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CNN Larry King Live

Kid Rock Pulls No Punches

Aired October 20, 2007 - 20:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he's hot. Raising hell. Kid Rock -- the devil without a cause.
Let it rip.

He smacks down drummer Tommy Lee, takes on Pam Anderson -- the blond they both call ex.

Nobody's off limits.

And in a TV first...


KID ROCK: Come on in. We'll take you for a little tour.


KING: This hard-rocking bad boy gives you a personally guided tour of his $12 million Michigan home.

Stripper pole -- check.

Plus, some stuff that may surprise you. We've got it all -- the struggles, the songs, the behind the scenes stories.

Stand back.

Call in.

It's Kid Rock.


KID ROCK: How can that be wrong?

How can that be a bad thing?


KING: Rocking for the full hour, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It could be a wild night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Kid Rock is our guest.

The first time he's ever done the show. He's got a terrific new album out titled Rock N Roll Jesus. There you see its cover. A lot of people think it's his best music ever. We'll be talking about that.

And later in the show, Kid is going to give us an exclusive tour of his home in Michigan. He's never let TV cameras inside that place before.

So let's get started with Kid Rock.

KID ROCK: This is my life, a rock concert.

There you go, Larry.

KING: Have a seat, my man.

Thanks for coming.

KID ROCK: Thanks for having me.

KING: Why -- by the way, why don't you do a lot of interviews?

You don't.

I'm thrilled that you're here.

But why don't you do?

KID ROCK: Why don't I do a lot of interviews?

God, it feels like a do a lot of interviews. I don't do a lot of interviews like this because I don't think I've been invited that many times.

KING: No kidding?


KING: That surprises me.

KID ROCK: Yes. I mean I'm not one that's really -- this the first time I think I've ever really opened up about a relationship, you know, and just certain personal aspects of my life. I've never let anyone into my home. I've never "MTV Cribs" or any of those shows. I've just always kind of felt that that stuff is kind of personal.

But I'm getting little bit older and my son is a little bit older and I don't know, I'm having a little change of heart on some things.

KING: What's it like to have your whole life kind of unravel before people?

KID ROCK: You know, I don't really complain about it too much because I think I'm so fortunate and so blessed in so many areas. You know, my personal stuff -- if I have some hard times and hardships, I kind talk to my friends and my family about it and kind of keep it at that level. But, you know, it's -- I'm fortunate.

I'm blessed, you know?

I just don't bitch.

KING: But in a way it's also helped you...

KID ROCK: Yes, it's a...

KING: ...because it gives you more attention and the more attention, the more record sales.

KID ROCK: Yes. There's no question. I mean I can't even sit here and deny that some of the antics that have gone on have, you know, perpetuated other things in my career and gotten me covers. And I'm sitting here talking to you. I mean there's no doubt about it but...

KING: Wow!

What a thrill this, huh?

KID ROCK: Right.


KING: How about the cover of "Rolling Stone," the 2007 hot issue?

You make the cover of the hot issue. That's no small pickings.

KID ROCK: Did you say small pickings?

KING: No small pickings, yes.

KID ROCK: Go, Larry.

KING: That's my own little term there. It's very Jewish.

All right, last month at MTV's Video Music Awards you got...

KID ROCK: We're going to get right to it, huh?

KING: Yes, let's get into that, because we've got a lot to talk about. I want to talk about music, too.


KING: You got physical with Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, both of you used to be married to Pamela Anderson.

So -- I think we have some video.

Let's take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (SINGING): Young girl, did you know what (INAUDIBLE) see?




KING: OK, what happened?

KID ROCK: Oh, all right, I'll say -- I'll go through this the last time and then I think it's done. It's just...

KING: Yes.

KID ROCK: What it was -- you've got to remember, too, there's kids involved here, which I know is, you know, I know after the fact that Tommy wanted go apologize to MTV and Alicia Keys and everybody, and, you know -- and not to disrespect them at all, but the only thing I was thinking about was my son and his two kids, and how does this affect them?

They're the ones -- my son is 14. He has to go to school. He's the one that's got to deal with these antics, you know?

Let's face it, high school kids can be a little unforgiving.

KING: You bet.

KID ROCK: Depending on what side -- which side you're thrown on. So...

KING: But what did he do?

What was...

KID ROCK: It was a lot of years of disrespect, a lot of years of being there. I wish I could say that I was raised, you know, as a granola-eating kind of a peace and love kind of hippie thing. But, you know, I'm from outside Detroit and I was raised that you -- you give respect and you get respect. And I was disrespected by this guy for a long time.

One of the last things that happened was when we went through our divorce -- and he had been kind of a menace through our whole relationship at every level.

KING: He interfered with it?

KID ROCK: Yes, interfered with it, just the way things were handled with his kids, with me, with Pam, with everything. There was just a tremendous amount of disrespect. And I always thought -- and I always took the higher road. And I always talked great about him to his kids and, you know -- even though I didn't feel like that sometimes, because I know they're innocent.

What the last thing that I thought of was, as we were getting our divorce, they were at a birthday party with their sons. And he went into her purse and grabbed her Blackberry and started e-mailing me really inappropriate stuff.

