job, working construction .

BECK: Do you ever wonder why? Do you ever think to yourself, gosh, how come I got it?

ADKINS: I don`t dwell on that kind of stuff because I already feel undeserving as it is and if I start thinking like that I`d just beat myself to a pulp.

BECK: Geez, for the love of Pete the two of us are going to have to go to a bar.

ADKINS: We`re going to have to go to a meeting when this is over.

BECK: All right. Trace Adkins back in a second with something else that changed his life, 9/11.

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ADKINS: The First Amendment protects you from the government. Our founding fathers ensured that you could criticize your government and they wouldn`t be able to do anything to you about it. So that`s what the First Amendment really means. It doesn`t protect you from me. If I don`t like what you`re saying, I might hunt you down and give you a beating. You know, that`s -- so .


BECK: I have to tell you, we`re back with Trace Adkins, there seems to be a disconnect from common sense -- maybe everybody`s just over-thinking everything. Because you say something like that and most people go yeah, that`s right.

How is it that -- Ronald Reagan was criticized, I think it was in the "Times" a couple of weeks ago. Somebody said that he only really actually believed in about four things. And I went, yeah, that`s about four more than our politicians believe in now. How did we lose connection to just common sense and core values?

ADKINS: And how incredibly brave you have to be to criticize a dead man, you know, first of all. But I don`t know where we lost it or how we lost it or what the root cause of it is. But it is slipping out of our grasp. Our sensibility. Our common-sensical (ph) approach to life in these united states anymore is just -- you know, and I do meet a lot of people that do still seem to have hope in this country, but they are increasingly frustrated too, and .

BECK: See, I have to tell you, my hope has changed. After September 11th I believed in the country and our government and everything else. I still believe in our country. But I believe specifically in our Constitution, and I believe in the American people. I don`t necessarily believe in the people that we sent to Washington. That`s a fundamental change for me. But I think I changed, and I believe you changed on 9/11. But does it seem to you that a lot of Americans just changed back?

ADKINS: Well, you know what? It was a near death experience for us. And I`ve had a view. And I recall after I had gotten shot and I`d been in the hospital for a month or so and I finally got out, and then I had my bout with -- I had to have another open heart surgery and everything so that I could continue living. But I remember what it was like. And all those little cliches are true. Yeah, the coffee smells fresher and the roses are prettier and the sky`s bluer and all those things hold true. For about two months. And then you slowly just call right back into that same old tired routine that you were in before.

BECK: Do you believe that 9/11 fundamentally changed you?

ADKINS: Well, absolutely, it did.

BECK: And how did you not go back two months later?

ADKINS: Well, I think that -- I think I did -- there is a sense of complacency again a little bit, you know. And I do find myself taking little things for granted again. But I think where it changed me was it absolutely cauterized the idea for me that we are in this fight over the long haul and this is going to be a long, long, brutal ordeal. And the people in this country that still are in denial and haven`t woken up to that fact and who don`t have the guts and the stomach to deal with this problem in the way it needs to be dealt with are just going to -- they`re just going to continue to run around, you know, like bobble-headed dolls, you know, and just -- they don`t have a clue as to what`s going on. You know what I`m talking about, man.

BECK: I have to tell you, I love the description of the war on terror as a venereal disease in your book.

ADKINS: Oh, I wish I wouldn`t have written that.

BECK: Yeah. You seem all broken up about it.

ADKINS: Well, I thought -- You know, that`s one of the things in this book. And the title of the book, first of all, "Opinions and Observations of a Free-Thinking Roughneck." In other words, I don`t say -- I don`t claim anything in this book is true. It`s how I feel and how I see things. But it doesn`t mean that any of it`s true. And so what I try to do is color the book through with what I consider to be humor. And maybe it is a little perverted here and there. But you know, yeah, I said the war on terror to me can be compared to herpes. You can live with it. It`s not going to kill you. Just from time to time it`s going to flare up and it`s going to cause a little inconvenience, and then you .

BECK: I don`t know if a little inconvenience is .

