Whoever said “Don’t meet your heroes… they’ll just disappoint you” was obviously not talking about Butch Walker. For the better part of my career, Butch Walker – producer/songwriter/motherF’nRockStar – has been my biggest influence both from a performance stand point and for his ever evolving style and sound in the studio.
See him live. Bottom line.
I first saw him live at the TLA in 2008 on the recommendation of my buddy John Chiaro. Mind = blown. Exactly 5 years later in 2013, Live Nation gave me the chance to open for him on the very same stage. That night, he treated my wife, friends and I like family before the show… and when I came off stage after my set he was the first person standing in the wings stage right ready to hand out a compliment. (First national act I’ve opened for to ever listen to my set… let alone intently). He also took my phone, called John to say hi, and then went on to perform a killer set… full of emotion given the fact that his father, “Big Butch”, had just recently passed away.
Afterwords, he welcomed us into his green room to have a drink and swap stories with his band. Brendan McGrew, my good friend and owner of Bourbon Blue, had given me a bottle of Bulleit 10 yr. for Butch… A peace offering of sorts… given the fact that his book is titled “Drinking With Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt”. I thought it was perfect. The whole night remains in my memory as a defining moment in my career… where my biggest influence collided with my own personal musical journey. And at the risk of sounding like a motivational cat poster, it showed me that anything is possible. He’s a class-act. The musician’s musician.
Any regrets? No. Well… Maybe don’t smile like a cheesing asshole next time you get your picture taken with your hero.
When you get into the end zone… act like you’ve been there. Rookie.