“Takes One Second To Destroy It All” — John Rich Says He Hopes Morgan Wallen Can Find A “New Approach To Life”

Morgan Wallen country music
Youtube/John Rich/MNPD

Country superstar Morgan Wallen was arrested last night.

Yes, he’s in trouble with the law once again after he reportedly threw a chair off the 6-story roof of Eric Church’s new Nashville bar, Chief’s.

According to News Channel 5, officers arrested Morgan, who was pointed out by the staff as the culprit, after the chair stuck the ground just a few feet from where they were standing. Nashville Metro Police reviewed security footage and it confirmed that he threw an object off the roof.

@micheal_phillips #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp ♬ original sound – micheal Phillips

Wallen was arrested on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon/reckless endangerment, two counts for the two officers who were in the vicinity and one for the danger to the public. Wallen was also charged with disorderly conduct with a bond was set at $15,250.

Wallen’s attorney released the following statement:

“At 10:53p Sunday evening Morgan Wallen was arrested in downtown Nashville for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He is cooperating fully with authorities.”

And just a few minutes ago, the Metro Nashville Police Department released a statement on the arrest, along with Morgan’s newest mugshot:

“Country artist Morgan Wallen, 30, was booked early today on 3 cts of felony reckless endangerment and 1 ct of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for throwing a chair from the rooftop of Chief’s Bar Sun night. The chair landed on Broadway, close to 2 MNPD officers. His bond: $15,250.”

He was spotted leaving the downtown jail a little before 4am:

And getting into trouble seems to be a continuing trend for Wallen, and obviously, can be a very dark path that is very hard to get off of. I can only imagine the pressure that comes with the level of fame he’s reached in a relatively short amount of time, though that certainly doesn’t excuse the poor behavior. It’s clear that something needs to change.

Fellow country artist, the always-outspoken John Rich, took to X this morning to share his thoughts on the situation, saying that Morgan’s most recent arrest reminds him all of the “destructive” things he did early in his career.

John noted that the combo of “intense pressure, expectations and over the top success is a dangerous cocktail,” and Morgan clearly needs people around him who care and can help him (and maybe use the word “no” sometimes). John ended it by poignantly remarking:

“It takes a lifetime to build what he’s built, and one second to destroy it all.”

Ain’t that the truth… you can read his full statement here:

“Reading about Morgan Wallen this morning, and I can’t help but recall all the destructive, crazy things I did early on in my career. The combo of intense pressure, expectations and over the top success is a dangerous cocktail.

Thank God I had great mentors who helped guide me out of that mindset, and I hope Morgan has some people around him who care about him enough to help him find a new approach to life. 

It takes a lifetime to build what he’s built, and one second to destroy it all. I’m rooting for him to turn it around.”

Actually, Morgan just kicked off his extensive headlining One Night At A Time stadium tour this past weekend, and his court date is set for May 3rd, when he’s scheduled to play Nashville’s Nissan Stadium in the evening.

John Rich On Nashville

Seems like “creative freedom” is something that’s been missing in Nashville for a long time.

Of course we can sit here and complain about the “bro country” era where every song was the same tired trope about driving your pickup truck to pick up your girl in her cutoff jean shorts and heading down a dirt road to a bonfire with a case of beer to sit under the moonlight. But when Nashville is telling guys like Cody Johnson to take off their cowboy hat in order to get signed to a record label, it’s pretty clear that the industry isn’t interested in letting artists be themselves.

And John Rich thinks he knows the problem.

During an interview with Prager U from awhile back, the Big & Rich star said that country artists are now stripped of their creative freedom because they are forced by Nashville to either cave to the “woke mob” or give up their careers:

“The wave of wokeism that’s hit this country, and especially the entertainment business, that made its way to Nashville.

So these artists are sitting there and they’re being told by their publicists, their managers, the heads of their records labels, ‘Hey, we know that you think these things about America, that you’re against all this woke stuff that we do.’ (They don’t call themselves woke, of course).

‘But we know you’re not really for that. But hey, don’t even think about putting out a post that pushes against that. Don’t you say x,y,z on your microphone on stage. No you cannot record that song because it says this.’

And they just completely control these artists. And the artist only has two choices at that point: Do they wanna go have a career? It’s been their dream, do they play the game, go forward and just don’t step on these landmines?

Or, do they go out and hit the trip wires and light the place up? And lose their record deal, and not get invited to the awards show, and radio won’t play them, and so forth, but basically just erase their career. That’s what they’re faced with.

Is there freedom in art in Nashville, like total freedom? Absolutely not. It’s sad.”

Rich says that it’s this control by record labels that is killing the art that’s coming out of Nashville – comparing them to comedians who have had to start worrying about what jokes they tell on stage:

“To make authentic art, the artist needs to have free reign over whatever they’ve got in their mind…

So when you start building walls and parameters and barriers protocols around artists, then the art’s dying at that point.”

And he says that some of the legendary artists in country music would no longer be accepted by the Nashville machine in today’s environment:

“If you’re wondering why it seems like people are pulling back and not giving you the full meal deal, there’s no Johnny Cashs, or Waylon Jennings, or Loretta Lynns, there’s a good reason for that. None of those people would have been allowed to exist today.”

Of course two of the biggest country songs from the past year, “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony and Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” both drew criticism from the political left. But Anthony was (and is) an unsigned artist who doesn’t have to answer to Nashville, and Aldean has never been shy about expressing his political opinions regardless of the consequences – and has been around long enough that he likely has more freedom from those in charge to do what he wants.

So what do you think? Is John right, or is there another reason that creative freedom seems to be on the decline in Nashville?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock