ACM Awards 1994: Alan Jackson Gives Middle Finger To Producers, Has Drummer Play Without Drumsticks

With the 55th Annual ACM Awards today and the CMA Awards around the corner, I’ve been diggin’ into some old awards show footage lately. We recently shared some highlights from the 1975 CMA Awards, but now, let’s take a look back at 1994.

I mean, what a year that was.

I was 6 years old, The Lion King was in theaters, O.J. was running from the cops in a white Ford Bronco, beloved rock legend Kurt Cobain passed away, Slick Willie was the President of the United States, and Alan Jackson was giving a big fat middle finger to the Academy of Country Music with his performance of “Gone Country.”

Although Jackson ended up taking home quite a few awards and was nominated for a bunch of others, he got pissed when the Academy told him that he had to perform with a pre-recorded backing track.

So what did Alan do?

He sent his drummer Bruce Rutherford out there with no drumsticks.

What a legend.

Alan, who was also co-hosted the ceremony alongside Reba McEntire that night, was also interviewed by Dick Clark back stage. And of course, Dick had some questions about why Alan was wearing a cutoff Hank Williams shirt at a rather formal gathering.

Alan’s response was classic Alan:

“Well, I love Hank, and I get a lot of gifts on the road playing, and a fan gave me this shirt, and I just saw it in the closet before I came out here this weekend and I grabbed it and said, ‘I’m gonna wear it for my song,’ you know, ‘Gone Country.’ Hank’s country.”

Like I said… LEGEND.

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A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock