Last Night Hannah Montana’s Dad
posted by February 12 at 10:40 AMon
(labeled as “Last Night” only because the “Last Morning” tab doesn’t exist)
Some people call the random in-office concerts at my current office a perk. I do not. I sit only a few desks away from this company’s music department, and that means whenever a record label sends a scrub band to our building to play in a conference room—assumedly to build goodwill or publicity for said scrub band—I can hear the shit bleed through the walls.
Badass bands don’t do this. When good bands get up and out before noon to play a concert, it’s for a radio station, not for a gaggle of cube monkeys, not where marketing teleconferences were taking place just an hour before your arrival. To be fair, I imagine a few good artists have come through for such a show—just not in my short tenure, and yesterday’s arrival of Billy Ray Cyrus wasn’t one of them.
Turns out he’s BACK!! Something about a blonde daughter on TV and a duet with her that has put the country singer back on the charts. When an all-departments e-mail hit the wire to announce his appearance (right, sound the alarms), someone in a nearby desk said, “Is that the guy with the daughter on that TV show?” My immediate thought was to stand up and yell, “Who cares about Hannah Montana? That cockwipe wrote ‘Achy Breaky Heart’!” But then I was frightened that I had any impulse to defend Billy Ray Cyrus.
Or any desire to actually see him—I can’t say I ever had a pop-country phase, other than putting up with my dad’s inexplicable Garth Brooks fascination in the ’80s, and I certainly didn’t expect the guy, now on Walt Disney Records, to reveal a career renaissance in room 1429. So to balance curiosity with common sense, I told myself I wouldn’t watch if it required walking more than ten paces. As luck would have it, his show was scheduled at the halfway point between my desk and the bathroom. And there were free cold cuts. Ah, hell. Let’s roll, cowboy.
I figured I was in trouble when I walked in and saw this chest-posé:
But the Billy Ray who showed up, in spite of the blonde streaks, was humble, fully clothed, and charming enough—until he started in on the whole “I make music that’s real” kick, which might’ve been easier to keep down if he didn’t follow it with a beating of a song called “I Want My Mullet Back” (inspired, he says, by Johnny fucking Damon). This show was a songwriter-storyteller deal, and he was visibly nervous, fingers shaking and all; I guess flourescent lights in the a.m. can hamper even the oldest performers. Still, Cyrus turned his folksy appeal up full blast—told stories about the guy who wrote “Achy Breaky Heart,” told stories about “beating on doors every Monday morning in Nashville,” and most memorably, he recounted how his acting career was thanks to David Lynch. After auditioning for Mulholland Drive as a lark, and eventually landing a role, Lynch encouraged him to go for acting as a full-time gig. “Just do what you’re doing—be real.” Way to ride that Lynch wave all the way to the mega-religious PAX network.
He was many times more likable than I’d ever expected, but then he played that stupid-ass mullet song, and I took the opportunity to sneak out of the room. Shame—just minutes later, while he was holding a Q&A session, I got a text from a Texas buddy asking me to send this message along: “you should tell him ‘it could’ve been me’ was my my favorite song for a month in 6th grade but then i got pubes”