ADKINS: I also likened it to my aunt`s Chihuahua, where I would walk into the living room and this tiny mongrel would come up and chew on my ankles and he really thought he was doing serious damage, just chew, you know, and then you just kick him across the room and go on with your business. You know. And that`s what it is to me as well.

BECK: It doesn`t seem like we`re kicking them across the room .

ADKINS: That`s what we need to do. We need to kick the mongrel across the room.

BECK: Let me ask you this. This is what -- Everybody says America is anti-war. And that`s a good thing. I believe we are anti-war. We don`t want to fight war. But we are willing to. What we`re really anti is anti- fighting a war and not fighting it to win.

ADKINS: Yeah, we`re anti-winning wars for some reason.

BECK: No, but I think the American people are anti-losing a war. They say it`s a 20-year war. Let`s just spend two years or five years and go over there and kick ass quickly.

ADKINS: Let`s go ahead and put a million boots on the ground and get the thing over with.

BECK: Do you think there`s a different -- I was struck by you talking about going to the World Trade Center. I went to the World Trade Center on the first day we could fly. I was down in Florida. First day we could fly I flew in an empty plane. There were four people.

And it was hair-raising. And flew over New York City, and it was dark. Didn`t even know where the island was. They had shut everything off. Except for the lights in the pit. The next day got up, and I walked down into Lower Manhattan. And the smoke was still billowing. And I`ll never get that smell out of my nose. And as I`m reading it, you had exactly the same experience. Do you think that cauterized something in you?

ADKINS: It just -- it was seared .

BECK: It was.

ADKINS: . into my memory. And I think I say in the book -- I can`t -- I remember being angry at myself at my inability, my shortcoming, in the fact that I could not take in the entire scene. You know, it was -- you had to start looking over here and then pan across the whole thing. I wanted to be able to get a panoramic view of the entire scene and just soak it in and just, like I said, sear it onto my memory. But I couldn`t do it. And it made me angry at myself that I couldn`t do it.

BECK: I remember I didn`t want to. I left, and I had to go on the air and describe what I had just seen. I had no time to process it. And went right on the air. And I remember going right into the first commercial break, and I put my head up against the wall, and I was just sobbing uncontrollably. And I said I can`t do it, I just can`t -- I didn`t want to relive what I just saw.

ADKINS: I felt so inept that day too because I was supposed to be down there giving encouragement to these men who were in there working and just to shake their hands and that kind of thing, and I just felt like what am I doing here? Give me a hard hat, you know, let me get in there and help. I just feel worthless here.

BECK: Those guys are giants. They were giants.


BECK: Did you happen to go -- I don`t know. It was like an avenue of heroes, and it was -- people from all over the country had just brought things to, you know, cook. There was somebody from New Orleans that had brought a giant tractor-trailer that they could cook a bunch of food and everybody was cooking. And I remember these firefighters coming out and just looking dead, just beat and all so dirty. And the only thing people could do is just stand there and just applaud. I mean, they would walk by and you`d think these guys are giants of men.

ADKINS: You know, it was a life-altering experience for me. And one that I`m glad that I was able to experience. I think I was the first country artist to come here. And it was. It was still on fire. And I tried to describe the smell in there, but .

BECK: You never can.

ADKINS: . I found that I couldn`t really do it.

BECK: You talked about -- this is so funny. This is why I said earlier at the top of the show it feels like we`re brothers in a way, I had the same experiences. I had an experience where I stood with my daughter and we were outside. You had an experience with your daughter outside.

ADKINS: Well, what do you do with a three-year-old when something like that happens? And so that day -- we just live just south of the Nashville Airport there. And after -- it was about 1:00 in the afternoon, and all the planes had been grounded. And I didn`t want her to forget that day, but I didn`t want her to remember it as those horrible scenes that were on television.

So I took her outside. And we laid down on our backs. Because we were in the flight pattern always when the planes are coming in south of the airport. And we just lay there, and I said let`s count the airplanes. And of course none were coming over. And you can`t hold a three-year-old`s attention very long.