And my e-mail was simple back. I said, "You're nothing but a phone call. I will see you again."

I left it at that. And lo and behold -- you know I can't say that MTV wasn't a little bit of a culprit in this.

I mean why are me and Pam and Tommy in the same room?

They know the history there. It's not like it's a secret. It's very public.

So we're in this room together. And I kind of even played that down. I said, you know what, I'm having a great time tonight. I'm here to promote my record, for no other reason am I here than to promote my record.

And I was trying to figure out why is he here?

This guy is, you know, 44, 45 years old. He's not in a band anymore. He's not -- he wasn't invited. He's not a part of the show. He's not performing on the show. I even let that slide.

I went to the bathroom. I come back and he's pretty much sitting like in my seat at my table right there.

And when I came back, it just clicked. And I kind of did what I thought any man would have done. It wasn't even conscious. It was just like...

KING: Did you hurt him?

KID ROCK: That's how I -- I've got to handle this.

KING: Did you hurt him?

KID ROCK: Well, I don't -- I don't know if it's good, you know -- I don't like to -- I don't like to damage people's egos.

KING: We asked Tommy Lee to respond to Kid Rock and to the VMA episode. He sent us this quite: "My family and I want nothing more to do with this unfortunate situation."

KID ROCK: Yes, neither do I.


KID ROCK: As far as I'm concerned, it's handled and it's done.

KING: By the way, I'm told tonight -- I don't know how you'll react -- "Extra" is reporting that Pamela is going to get married this weekend in Las Vegas. And she's marrying Rick Salomon, who is most famous for making the sex tape with Paris Hilton.

KID ROCK: Good for her.

KING: Are you happy for her?


I could, you know, whatever.

KING: Does this shock you?

KID ROCK: I don't get shocked by much. I've got so many other things going on that, you know -- you know, actually, it's kind of good. Hopefully that takes -- you know, the last thing I want is this stuff to overshadow my music, which is why I'm here talking to you.

KING: Correct.

KID ROCK: So, hopefully, this maybe takes a little bit of focus off it and this guy can -- you know, go, Rick.


KID ROCK: Here. Handoff. Go for it.

KING: By the way, we asked Pamela Anderson's representative if she wanted to respond to anything you said and here's all she said: "I hope his album does well. I hope he's happy in life. We were married for four months. If he has nothing nice to say about me, please tell him to stop talking."

KID ROCK: Wah, wah, wah, wah.


What went wrong with Pamela?

KID ROCK: Oh, Lord, where do you start?

You know, there was the miscarriage thing, which was -- you know, and some of this stuff is really bad. I've never been this guy. I've never been this guy to talk about relationships, so it's completely weird sitting on this show with lights shining on me and knowing...

KING: Well, we'll get off of it. I just -- it's the news. We'll cover it and then we'll go on to other things.

KID ROCK: You know, I'll tell you -- I mean it had stuff to do with the pre-nup and the post-nup. It had stuff to do with lying to me, mainly about a miscarriage and other things. But, really, what it was -- you know, you can be in love with somebody and not realize what's going on on the outside, because your heart is there.

But when I saw it starting to affect my son, when -- when she would talk down about my mother and about my sister -- two people who were very instrumental in raising my son with me, when these things started to go on. You know, I had uprooted everything that I had known to do everything I could for her. You know, I moved from Michigan, a small town. I bought a house in Malibu. I uprooted my son, who I had raised as a single father there for 14 years, put him in Malibu High School. All these things.

And when I saw it starting to affect him, that's when I stepped back and I was like, un-nnh. That's it. And that's the morning I filed for divorce.

KING: Do you bear her ill will?

KID ROCK: I don't bear anybody ill will. But I've -- but I've -- I think payback is a bitch. I think, you know, she threw me under the bus like as soon as the relationship went -- went south and put out all of these things -- she has this relationships with papers and has this media thing that's really -- I kind of feel sorry for her about it that like -- just, you know, embraces it. And it's just -- I had never been launched in that world.

So when that came out, you know, yes -- I mean, yes, I'm a little upset about it. But I've tried to like, I don't -- I don't have -- I couldn't count on three fingers people I don't like.

KING: Our guest is Kid Rock, the award winning musician.

The new is Rock N Roll Jesus.

We'll be talking about that and a lot of other things. And he's going to give us a tour of his new house in Michigan, right after this.


KID ROCK: Because you know you smoke, I want to get you alone. You're so hot, I want to get you alone. You're so hot, I don't want to be your friend, I want to you (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED) like I'm never going to see you again.




KID ROCK: This my pride and joy right here. I just picked this up this summer. It's a 1930 V16 Cadillac Vandeley (ph). I mean this is a piece of Detroit history.

That's how you show up at a party, Larry.

Want to roll with me now?



KING: An appropriate car for Detroit.

KID ROCK: That's right. It's not only a piece of American history, it's a piece of Detroit history.

KING: You mentioned there were three people -- actually, only three people you don't like.


KING: Who are they?


I said I couldn't count three people.

KING: Oh. So you don't even know...


KING: You're not someone who carries a grudge?

KID ROCK: No, not at all.


