The Triggs Boys

Dale Earnhardt Sr. died on February 18, 2001.  I was heart broken.  I had seen Alan Jackson playing beautiful acoustic guitars for years before that.  I called Alan’s management company and begged to get the name of the guitar builder’s and a phone number.  They gave me the name Jim Triggs. 

I called him a day later, when I mustered up the courage.  He answered the phone out in Kansas, and we I told him who I was, hoping to impress him, nope…  anyway, we had so much in common, he loved the fact that I saw his guitars being played by Alan.  I asked about him and his son Ryan building me a guitar. 

I wanted a dreadnought, with a cutaway, somewhat beat up, with Dale’s #3 carved into the upper bout.  Done!  I picked it up at NAMM in June of 2001 and it hasn’t been far from my side ever since.  This guitar is so full of life, Jim and Ryan made it look, feel, and sound like the best 50 year old guitar you’ve ever played.  I could go on about it all day. 

Since then these 2 amazing craftsmen and built me 4 more guitars.  I got a couple friends to play them who then ordered guitars like Randy Houser, Lee Brice, and a couple more.  I even sold Luke Bryan one of mine that he used in his first video, “All My Friends Say”.

I wrote both on my #1’s on it, and I’ve written a couple songs with Ryan, who is a great writer and singer.  I am so thankful for these 2 guys, genuine friends. This is just one of the relationships that music is responsible for, thanks music. You can check out their guitars here.


Holy Crap, that's Zakk F'ing Wylde!

My old friend Tommy had been sober for a year or so at the behest of his wife. Oz-fest was coming and she asked me to take him, and let him drink again. So I watched him all night through Black Label Society, Slayer, Judas Priest, the first tour with Rob back, and Black Sabbath.

Well Tommy had had too much to drink and I told him we need to get an egg in you before I take you home or we’re both gonna be in trouble. Between the venue and his home was a Waffle House. Bingo.

As we’re pulling in we see a tour bus, odd, we go in and sit down and holy crap, that f-ing Zakk Wylde was behind the counter, paper hat and all…flipping burgers!!! Well we knew Zakk’s tour manager and he was there so we asked him what’s up? He said Zakk misses cooking for his kids and Waffle Houses will let him cook and he loves it. Zakk comes over and growls ‘what do you want’ to Tommy and myself. I say patty melt medium rare and a diet coke please, Tommy stumbles through ‘me too’ as his order. Zakk liked Tommy’s Pantera shirt by the way.

Zakk had bottles Heineken on some his cabinets and also cans of Coors light. I asked why he took a swig of Heineken and then chucked a can of Coors light into the crowd. He looked at me like a moron and said, ‘you ever been hit in the head with a bottle? It hurts!!’ We kind of stare at each other in silence for a bit.

Tommy’s hammered so he’s not sure what he’s seeing… Zakk comes by once to get us more diet coke, then he brings us our meals. He sets down 2 plates, he says to Tommy ‘I did yours normal but (to me) I did yours Black Label Style. Two slices of wheat bread, slathered both sides of them with butter like my kids like and then I gave you three sauces, ketchup, mustard and Heinz 57 sauce.’ I whisper thank you and he waddles off.

I pick up my fork and start cutting into it, he looks down and hollers PICK IT UP!! I say its hot!. He rolls his eyes and heads my way. He picks it up, says ‘eat it Black Label style, swirl it in all three sauces and chomp,’ he took a bite. I started laughing so hard and when he handed me my patty melt back I swirled in the 3 sauces and took a big bite. He smiled and walked off.

By the way, this guy is famous for going 77 days without taking a shower or brushing his teeth so I had no freaking idea what I was getting into. The Black Label style patty melt was delish btw, not as good as the story however…

Me & Tommy…sadly I don’t have a photo of us with our Waffle House cook, Zakk Wylde.

Me & Tommy…sadly I don’t have a photo of us with our Waffle House cook, Zakk Wylde.

Nickels on the Record Player

When my brother Brad and myself were growing up, we took up instruments. My Dad and Mom uncle and cousin all played something so this was no big deal. Until, we wanted to really get good.

Well taking lessons, which we both did is one thing but what we wanted to learn was not theory or rudiments but Eddie and Alex Van Halen licks!! This was waaay before YouTube so we didn’t have these video lessons nor when growing up in rural Nebraska did we have those sort of teachers, we had great teachers, just no that kind of teachers.

Well as we all know Eddie plays fast. To slow it down to try to learn these songs we use to stack nickels on the head of the tone arm of the turntable. It took just the right amount of coins to get it down an octave, Any more or less and it was too fast or too slow. I didn’t have the patience to to tune my guitar every time I wanted to learn a lick. Now there’s 8 year olds learning all this stuff in their bedroom…..Ahhhhhh, good times