The 48-year-old singer-songwriter from Brooks & Dunn was a buddy
of Dale Earnhardt's. The country duo played last week's Dale
Earnhardt Tribute concert, which Fox airs on July 10.
This is an article from the July 14, 2003 issue
SI: Do you ever think about Dale when you're onstage?
Brooks: He told me a long time ago that You're Gonna Miss Me When
I'm Gone was his favorite song and that every time he heard that,
it reminded him of Neil Bonnett, a dear friend of his who was
killed in his car. Every night I think about Dale when we're
singing that song.
SI: Dale played a Kix Brooks look-alike in the video for Honky
Tonk Truth. How did he do?
Brooks: He was great. You know, Dale once made an album. People
told him that with modern technology they could make him sound
like a great singer. He told me the record sucked so bad it was
one of the most embarrassing moments of his life.
SI: Your song Sunday Money was inspired by Dale's life. How did
the song come about?
Brooks: One day when we were in Charlotte together he told me the
name of his boat was Sunday Money, and I was like, "That's a
great name." So that night at my hotel I was fooling around with
my guitar and ended up writing this song. The next day I played
it for him, and he got all fired up about it. I gave him a
cowriter credit on that one.
SI: In '99 Dale told you and Ronnie Dunn that you hadn't really
made it until you were on a cereal box. The next year you made
the front of Kellogg's Corn Flakes.
Brooks: I told Dale we were on something like 90 million boxes,
and he shrugged and said, "Ninety million, that ain't no s---."
Probably because he was on two billion or so boxes of Wheaties.
SI: Teresa Earnhardt [Dale's widow] interviewed you guys for a
piece that will be part of the concert broadcast. That must have
been pretty emotional.
Brooks: She makes it bearable because she's done such a great job
regrouping. The fact that I can look her in the eye and know
she's O.K. makes it bearable. I love talking about him because I
miss him so much.
SI: Finally, just how did you convince Ronnie to let your name
Brooks: Because Dunn and Brooks sounds like a clothing store or a
law firm. Not to mention he was out of the room.
For more from Kix Brooks, go to si.com/scorecard.