I would like to have seen my father’s reaction to somebody telling him that “time out” would be a good thing. “You want me to do what? You want me to set him in a corner for 30 minutes? I don’t think so. I’m just gonna kick his ass and that’ll be the end of it!” That was my life. Oh, man. But he told me that he had an idea for a song and he told it to me. And through the years, he was so great, and I didn’t realize it at the time. When you’re young you don’t know much. I didn’t anyway. Wrong room to say that in! But y’all are smokin’. I knew how to play a few chords on the guitar and sing high and that was about it. But you know, I went out there and took off at 18, and I had a dream of just playing music. And I didn’t care where I wound up. I loved to play more than anything. It wasn’t about the result. It wasn’t about how much money I could make or how famous I could get. I just wanted to play music. Through all the years that I struggled, my dad would often send me words of encouragement when I was really struggling, you know. Stuff like, “Hang in there, boy. You’re getting’ better. Your songs are getting better and I swear you’re gonna make it. Just keep after it.” That was the kind of stuff. And then, I started doin’ good and started having some hits and selling some records. Then he turned into my biggest critic. I remember the first year — I hosted the Country Music Awards for twelve years — and the first year I did it I was excited, had a lot of fun, did a good job, won a couple of awards. I stayed up all night to party and celebrate. My dad decided to call me with his review of the show at about 7:15 on his way into work. I answered the phone. I hadn’t been to bed for a couple of hours. I hear this, “Who in the hell do you think you are?” “What are you talking about?” “Let me tell you somethin’, pal. I watched you last night. You’re no Jay Leno.” It was his way of keeping me level.