Portis: Tight Jeans and Pickup Trucks
Clinton Portis could tell by looking at their faces. Some of the VIPs he was sitting next to at the Academy of Country Music awards show were in over their heads, like a table-full of NFL punters dropped into the BET Awards.
"Some of them were clueless to country music," Portis said. "A lot of people didn't expect a country music SHOW; they were expecting Chevy truck, four-by-four pickup, my-dog-died, that type of music. People were looking like, 'I don't know no country songs.' And for them to come out and perform how they did...."
That means, I guess, that Portis quite liked what he saw on stage. Of course, this particular awards show was acquired by Daniel Snyder when he bought Dick Clark Productions, which is how Portis happened to be at the MGM Grand in Vegas on Sunday night, where he watched a show that he said has inspired him to start watching CMT.
"Because there's a couple songs I'm looking for," he said. "There were a couple of those songs that I wouldn't mind having. What was it, 'You're Gonna Miss Me?' It was actually about a little girl, 17, getting ready to turn 18 and having to grow up fast. That was a touching song. It would be wonderful if the rest of the world could get a chance to hear it."
That, I suppose, would be Trace Adkins's "You're Gonna Miss This," which includes the following lyric:
Five years later there's a plumber
Workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin'
One kid's cryin' and one kid's screamin'
Dangerously close to "my dog died," but never mind; the point is, Southeast Jerome is in tune with the heartland. He said Taylor Swift was "moving good" on Sunday, that his own gray-striped and purple-accented ensemble was "clean, as usual" and that, unlike with other awards shows he's attended (including this year's Grammys), he never got bored. Hey, that's what he said. Of course, he also said that Daniel Snyder was "a great guy" and Jim Zorn "the perfect leader," but I'm not here to judge.
"I grew up in Mississippi, man, I listen to all music, blues, country, anything you can possibly find," Portis said. "Three weeks ago I actually bought Daughtry. Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, I actually bought all their CDs a couple weeks ago. I thought that was interesting. Nobody would ever assume that I ride around listening to that."
This is, he explained, about broadening one's horizons, and so Portis mingled with the country-music fans ("It was actually a shock to see that many country people responding to me or excited to see me," he said). He chatted with fellow VIP street fighter Kimbo Slice ("People were like who in the hell is he?" Portis said) and went to the after-party, where he met several country-music stars whose names he didn't know. But that's fine, because he came home from the event determined to make further additions to his ever-changing closet.
"I just turned it into a country hillbilly theme," he said. "After the award show I'm redoing my whole wardrobe: tight jeans, boots, spurs and cowboy hats."
No, not Cowboys hats; "not a hat with a star on it," he added.
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