With the 53rd Annual CMA Awards going down tonight, it’s only right that we take the time to reflect on some of the great moments from years past.
The year is 2017, the setting is Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, but not inside the venue. No, while the awards show was happening inside, the great Sturgill Simpson was standing outside the arena, putting on a much more compelling performance. With his Grammy in his guitar case, Sturgill spent nearly an hour busking outside the ceremony, which he was not invited to. He performed “Turtles All the Way Down” and “Water in a Well,” answered some controversial fan questions, and gave fans a preview of what his acceptance speech would be if he ever won a CMA Award. It would’ve went a little something like this:
“Nobody needs a machine gun. Coming from a guy who owns quite a few guns. Gay people should have the right to be happy and live their life any way they want to, and get married if they want to, without fearing getting drug down the road on a pickup truck. Black people are probably tired of getting shot in the streets, and getting enslaved by the industrial prison complex, and hegemony and racism is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you very much.”
He also revealed that if he was ever invited to perform, he would play Merle Haggard’s “Are The Good Times Really Over For Good.”
And while a Sturgill performance at the CMA Awards is never going to happen, he will in fact get the chance to play some Merle on that very same stage, alongside Tyler Childers, when their massive A Good Look’n Tourrolls into the Bridegstone Arena for back to back nights on May 21st and 22nd. Something tells me that show will also be much more compelling than tonight’s will be.