I love getting fan submissions that show just how great country music is. This one from Justin Bockbrader does just that.
From Justin –
Dierks is the man, such a down to earth dude. Such a cool guy. The day my father and I spent with him was just incredible. Here is the YouTube video Dierks Bentley’s crew put together from a few years back…
The day started with meeting him in Mount Pleasant, MI at the Soaring Eagle Casino. Once I got there I got to eat lunch inside his tour bus with him. Later we played some NHL on his xbox which I destroyed him at. After that he let me listen to some new music he had written and what my thought was on his next single. I picked ‘Tip it on Back’ over ‘Diamonds Make Babies.’ To me that was a clear choice. Later on in the day I got the opportunity to enjoy his sound check with the band. Once the concert was getting closer I got to go back stage and hang with him and his band. We were just tipping back drinks and simply bull shitting. Dierks let me lead the prayer before they got on stage. I would later watch the show with sound guys towards the middle of the venue. After the show I got to later go back on the bus with my parents to hang with Dierks and his band. Such a cool day and something I’ll never forget. I remember my dad telling everybody at work how cool it was. Hell I think he liked the experience more than I did. I can just remember his excitement for the whole next month how cool it was for all of us.
A few months after that day, in May of 2012 Dierks posted to social media that his father had passed away. I felt real bad for the man just because of how close he was with his father. After hearing that I felt some irony after finding out his father’s name was Leon. I don’t know too many Leons but the one I do know is my grandpa (my father’s dad.) He had just passed on last year in 2015. To me I thought that was pretty crazy knowing my grandpa and his dad shared that same rare name. I knew it was a very dark time for Dierks the rest of the year.
September 6th, 2012. Definitely the worst day of my life. I lost my father unexpectedly to a heart attack at the age of 55. It was a hot September day. I was with him most of the day helping cut wood. He would later come inside and all I heard was my mother screaming call 911, he would later pass on at the hospital…Later that night I had my last tryout for the BGSU club hockey team. I knew I had to go because that’s what he would of wanted. He always was my biggest fan. Came to all my sporting events. From travel baseball, to early morning 5am hockey practices, to my Friday night football games. Just always there. And I know how much he loved watching me play hockey. So I get to the rink that night barely holding myself together. All the guys already knew. I’m just about fully dressed and the coach comes in and says take your gear off man you made the team from day one. Such huge news for me on a day that was so hard. And all the guys came around to give me hugs. So that year, which I’m a goalie by the way, I had a cool design helmet made for me with Dierks lyrics from his song “My Last Name” and a picture of my dad underneath it. I just wish my dad would of had the chance to watch me play. Just one period would be all I’d ask for. But I know he watched not just one period, but every game from the best seat in the house.
I have always been a big fan of Dierks since he started in the Nashville scene years ago, but now I can consider him a friend and truly a life savor for what he has done for me and my family that day. His music (especially the Riser album) has mad life a little easier everyday. Such a great person and better man he is. I haven’t met him since that day, but I’m hoping some day in the near future to be in contact with him to just thank him and maybe tip a beer back to our fathers.
God bless ya, Dierks. You’ve got some huge fans here with Whiskey Riff and Justin.