Man, I love me some of these Tales From The Tour Bus stories from Mike Judge.
We get multi-perspective views on some of the wildest stories of country music artists, some well known, and some not.
And little disclaimer, there is nothing glamorous about destructive behavior, but at the same time, it’s country music history and if you want to get the full picture of what happened, you gotta cover the bad stuff too.
Granted, Tales From The Tour Bus, tends to focus on some of the more batshit insane stories from country music history, and the latest I’ve discovered comes from Johnny Paycheck, aka Johnny Bad Check.
Story goes, Paycheck had a time table of self destruction every five years.
According to the Adams Brothers, who were his backing band for about 20 years, he’d go four years clean cut, living pretty right, and working hard on his music, but on that fifth year, he’d just derail and go wild. His close friends and peers said it was like clockwork.
Of course, it’s pretty well known that Paycheck grew up incredibly poor, so it might’ve been incredibly difficult for the man to get acclimated to the spotlight, given his lifestyle growing up.
One time, Paycheck and his band were in Canada, and he got all drunk and rowdy at the hotel they were staying at. Sure enough, hotel staff called the police on him, and he got arrested.
He wasn’t wearing a shirt when he got arrested, and even showed up to court the next day shirtless.
Then, Paycheck pulled a wild move:
“It was in Canada, and they had that deal there where they stand up and all hail the Queen or something like that. Paycheck went ‘F*ck the queen.’”
Paycheck’s manager, Ernie Stepp, also recalled a wild story about when the country singer wanted a Big Mac cheeseburger from McDonald’s. I mean, who could blame him?
He told the tour bus driver, and he pulled over at a truck stop, also known as NOT a McDonald’s.
“He said no, he’s driving the fuckin’ bus so he’ll stop wherever he wants.”
That’s when Stepp proceeded to pull a gun, shoot the guy in the ear, and throw him onto the ground… needless to say, it was a wild bunch on the ol’ Paycheck bus.