So when she got up to run away, I just took her, and I tried to tell her and make her listen to me, just remember that there was a day when there weren`t any airplanes, there were no airplanes. And then she kind of like, "Why, daddy?" And just remember that one day daddy took you outside and there were no planes. And that`s all I wanted her to remember.

BECK: Well, like he said earlier, he has five daughters. Which means there are five guys that have to come into this man`s house standing at 6`6", 250 pounds. We`ll get a little glimpse at what might be in store for them coming up in just a second.


BECK: So five daughters.

ADKINS: Mm. Are you just making fun of me now?

BECK: Nope. Nope. I .

ADKINS: You`re just picking at me.

BECK: God bless you, man. Five dollars -- five daughters. I have three. How old`s your oldest?

ADKINS: Twenty-two.

BECK: OK. So you know.

ADKINS: I was an embryo when she was conceived.

BECK: What was it like when you first met the boyfriend?

ADKINS: Well, I`ve met a couple of them now. I don`t know. You know, I don`t really pay them that much attention, you know, at first because I don`t -- I really don`t expect them to last that long. So I try not to become .

BECK: Is that because you have a gun and a shovel and a lot of property?

ADKINS: I have all those things. I do. And I have a backhoe. So I can dispose of them quickly. I don`t do it with a shovel. But I haven`t really gotten -- my oldest one is married now. She got married earlier this year. So -- and he`s a good guy. But my .

BECK: Have you done any of the chats with them, with the boyfriends? I`m looking for tips.

ADKINS: Yeah. I don`t really think they want me to say on television the things that I have said to them.

BECK: Right. Does it involve "America`s Most Wanted"? Because mine did. I explained, John Walsh has told me he`d never put my picture on TV if you happened to disappear. I`m just saying.

ADKINS: I kind of had a thing like that one time, too. I was in the woods with a certain young man, and I was showing him a place that he could hunt. And I said, you know, I could kill you right now, and nobody would ever find you. And he looked at me, and he kind of did that nervous ha, ha, ha, ha. So I thought everything was cool, I`m just kidding, kid. We went on home. That night my daughter had a late class in college that night. She came home, I was sitting at the dinner table, I`ll never forget.

She started screaming at me as soon a soon as she came through the door, "You psychopath." I said what`s wrong, baby? He told me what you said. Well, I was just kidding. Well, he didn`t think so. So anyway.

BECK: Well, I had a very similar experience.

ADKINS: She didn`t marry him.

BECK: Yeah. I wonder why. I had a very similar experience and I told the kid too that I was joking. I said at the end look, I was joking around with you on a lot of stuff. You`ll have to decide which was real and which was a joke. But you`re a smart enough guy .

ADKINS: Yeah, I have fun with them. But usually a good firm handshake and then a you know, I`ve been to jail, it`s no big deal. You know, it really was not a big deal. I will go back. It doesn`t scare me at all. That usually works pretty good.

BECK: Do you assign the kids chores? You live on a farm.

ADKINS: Oh, my wife does that. Yeah. She is intent that we not raise brats. And she`s failing miserably. But she`s trying.

BECK: How is she doing that?

ADKINS: Well, she tries to make them work, and she tries to make them appreciate, you know, the value of things. But it`s so weird. I grew up in this modest household and as a young kid just being a fan of country music and all those kinds of things. And I remember hearing the Grand Ol` Opry on the radio on Saturday nights and thinking that that was the Mecca, that was it, you know. And now my children are growing up backstage at the Grand Ol` Opry and they are just as comfortable there as they are at their grandmother`s house.

BECK: Isn`t that amazing.

ADKINS: Which is a beautiful thing, but at the same time I`m thinking these are going to be some weird kids.

BECK: Yeah.

ADKINS: I mean, they`re growing up with this warped perception of reality almost, and it`s a little frightening to me. But we try desperately to keep them as normal as we possibly can.

