Dierks Bentley shares fond and funny memories of his father, Leon Bentley, with Y108’s Jimmy and Monty in the Morning. The passing of Dierk’s dad influenced the music on his “Riser” CD, including his hit “I Hold On”:
DIERKS: (My truck is) a 1994, so it’s 20 years old. I started writing that song, my dad had just passed away, and I started thinking about the road trip we took from Phoenix to Nashville when I was 19 and. you know, I was like, ‘Here I am driving that same truck with 200-thousand miles on it. Why have I not gotten a free truck like a lot of other people have or just bought a truck’, you know? I could certainly afford to buy a new truck now. But, uh… my dad… that road trip’s really special to me, and there’s a lot of stories in that truck, man, (it’s) been with me through all the different phases of my life, from, you know, single to now I’ve got three kids in the back, back there. So, um, it’s something I hold on to, and that’s where that story, that song, kind of started from, really. . .That’s what makes this song so special to me and so personal for me.
MONTY: What’s a part of your dad that you see coming out in you now that maybe, as a young man, you thought ‘I’m NEVER gonna do that like Dad does’?
DIERKS: Oh, man, I see him… there’s that great song, “Seeing My Father In Me” and I see him all the time. See him when I look at my hands. I see it, uh, with my kids. You know, my dad (laughs), he was a terrible backseat driver. He was just the WORST. Even at the end, you know, I like to think I’m a pretty good driver. You know, I’m always driving too close (to) the line, or too close to the sidewalk. (laughs) But, he was just a great guy, and a lot of humor, had great jokes. Really quick with a laugh and a smile and I see a lot of myself in him. I actually see a lot of him in my son Knox, too, the way my son Knox smiles at different times, it kind of reminds me of him.
JIMMY: And you know when your dad was doing the backseat driving thing, my dad did this… sometimes he wouldn’t say anything, but I’d look over and I’d see his brake foot pushing in on the floor.
DIERKS: Oh, yeah! His hand’s up on the “Oh you-know-what” handle, and the foot’s slammed against the floor. (laughs) Any time the car… was below three-quarters of a tank, he was worried. “We gotta get some gas!” “Dad, we have three-fourths of a tank. We have over 200 miles left in this truck.” “W-w-we should stop. Yeah. You just passed a perfectly good gas station.” (laughs) Heaven forbid we got to half a tank. He would freak out.
Y108 welcomes Dierks Bentley with Kip Moore, Maddie and Tae and Canaan Smith on June 20. Tickets are on sale now!
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