On Pamela Anderson, she was a guest on this show in July of 2002. I asked her about her relationship with you.



KING: Would you like to be pregnant with Kid Rock's kid?

PAMELA ANDERSON: Yes, well, no -- I'd like to have a little girl one day. Yes, I would like to have a little girl one day.

KING: You have two little boys.

ANDERSON: But you know what I need to do is I need to -- right now I'm battling with the Hepatitis C and I want to resolve that and overcome that, and then I want to have a baby (INAUDIBLE) that.

KING: How serious is it with the Kid?

ANDERSON: The Kid Rock?

KING: Um-hmm.

ANDERSON: It's good. I think, you know what I could say, right now we're in the trenches, right?

We're just working on things.

KING: I mean you care for each other...

ANDERSON: Oh, yes. We love each other very much.


KID ROCK: Yes, we did. I would like to think we did.

KING: What went wrong or what happened?

KID ROCK: I thought we went through this.

KING: You think.

No, I mean what -- she lied to you about something?

Was she...

KID ROCK: No, there...

KING: (INAUDIBLE) was there a lie there?

KID ROCK: There was a lot of insecurities, a lot of -- I mean there was a lot of whirlwind, too, you know -- give and take and falling on both sides. You know, there was an incredible amount of pressure on both sides.

But, at the end of the day, it really -- the second time around, it really started to affect things that were close to my heart, like my family, my son. And when things go like that, that's -- and when you're in love, you're blind. There's no question about it.

KING: How did your boy handle it all?

KID ROCK: He was a trooper. I think...


KID ROCK: I really think that it made -- I'll tell you a funny story, Larry. I picked him up the first day of Malibu High School. It was complete culture shock from -- I'm from small town Michigan. And so I pick him up the first day. I say, "Hey, buddy, how was school?"

He looks at me, disgruntled, he says, "Man, it stinked. All these kids do here is ride skate boards and do drugs."

I looked at him and I said, "Hey, stay off them skateboards."


KID ROCK: No, but I mean, you know, seriously about it was I think after going through that and experiencing that -- I know he loved being there on the beach. He really loved Pam's sons. I do, as well. I think they're -- I think they're tremendous kids. But, at the end of the day, to go through that and come back home, I think he really appreciated his support system there, the people that love him and are around him and are always going to be there for him. I think it was a great learning experience for both of us.

KING: When we go -- before the next segment, and then we'll look at the house and discuss the music and take calls and get into some e- mails, a couple of other things.

How did you meet Pam?

KID ROCK: We met at the "Divas," the VH1 "Divas" show. I sang with Aretha Franklin that night. And she was there and after that show it was, you know, like light and dynamite.

KING: Right away?

KID ROCK: Wasted no time, Larry.

KING: Fast mover.

You had...

KID ROCK: I did the same thing any other red-blooded other American male would have done.

KING: You're not kidding.

You have sung all phases of music, haven't you?

KID ROCK: You're pop, country.

What are you now?

KID ROCK: I'm just...

KING: This album -- it's maybe your best ever, right?

KID ROCK: I think it is -- creatively confused. A creative chameleon. I don't know, you know, that keeps it so interesting and so fun to me. I just have such a fond love for music and I love to put my heart and soul into everything I write and everything I perform, that it's really been such a blessing to be able to, you know, be accepted by country and hip hop.

I think hip hop is the new blues music of our age, you know?

The respect I have for that is incredible. And rock and roll, of course, is always the attitude. That's where the fun that comes in. And the soul -- the Motown soul that was instilled in me and spoon fed to me since I was a kid.

KING: You write your own?

KID ROCK: Yes. I write -- I write most of my own stuff, or if it's with -- it's always with a friend, someone who's close to me, someone -- I don't go do writer's sessions like (INAUDIBLE) that, you know?

KING: Always perform with the same group?

KID ROCK: Pretty much. We've had a pretty consistent group for the last like 10 years. A guitar player has changed. My D.J. was successful, Uncle Kracker. So he had his own career. And I moved in that, but, yes.

KING: And you lost someone, too, right?

KID ROCK: Yes, Little Joe-C. He was...

KING: What did he die of?

KID ROCK: He had celiac disease.

KING: Oh, that's tough.

KID ROCK: Yes, it was tough. But it was -- I always tell people, he was so fortunate. He got to see so much. You know, he died at a young age and he got to see so much with us. He was always a little scared to leave home. And Taylor, Michigan -- he was so proud of Taylor, Michigan.

And, you know, we kind of made him go on the road with us. He was a little -- he had a machine that, you know, he used to used to drip him, you know, give him his nutrients.

KING: Yes.

KID ROCK: And he had to take 72 pills a day. It was pretty tough.

So to get him out of the house and take him on the road, his daddy said to me that's good you did it. He got to see more in those few short years than a lot of people ever do in their lifetime.

KING: There's a lot of food they can't eat.

KID ROCK: Yes. Tons of stuff.

KING: Much more to come with the man millions know and love as Kid Rock.

Which brings us to our King sized King Quiz question for tonight.

His birth certificate didn't say Kid Rock.

What's his real name?

Is it Neal Nelson (ph), Robert Ritchie or Jerry James (ph)?