BECK: It`s weird because I don`t know how many people have said -- because I grew up, you know, my dad owned his own bakery and my mom and dad worked in it. You know, I don`t think my dad ever made over $25,000, $30,000 a year maybe. And yet I never realized until later we were pretty poor. There were times when we really struggled. But you never knew you were poor. Now I don`t know how you don`t know if you`re poor in this society. Because it`s all about stuff.

ADKINS: I lived in a little town where everybody -- everybody was poor. But we didn`t know that. We had no idea. We thought we were all doing great, you know. But now, you know, I don`t know. It just seemed like -- but in a way they were much wealthier than a lot of us are today.

But you know, my father just retired this year. He worked for 43 years for International Paper Company. I think 43. I may be lying. It may have been 47. I don`t know. Anyway, a long time. And he could have retired years ago. And I offered to help him do that. And he wouldn`t do it. You know, it`s just the kind of man he is.

BECK: It`s amazing the generation that has passed on -- I mean, now we hear about jobs that Americans just won`t do. You know what my grandfather would have said? What the hell kind of job is that? Get to work. I mean, what is that job?

ADKINS: There is no job that Americans won`t do. There are jobs that Americans won`t do for the wages they want to pay to do that job. But you know, I mean, what`s that dude on the Discovery Channel? There are some Americans doing some nasty, nasty jobs. You know. I mean, I don`t think there`s -- there`s nothing that guy won`t do. I promise you that. I`ve seen him climb in sewage tanks and everything else. He doesn`t -- you know. Bless his heart.

BECK: All right. Rapid fire with Trace Adkins when we come back.



BECK: Final moments now with Trace Adkins, and it`s rapid fire. Are you ready?

ADKINS: All right.

BECK: It`s kind of like being on "Jeopardy" except the there`s no money and the questions are .

ADKINS: They`re a lot dumber.

BECK: If you could only have one, coffee or cigarettes, which would it be?

ADKINS: Coffee.

BECK: Would you rather have your daughter marry an actor or a farmer?

ADKINS: Farmer.

BECK: Not even fair, is it? If the election was held tomorrow, is there somebody you would vote for? And if so, who?

ADKINS: I guess if it was held tomorrow I`d have to vote for Huckabee. If he -- you know, I like him.

BECK: Yeah, he`s a nice guy. Would you rather be a vegetarian or a liberal?

ADKINS: I`d rather eat grass.

BECK: How much are you pulling down a year?

ADKINS: Hundreds of dollars. Hundreds.

BECK: Fill in the blank. You`re the first person that`s actually answered that. Fill in the blank. I would rather blank than live in Los Angeles.

ADKINS: I would rather farm.

BECK: Favorite part of marriage.

ADKINS: Hey. Watch it.

BECK: Favorite part of divorce.


BECK: Have you ever been star struck?

ADKINS: Oh, yeah.

BECK: Who?

ADKINS: Ray Charles. I was in the man`s presence, literally 10 feet away from him, and I was so in awe of him that I -- that I would not introduce myself to him. I just couldn`t bring myself to do it. And this was like three years ago.

BECK: Really?

ADKINS: I was that close to him. And I`ll regret that till the day I die.

BECK: Did you ever look at him and go, I can`t believe this is my life?

ADKINS: Oh, all the time. Look at me now. I can`t believe I`m sitting here talking to you. I can`t believe you even want to talk to me. It`s unbelievable.

BECK: Thank God, America, it`s almost over. Do people in New York talk to fast or do you talk too slow?

ADKINS: I talk too slow and they talk too fast. We should meet somewhere in the middle.

BECK: If you weren`t a musician, what would you be today?

ADKINS: I`d be drilling oil wells, keeping this country running. I`d poke holes in your backyard if they`d let me. And that`s what we should do to solve this energy crisis. We ought to be drilling oil wells in Central Park.

BECK: You seem like a global warming activist.


BECK: Absolutely.

ADKINS: Heat that sucker up, baby.

BECK: Trace Adkins, great to have you here. And we`ll see you again soon. From New York, good night, America.