Rascal Flatts Remember 20 Years

This week, Lon’s co-hosts are Jay & Joe Don of Rascal Flatts.  “We haven’t seen Gary in 9 months.  I don’t think our manager even knows where he is. This is the first time I’ve seen Joe Don in months. It feels strange to not be doing our thing on the road and have a song on the radio.  We didn’t want things to end the way they did. So I can’t imagine we won’t go back and give a decent goodbye.”

When Jay looked at the chart, he said, “Half of these people in the Top 25 opened for us.  Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Dan & Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Keith Urban. They’ve all been on the road with us at one time or another during the last 20 years.”

Lon asked them where they were in March 2020 as the lockdown began: “We were just wrapping up some shows.  To think about walking off that stage for the last time, that was the last time we were ever together on stage in front of people.  It almost makes me emotional thinking about it, that we didn’t realize it was the last time.”

So if they haven’t been together on the road, what have they been doing?  Joe Don said he’s been home schooling his kids: “My son is 12, and my daughters are 6 and 10.  Homeschooling is hard.  Jagger was in 5th grade last year, and I did some of the math with him.  He goes, ‘Dad, that’s the right answer, but that’s not how you do it.'” Jay added, “I have no idea what they’re doing, so I’ve turned into the lunch lady.  I’m in the kitchen all the time”

Lon asked Joe Don if he’s done with the road? “No, I see Flatts at some point, when things are right, doing some big blow-out farewell tour.  But I plan on recording stuff on my own at some point.  Just hoping to write the right song.”

How about Jay? “I’ve been busier now than I’ve ever been, because I wanted to prepare for this moment in our career whenever it came. So I started my own record label, but I also have been exploring the songwriting and producing side of my career.  We have a TV show on Netflix, and we’re in talks for season two.”

Jay also talked about Gary’s plans.  “Gary needs to do the solo thing for a while because he’s such a gifted singer.  I’m sure there were times he wanted to do something and not be beholden to our opinions.  We need to do what we want to do before we’re too old to do it.  But I do believe we will find the right time and the right opportunity to go out and share this music with folks again.”

One name that came up several times during the show was Eric Church, so Lon asked for the real story about Eric and Flatts: “This has been made a much bigger story than it was.  Eric was a new artist at the time, and he was playing longer than his allotted time. We asked him a few times to stop because it cost us extra money from the venues.  So we played Madison Square Garden, he went long, aand we told him he was no longer invited back. He’s still talking about it.  I think he’s an amazing artist. I just wish that had ended differently, and he would have done the 45 minutes he was supposed to.”

Joe Don had this story about Eric: I see him a lot because our kids go to the same school.  It’s funny because without his hat & glasses he’s hard to notice.  But I remember one CMA show, he was backstage signing some stuff, and Gary walks over to him and slaps him real hard on his butt, and then starts laughing, and says ‘How you doing, Eric.’  And Eric goes, ‘I’m doin’ OK Gary, but now my butt hurts.'”

The guys also have great stories this week about Blake Shelton, LoCash, Jason Aldean, Chris Lane, and Dan + Shay.

NEXT WEEK: Jake Owen

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