Dan Naumovich: My interview with Blake Shelton
Summer is when I typically take some time to hobnob with the rich and famous in the music world. We chat, share a few laughs, discuss showbiz — that sort of thing.
Not everyone is privileged enough to actually know real celebrities, so I try not to put on airs about it or to drop names when hanging out with my “ordinary” friends.
But, yes, Blake Shelton is a real peach.
Of course, you know who Blake Shelton is, right? This year, the country music star was seen by more than 10 million television viewers each week when he served as a talent coach on the NBC’s “The Voice.” The last time we talked, Blake told me the most delightful little story about Miranda.
You know, Miranda Lambert. Blake’s wife. She’s sold, I don’t know how many million records. They are such a cute couple. I just hope those two kids can make it work. You know how fragile these celebrity marriages can be.
To be honest, we don’t talk as much as we used to. To be really honest, we only talked once. On the phone. For about 10 minutes. Blake was a little hungover.
If I somehow led you to be believe that I’m some sort of industry insider, well, I don’t know what could have given you that impression. But I’ll come clean. My access to the stars is admittedly quite limited and based exclusively on my freelance assignments with this newspaper.
My editor sends me the names of a couple of publicists for acts that will be appearing in the area, and if I’m lucky, they’ll call me back and I’ll get to spend a few minutes interviewing their client for a preview article on their upcoming show. It’s all very professional.
So Blake and Miranda have never invited me out to their ranch, despite what you may have heard from me. I’m not sure if they even have a ranch. But I do feel comfortable enough in saying that Blake is a likable, down-to-earth guy.
When I first started writing state fair concert previews, my editor told me something that has proven to be prescient. He said that country music artists are usually quite cordial and easy to interview. Same goes for older rockers whose glory days have since passed. It’s the rock-and-roll up-and-comers, I was warned, who might give off some attitude and feel inclined to speak down to the lowly reporter from a Midwestern newspaper.
Fortunately for me, the state fair specializes in country music acts and “mature” rockers. I’ve talked to Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Clem Burke of Blondie, Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys — all of them perfect gentlemen who were well-prepared with insightful comments and colorful anecdotes.
The only time I felt condescended to was while talking to the lead singer of a then-currently-charting hard rock outfit. His little snit was so clichéd and Spinal Tap-esque, however, that I was more amused than offended. I would have quoted his harangue in the newspaper, but he had laced it with a few profanities, rendering it unprintable.
Ol’ Blake Shelton, on the other hand, couldn’t have been sweeter. We talked about his music and how he occasionally liked to rile people up on Twitter, then he admitted to feeling a little foggy after drinking beer all night with fans at a music festival where he had performed. It was kind of cool that he would open up to me like that. I promised not to tell Miranda.
And I never have.
Dan Naumovich is a freelance writer and business copywriter. He can be reached at email@example.com.