Fresh from his blockbuster performance before U.S. military forces stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Lava/Atlantic recording artist Kid Rock has just scored RIAA platinum with his new album, “COCKY.”
The announcement comes less than one month after the release of the Kid Rock-produced collection, which includes the current hit single, “Forever.”
Recent weeks have seen Kid Rock continuing to demonstrate his support of American military personnel, including a very special appearance at San Diego’s Naval Base Coronado, where he signed autographs and posed for pictures with thousands of U.S. sailors. In early December, Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band traveled to Germany’s Ramstein Air Base to perform as part of For The Troops: An MTV/USO Special. This remarkable concert event – taped Sunday, December 9th, and scheduled to make its MTV broadcast debut on Tuesday, January 1st at 2 PM EST – follows Kid Rock from his arrival on base, through his many personal interactions with young American servicemen and women, to his rousing musical performance.
“The thing that I found to be most important was actually hanging out with the soldiers,” he says. “We went over to the barracks with a couple of guys, they walked us around the dorms and introduced me to their friends, we sat around having a great time, getting down to the real deal, really talking to them, seeing what was really going on. Obviously a lot of people wanted autographs and pictures, and I was happy to do that all day. Even at night, when it was freezing cold out, I went out to the barracks and showed the guys how to play that card game, Acey-Deucy. It was just a really great, really powerful experience.”
The setlist for Rock’s Ramstein concert featured performances of a number of his greatest hits – including “Bawitdaba,” “Only God Knows Why,” “Cowboy,” and of course, “American Bad Ass” – along with an unforgettable medley of rock ‘n’ roll classics like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“They told me ‘You only have to play for 15 minutes,”‘ Rock says, “and I said, ‘That’s ridiculous! I’m here to entertain these guys!’ So I said, ‘Screw ’em,’ and played for 45 minutes! I mean, I was there for one reason and that’s to make those guys and girls feel good. That’s the way I can help. That’s my part in this whole thing.”
Rock’s weekend at Ramstein Air Base also included a number of other memorable moments, such as arriving at the concert in a fully-armed Humvee, accompanying soldiers to a local go-kart track, jamming a handful of songs at an off-base country bar (with MTV’s Carson Daly sitting in on guitar), and getting to test out some American artillery.
“That was a highlight,” he beams, “me being a gun lover and all. I’ve been shooting guns for a few years now, really getting into it, so it was great going and shooting M16s with the guys. We even got to shoot these M240 full-power machine guns. We shot 200 rounds, just Pow-Pow-Pow-Pow! The whole experience was great but again, the most important thing was just hanging out, letting these guys and girls know how much they’re appreciated, at least from my standpoint as well as a lot of my fans.”
The servicemen and women were equally appreciative for the time they got to spend Kid Rock and the members of Twisted Brown Trucker. “People stationed here were so impressed with Kid Rock and the band because they took the time to hang out with the troops and were so down to earth,” states U.S. Air Force Captain Marlene W. Hall. “I heard how Kid Rock was checking military IDs at the East Gate, and how he went up to a Security Forces airman to say hello and the airman’s eyes grew huge because Kid Rock is his favorite. All the people here really appreciated the genuineness and caring Kid Rock and his band extended to our community.”
Kid Rock has long been a favorite artist of the United States Armed Services. Last October, troops aboard the USS Cole adopted Rock’s “American Bad Ass” as their unofficial theme song following the terrorist attack on the destroyer.
“They were pulling out of the harbor and they played ‘American Bad Ass’ along with some other patriotic music, like ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,”‘ Rock says. “All the sailors went nuts, putting their fingers in the air, just really angry because they lost 17 friends. That really touched me and we went and did a show in Norfolk, Virginia for the families of the sailors that lost their lives out there. More importantly, it was incredible to hang out and tour the USS Missouri with the captain, even just talking with the widows. No matter how patriotic you think you are, you hear their stories and it touches you even more.
“These people are out there protecting the very freedoms that people like me take full advantage of,” Rock notes of his friends and fans in the American military service. “Getting the chance to entertain them, it’s kind of selfish in a way, because it makes me feel good. I know how much it means to them and I try to put my heart and soul into it for them every time.”
In other news, Kid Rock is currently preparing a surprise performance for the upcoming 29th Annual American Music Awards. The festivities will be broadcast live on ABC on Wednesday, January 9th at 8 PM EST (check local listings).
For additional information, please see The Atlantic Group website at www.atlantic-records.com.