The correct answer, when we -- Kid Rock and I -- come back.


KID ROCK: (INAUDIBLE) the living proof with the gift of gab from the city of truth. I jabbed and stabbed and (INAUDIBLE). And I did not stutter when I said that I'm going platinum -- selling rhymes. I went platinum seven times. And still they ill, they want to see us fry. I guess because the holy God knows why, why, why, why, why.




KID ROCK: Of course, this one is just downright funny. That's just self-explanatory. It looks like somebody Photoshopped me in, doesn't it?

I was drinking a Beam and Coke and having a conversation with Rumsfeld just going what the hell am I doing here?

And I hear this, "Hey, Rock! Hey Rock!" And I turned around and it's George. It's George W. Bush. And he gives me a five like we're on Seven Mile and (INAUDIBLE) in Detroit, like you're a good man. I turned around with my Beam and Coke and looked at my buddy (INAUDIBLE) from the president.

What's up?

(SINGING) And now we're having a good time.


KING: K Rock goes to Iraq a lot. We're going to talk about that.

Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Our exclusive guest for the hour is the rap/rock superstar known to the world as Kid Rock.

Before the break, we sprung our King Quiz on you, asking what his real name is -- Mella Nelson -- Neal Nelson, Robert Ritchie or Jerry James (ph).

And the answer is...

KID ROCK: Mandela Nelson.

Nelson Mandela.

KING: Now, what's your real name?

KID ROCK: Robert Ritchie is my given Catholic name.

KING: How did you pick Kid Rock?

KID ROCK: I didn't really pick it. I was kind of -- I spent a lot of time as a kid on the other side of town, down in the hood, down in Mount Clemens, Michigan. And I used to D.J. bass with parties and cabaret parties. And all the little black kids used to say, man, there goes that little white kid that can rock the turntables. No one really knew my name was Bob, so they just started calling me the little white kid that could rock the turntables. And then from there, it just kind of went to Kid Rock.

KING: By the way, did you have a -- different ceremonies when you got married to Pamela? Did you have five different weddings?

KID ROCK: Yes, we had like -- I always tell people, getting married -- yes, we had like five or six. Getting married was a ball. Some of the best fun I ever had was getting married. I loved getting married. It was so much fun.

KING: Why five, six?

KID ROCK: Being married sucked.


KING: Why did you have so many, though?

KID ROCK: You know, we had one in San Trope, just because it was crazy. It was fun, and that's what we decided to do. We had one in -- we just wanted to -- we did one in Beverly Hills, which was the official one, to get the paper. Then we did one in Detroit because I wanted my family and my friends to be part of it. So it was really just to do with family and friends and everything.

KING: OK, we had a mis-number. We said the $12 million house in Michigan. Your $12 million house is in Malibu, right?


KING: There is no $12 million house in Michigan?

KID ROCK: No, no, no. No, you could...

KING: Well, there is in certain...

KID ROCK: You could probably buy the whole county I live in for $12 million.

KING: There are certain sections of Michigan that would have them.

KID ROCK: Yes. No, there's no -- no. Michigan has got some great spots. You know, the auto industry when it was great, in its heyday, you know, and even downtown Detroit back in the days.


Tell us about this little tour you're going to give us.

KID ROCK: Of the house?

KING: Yes.

KID ROCK: It's a little nerve wracking, to tell you the truth.

KING: Well, thanks for doing it.

Let's -- I'll tell you what, let's see it and then we'll ask about it.

KID ROCK: All right.

KING: All right, here he is, Kid Rock exclusive -- in the Kid Rock home in Michigan.



KID ROCK: Hey, Larry, welcome to Northern Michigan. We're about 40 miles north of Detroit right now.

I'm a little nervous. I never let anybody into my home or on the grounds here.

I've got to call this my Civil War room. This is a Kodiak bear rug -- a bearskin rug right here, which I'm sure all the animal activists will love. Average dining room. Pretty colonial. I've seen a lot of animals in people's houses and a lot of things, you know, African lions. This is a -- but I've never seen a giraffe. This is a living room. It's kind of the only room I haven't really finished decorating. A nice buffalo head -- actually, the giraffe's buddy. Some Salvador Dalis. I tried getting into artwork for a little while. I thought it would be something positive to do, but I just did not get it.

I cook a bit, yes. I cooked a lot when my son was younger.

Organic milk, see?

I've got a little bit of Hollywood in me -- organic. It's very quaint.

I have another glass lamp here that I collected antiquing.

Everybody is going to think I'm a fruitcake, Larry. I'm like the American bad ass and I'm talking about antiquing. Man, you're going to kill my image.

(SINGING) We'll go honky-tonking, Larry, Larry, honky-tonking.

This is -- this is kind of my leave my alone room, I like to call it. Sometimes we just come here after basketball and smoke cigars, watch the game and just hang out. A lot of times I'll sit up here, too, and I actually I just finished writing my latest record, Rock N Roll Jesus, up here.

So one of the things we like to do up here is record music and race. This is going to be my favorite part of the show is actually while I'm working, I get to drive my go carts. My luck is ridiculous.


KING: What kind of car is that?

KID ROCK: Which car?

KING: That race car.

What is that?

KID ROCK: Those are go carts. Those are nine horse-powered rims that actually my buddy, Dale, Jr. turned me onto. I just, you know, I love NASCAR racing so much and Tony (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: Dale Earnhardt?

KID ROCK: Yes, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

KING: You are a home person, though, is looks like. You're a -- I mean for all this swinging, wild life, you -- you spend a lot of time at home, I would bet.

KID ROCK: You said swinging.


KING: What, they don't say that anymore?

All right, help me, help me.

KID ROCK: I'm just messing with you.

No, and I love -- I love being at home. I love to -- I love to entertain all senses of the word. I don't -- I don't think there's anything better I could find to spend my money on than creating like something that other people can enjoy, too, that I can spend time with them -- whether it's family, friends, whatever, you know?

KING: That's you raising your boy?

KID ROCK: Yes, sir.

KING: Is that hard in the business you're in?

KID ROCK: I'll tell you what, I've been so -- once again, I always say I'm the luckiest man on Earth. I've been so fortunate, once again. I mean I have -- the support system is unbelievable. I'll just -- real quick.

My best friend, one of my best friends, who is also my brother- in-law, married my sister -- his mother lives with me and helps me with my son. My sister, who he's married to, has her masters in teaching and kind of helps with my business and helps him with his school work.

Also, my godparent's daughter works for me in my studio, as well.

So it's -- I mean the support system I have there for him is -- I've just been so blessed and so fortunate. I mean I don't think a lot of people have that, especially in my situation, where they're a single parent. KING: We're going to take a break and come back with more.

We'll take some of your e-mails, some phone calls.

Now that you've seen where Kid Rock lives, you can also get a special tour of where he works. Check out our Kid Rock Web extra at He took us inside his studio where he recorded his new album, Rock N Roll Jesus.

Check out this special Kid Rock Web extra only at


KID ROCK: Money and success, I don't complain about the stress. I wanted this and now it's here, so I don't bitch. And swear the time's a trick, it disappears and oh so quick. Man, I was just 16 and now I'm staring at 36. But I'm still having a good time, good time. Well, go on, go on roller coaster, you're one day older and one...




ROCK: You ever seen a Mississippi pimp stick? A buddy of mine in the band Mississippi All-Stars gave this to me. Two strings and cigar box. Up with of the greatest things I ever got right here though was this record that came signed to me "To kid rock, thanks for keeping the music going, your fan, John Cash." So. Rock on London


KING: Kid Rock, you're kind of wild, Kid. You're kind of wild. You're a basic ...

ROCK: You have no idea.

KING: You have no idea how wild you are. In the "Rolling Stone" I saw pictures of you with women. You have an ideal woman?

ROCK: What's that?

KING: Do you have an ideal woman?

ROCK: I have an ideal woman every night, yes, sir.

KING: I know you do.

ROCK: Caca! One nothing.

KING: Do you want to marry again?

ROCK: No, not at the moment.

KING: Not at the moment. But you might?

ROCK: I don't leave anything -- you know, it's hard to say I what I will or won't do.

KING: Where is the mother of your boy?

ROCK: She's in Michigan. He goes with her a few times a month.

KING: You have a shared relationship?

ROCK: Yeah.

KING: Oh, good.

ROCK: Things were a little rough at first. She was my high school sweetheart. Came back, nothing but good things to say about her now. Nothing but good things to say about her now. It was a little tough there in the middle. But what relationship isn't?

KING: You have an unusual ring. I want you to show it to the camera and tell us if there is any history to this ring.

ROCK: I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, K.R.

KING: That one's ...

ROCK: That's just to inflate my ego a little bit more. This is actually Stanley Cup ring from the Carolina Hurricanes.

KING: No kidding.

ROCK: Yeah.

KING: So they win the Stanley Cup, Carolina won it about five years ago.

ROCK: It was a few years back -- 2006, actually.

KING: You're a hockey fan?

ROCK: Yes, I am a hockey fan. I'm a Detroit Red Wings fan but Carolina that year, the wings were out of it and Carolina, my friend owns the team, Pete Carmonas. So we went down with him a bunch of time to the games.

KING: That's great.

ROCK: I think he know that's I'm pretty good luck.

KING: And that's a regular ring like the players got, right?

ROCK: That's one like the players got. Yes sir.

KING: Not a makeshift.

ROCK: That's not a dime store ring, Larry. KING: Tell me about going to Iraq.

ROCK: Oh, geez.

KING: How many times you have gone?

ROCK: I have been twice. The first time was with the USO thing and it was kind of like hooray, we won the war, whew! We were in great spirits. And last show I went at Christmas time. Right after the divorce. And it was kind of, my devil horns were starting to grow and I could have gone a lot of ways and I decided I wanted to do something positive.

I was actually talking to Bill Frist, who is a friend of mine, a senator from Tennessee at the time, and I just asked him who is going to Iraq this year for Christmas. He checked it out and he came, I don't believe anybody is going. I kind of took that as an opportunity. I said, I am going to show my son this year what Christmas is really about to be unselfish. No presents. I'm going to be gone for Christmas. I'm going to be with some guys who can't be with their families.

One of the top ranking soldiers in Iraq told me, he said, you've got to remember, I said, what do you think about this war? He said, you've got to remember, we don't create diplomacy, we execute it. I think sometimes we as Americans lose sight of that. These guys fight in every war, and no matter what, whether it's right or wrong, they go and they do the dirty work. So it was a pretty heavy experience.

KING: You entertained?

ROCK: I took my guitar. This time I just kind of went my myself. I got a guy from the Pentagon, I flew into Bahrain. Flew into there and I just took, I took Black Hawks ...

KING: How were you received?

ROCK: I mean it was as good as my - I was received very well. Everyone ...

KING: Is it difficult to entertain troops? Like tomorrow night you're going to do a concert in Cincinnati. Is it different there?

ROCK: Yeah, it's very different. It's completely different. The appreciation of -- of just being alive is pretty incredible. Tomorrow it's going to be about the party. Let's have a good time. But when you're in the middle of the war zone and there's kids dying every day. I went Christmas Day, an IED hit a convoy and one of the ranking officials asked me to go to the hospital. I went to the hospital. I asked him, I said, do you think this is appropriate? I went to the hospital and I mean to see Marines crying, grown men crying, first of all, and then to see -- just go into a room where these kids have been hit and they are shell shocked. They were surprised as I am to see them and their eyes are just bloodshot, there's blood coming out of their ears. To watch the chaplain run upstairs and read last rites or whatever it is to a kid who is dying. And to imagine, who wants to call these kids' parents on Christmas Day and say he's gone. It makes every day be so appreciative.

KING: So what you're saying even if you're against the war, don't be against the kids? It ain't their fault.

ROCK: I think everybody understands that. Even these knuckleheads in Hollywood who try to use their award shows as platforms to speak against the war. We have to remember, these kids are young kids. A lot of them don't understand the difference. When you talk against the war, they think you're talking against them.

KING: They do.

ROCK: You have to be very careful with your words.

KING: You think they do?

ROCK: I know they do. I have been there and talked to them.

KING: Our guest is Kid Rock. When we come back, people think Kid Rock grew up in a double wide. Did he really? That's next on LARRY KING LIVE.


ROCK: So here we are at I guess my second home you would call it, a lot of people call it the studio, the Allen Road House, whatever you might have it. Rock 'n' roll over here. Come on inside and check it out.

Here we are in the live room, the studio. This is where we cut pretty much all of our albums except my first one. A lot of analog vintage gear here. Just gives a warmer sound. We use the old technology to record and the new technology to mix.




KING: Great stuff. In fact, in that connection, we have an e- mail from Ann in Newport, Rhode Island. "Your duet, 'Pictures' with Sheryl Crow was a huge hit. Any plans to do more mainstream pop country duets like this?"

ROCK: Um, yeah. Actually mainstream -- I just saw her in Detroit. I saw her new baby Wyatt. She's so happy. I'm so happy for her. We talked about just kind of going through relationships and what not. We thought, what a great time to cut a duet country record, kind of like George and Tammy back in the days.

KING: Would you do it again? ROCK: Yeah.

KING: With other artists?

ROCK: Yeah, for sure. I would really love to do more stuff with Sheryl. She's just a great person, great to work with, great songwriter, phenomenal talent. So ...

KING: You had a country influence for a while, right?

ROCK: Uh-huh. Like I said, I'm creatively confused.

KING: Did you like doing country?

ROCK: Loved it. But loved it so much, I bought a place in Nashville and made a lot of friends down there. I really enjoy the country music scene and the whole vibe and everything.

KING: This album "Rock 'n' Roll Jesus," by the way, any problems with that title?

ROCK: No, no. He who wants to judge, cast the first stone.

KING: I like that. I'm impressed. Here's what it says inside. "If it looks good, you will see it the. If it sounds good, will you hear it. If it's marketed right, you'll buy it. But if it's real, you'll feel it." Very well said.

ROCK: I wrote that.

KING: I figured. It sounds like you. Were you born and raised in a trailer.

ROCK: No, sir, I was not.

KING: Where did that come from?

ROCK: It was kind of a thing I said, back in the whole NWA period when everything was straight out of Compton and everything was gangster and so rap and so hip-hop, even when I was influenced by hip- hop. I always kind of wanted to be black and experience this whole culture on the other side. And when I got to be myself through the hip-hop culture, I realized I was more comfortable just being myself. Just being in my own skin and being who I was.

So when I said I'm not out of the Compton, I'm straight out of the trailer. I'm referring, basically, it's OK to be yourself. Mainly speaking to people who relate to me the most which is white kids. It's OK to be white and be hip-hop. You can be yourself. You don't have to act or be like somebody else.

KING: We have an e-mail from Rita in Oakville, Ontario. "Do you still maintain a relationship with Pam's two sons?"

ROCK: No, unfortunately, I don't. And that's definitely difficult. KING: Did you get along well with them?

ROCK: I love those kids to death. Love them to death.

KING: When you do an album like this, you wrote most of the songs?

ROCK: Yes, sir.

KING: Do you do the concept? I mean, is the concept yours, does a manager tell you what to do? This is all your baby?

ROCK: I'm the farthest thing from programmed I like to say. I don't have -- I don't have, you know, stylists and consultants and people telling me which way I should go and how I should talk and what questions you can ask me and what music I should be doing at the time of this and that. I just try to speak from my heart and I try to let the talent speak for myself.

So sometimes it's sad when all the personal antics overshadow the music because music is the passion in my heart.

KING: But conversely, it also focuses attention and can help sell music. It's a double-edged sword, isn't it?

ROCK: Single edged this way. Every way it cuts, I win.

KING: That's true. Are you always touring, by the way?

ROCK: No. I think when I toured the last so many years, I only toured Thursday, Friday, Saturday. And I have only done America because I wanted to be there for my son. We use a little bit of money but what is that worth for peace of mind and being with your family and making sure your kids come up?

KING: You're not kidding. Our guest is Kid Rock. Anderson Cooper stands by. He will host AC 360 at the top of the hour. What's up, Anderson?


Tonight, an Olympic star falls. Marion Jones, winner of five Olympic gold medals admitted she was a liar and cheat. It was a remarkable admission. The cheating was taking steroids, the lying was trying to cover it up. We will hear Marion Jones in her own words.

Also tonight, this remarkable tape from Florida, disturbing to say the least. It's another tape that makes you ask, did police respond properly? Police say they did. The 15-year-old girl we see getting slugged says the officers did not. You be the judge. We'll have that at the top of the hour and more, Larry.

KING: I'm not going to repeat what he said.

We will be back with more of Kid Rock right after this.



ROCK: This is -- well, it's kind of turned into a merchandise warehouse right now. But this is the infamous basement studio, strip pole karaoke as we say, because there's karaoke down here if you notice. So this turns into a stage from time to time when people have their clothes on. But I put this pay phone in for kind of a joke, Larry. So if you're over 135 pounds and plan on getting on that pole and not talking your clothes off, I hope you brought a quarter to pay for a ride home.


KING: What's with the pole?

ROCK: What's that?

KING: What's with the pole?

ROCK: You don't have one in your house?


ROCK: Geez, I know what to get you for your birthday.

KING: How do you use it?

ROCK: The pole just creates a great atmosphere. Actually now, not to get too serious on it, but a lot of people are taking lessons, a lot of girls are taking lessons on it ...

KING: I heard about it. They put the pole in the house and they ...

ROCK: So you're up on pole position, pole etiquette. You know what's happening. You know why the pole is in the house, right?

KING: Do you slide down the pole?

ROCK: Hell, no.

KING: Do visitors slide down the pole?

ROCK: They have.

KING: Of the female persuasion?

ROCK: Oh, yeah. You don't let guys on the pole, Larry.

KING: No, it ain't a guy thing. Let's take a question -- a phone for Kid Rock from ...

ROCK: Let's go to the phones.

KING: Brinkley, Arkansas. Hello. CALLER: Kid Rock, I'm a huge fan. I was wondering what inspired you to make this new album.

ROCK: What inspired me to make this new album? That's easy. Life and living it.

KING: You have not had an album in quite some time, right?


KING: Why?

ROCK: Was having fun.

KING: What do you mean, having fun?

ROCK: I worked for -- remember, you got to remember, I put my first record out when I was 17, 18 years old. I didn't hit until I was 27. Worked until I was 30, whatever, 33, 34 on that record and became successful, made some money. So I wanted to go hang out, be with my son, travel the world, see things. I didn't want to be like this model of, OK, I'm 65, I'm going to retire and get a house in Florida and be there in the winter. I want to do it now while I'm young.

KING: Did your personal life interfere with doing albums?

ROCK: Absolutely.

KING: It did?

ROCK: That whole marriage debacle, all of that stuff was a real setback, sure. But I weathered the storm, Lar.

KING: You did. What was it like to get back in the studio?

ROCK: It was great. I'm always writing. I'm always jotting things down. I keep little voice recorders everywhere. So there's never a day that goes by I'm not thinking about and doing music. Music is my passion and my life and my love. But to get back in and actually start doing it. Once I got in there I really started focusing on it, everyone said, we know you're hurt, this, that and the other. There is no doubt I was but I got through it, thank god. But the sweetest revenge is success.

KING: That's right.

ROCK: There's no doubt. I can't sit here and lie.

KING: Success is the best revenge.

ROCK: Success is the best revenge. So that was a little motivation there. I work great under pressure.

KING: You were uncomfortable in Malibu. Do you still go there?

ROCK: No, I love Malibu now.

KING: I thought you were uncomfortable there?

ROCK: No, I was uncomfortable uprooting myself from my son. I was uncomfortable uprooting my son and being there. Now it's like - not to toot my own horn but I have got a $12 million bachelor pad, eh, eh.

It's great. Family and friends come and enjoy the house. I have family and friends that come and stay the weekend with me with their kids and my son is there. I can really enjoy it. I don't care who you are, spending $12 million is a lot of pressure.

KING: Do you think women are with you because you're Kid Rock?

ROCK: Absolutely.

KING: And that doesn't bother you.

ROCK: I think they get me because I'm Kid Rock. No, it doesn't bother me at all. I'm not with them because they are, you know, geniuses. Right. Let's be honest. No, I think they are with me because I'm Kid Rock. And there's a fascination with them because they are pretty and cute. But you start to dig a little bit to see if there's something more. You dig and you get to know somebody's soul and heart. And see what's going on there. And I'm always a nice person.

KING: I know that. We will be back with our remaining moments with Kid Rock, in which I will become Kid Larry. Don't go away.



ROCK: I was at the Halloween party in Detroit Rock City, Larry. Puts you on the tractor with a nice trailer and pumpkins and hay and spiked apple cider and get crazy.


KING: Yeah. It's gift sharing time at LARRY KING LIVE. We're going to present Kid Rock with this pair of bracelets ...

ROCK: Oh, personal suspenders! I bet I look good -- I got you something, too, Larry. I bet I look good in these naked. What do you think?

KING: Hey!

ROCK: See, look at that.

KING: Can I turn this up like you do it.

ROCK: But you have an image. You wear suspenders and a tie. Smart. So I wear a hat. KING: Should I turn it up like this or down like Frank.

ROCK: Go like Frank, see. You can be Sinatra one minute and the Kid the second.

KING: But this is the Kid, right?

ROCK: Uh-huh.

KING: Why did the Kid determine to wear it turned up?

ROCK: Actually because of people like John Lee Hooker and Run DMC. Those are some of my music heroes.

KING: And they did it?

ROCK: Yeah. See, I kind of turn it down in the back a little bit.

KING: Oh, I see. I can do that. Turn it down the back. Feels good, don't it?

ROCK: Feels good.

KING: So you always work with a hat on?

ROCK: Yeah, usually.

KING: Ever take it off, on stage?

ROCK: Yeah. You want me to take my hat off? Let's see if I can pull my ponytail band off. See how messed up my hair is right now. Yee haw!

KING: Oh my God.

ROCK: I'd like to see your hair.

KING: You look biblical.

ROCK: Let's see your hair. Winner, winner.

KING: Yeah, you win.

ROCK: Winner.

KING: You look biblical.

ROCK: Is that good? Look at this.

KING: Wait minute. Hold it! You're blond! You have blond hair. Did you dye that or is your hair blond?

ROCK: No, I'm a Blondie. I don't know. I dye my hair. Do I look like I dye hair?

KING: You're not a dye hair type but your hair ...

ROCK: I have hat head going on.

KING: But your hair is blond.

ROCK: I'm still rocking, any way you cut it.

KING: Now you go into Cincinnati tomorrow. How many pieces will be on stage with you?

ROCK: Including me there will be 13.

KING: Thirteen.

ROCK: Two horns, three girls, two guitars, bass, DJ, keyboards, drummer.

KING: A lot of lights.

ROCK: And percussion player.


ROCK: No, we strip td it all down for this tour. I really brought it back to the music. It's just lights and candles and put up the back drop and play the music and let the music stand up on its own. Look, Detroit last night.

KING: Have an opening act?

ROCK: No. "An evening with" is what we call it.

KING: You have an intermission or you just play through?

ROCK: There's no intermissions in rock. There's no intermissions in it rock 'n' roll, Mr. King. Come on.

KING: You have a contest on your Web site?

ROCK: I think they are putting one up today.

KING: What is it?

ROCK: I don't know.

KING: So you think you're hot. What is that contest?

ROCK: I think we're looking for a girl to be our correspondent.

KING: A girl to be your what?

ROCK: Correspondent. To let you know what's going on in the Kid Rock camp, this that and the other. Looking for a pretty girl, too.

KING: I don't imagine you'll pick a non-pretty girl. Like a P.R. girl. ROCK: Although I would, if she was very creative in her own way.

KING: And an appointments secretary, she'll give you news on your Web site.

ROCK: I don't know what news I really have to give the but we'll make some.

KING: Do you have tattoos?

ROCK: Uh, yeah.

KING: Any we can see?

ROCK: I got this one. I think you can see it. Probably going to mess my mike up.

KING: Oh, I like that. Just move your hair. "Bad ass," that's you! Good tattoo.

ROCK: What about that, Larry?

KING: I tell you something, kid, I'm really impressed with you.

ROCK: Thank you.

KING: I look forward to meeting you. I know you did that little funny line in "Rolling Stone" say Larry is going to call me Chris Rock and ask about my divorce from Louie Anderson.

ROCK: Why did you hit Tommy Lee Jones?

KING: Which I think is pretty funny. Great, great meeting you.

ROCK: Me, too, Lar. It's been a lot of fun.

KING: Continued good luck.

The album, Kid Rock, "Rock 'n' Roll Jesus." Available everywhere music is sold. And we'll have Kid Rock back. You can bet on that. He's in Cincinnati tomorrow night if you can get tickets.

Head to our Web site, and you can check out our special Kid Rock Web extra or download our current podcast Whoopi Goldberg. All upcoming guests are listed there, too. It's all at And next week's guests include Jimmy Carter, Howard K. Stern, Stephen Colbert, Eric Clapton and the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox.

And now Anderson Cooper and AC 360. Anderson, it's yours.