Zac Brown Band Get Sentimental as ‘Homegrown’ Exhibit Opens at Hall of Fame
Homegrown: Zac Brown Band is now open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibit's displays include instruments from the band's members, clothing (including two dresses designed by Zac Brown's wife Shelly for their "Goodbye in Her Eyes" video), lyrics and the gigantic dragon head worn during live performances of "Junkyard."
"What an incredible honor," an emotional Brown said during a reception at the Hall of Fame in Zac Brown Band's honor. "As important as the members of this band, the guys that drove our buses, handled all our equipment, have done all of these things to help us achieve these very things -- I’m moved by all of it. I’m proud of these guys for standing behind me.
"What an incredible presentation in chronology," he continued. "I don’t even know how it all happened. We just kept going down the road, we kept trying to make the next record, the right choices to get there. So, I’m proud of these guys."
In addition to Brown's thoughts, during the reception, each of ZBB's seven other members took some time to share their own thoughts on the Homegrown exhibit. Their statements are below.
Coy Bowles: I wasn’t expecting it to be emotional … I didn’t have a lot of expectations personally of what my experience would be. I wasn’t maybe a minute into it, and I started going, "Whoa, dude, this is really intense," because you realize the chances of getting to do something like we’ve had the opportunity to do, and the magic between all of us.
I’m an only child, so I never grew up having brothers. I would die for every single guy in this band.
It was cool for me, when we found out we were going to do it, I went back and went through all these boxes and stuff that, over the years of touring, I would get home and throw all these passes and weird setlists or things that I gathered [into] ... Just getting prepared for it was a cool experience as well.
Clay Cook: To be honest, there’s players who are better than each of us. There’s a better drummer in the world than Chris Fryar. There’s a better slide player in the world than Coy. There’s a better bass player than Matt. But for some reason, as one giant Voltron, it’s pretty bada--. I can only assume that in the big plan for my life that there is some clerical error for me being in this band. I feel like I don’t deserve it, but maybe, hopefully, Zac will never catch that.
I don’t think we get to self-reflect at all. It’s just the type of people that we are, and it’s kind of freaking me out right now. It’s a beautiful thing.
Daniel de los Reyes: Thank you for everybody that helped to put this incredible display on, so people can come over here and see some of our personal things that we have collected over the years. I just want you to know that we know that you’re looking at us. We know that you’ve been supportive. We know that you’re buying our tickets. We know that you’re donating money. We don’t take that lightly. Know that we’re always trying to do the right thing, and we want you guys to be proud of us.
Jimmy De Martini: We don’t often take time to reminisce, because we’re always looking forward at what’s next. We’re always looking at dates on the calendar. We never sit around, except for maybe to tell a funny story or something, but we never sit around and pat ourselves on the back for what we’ve done.
When you’re a kid, you dream about someday having a song on the radio or playing in front of thousands of people, and we get to do that almost every night. These days, [if] we play for 10,000 people, it’s a slow night. It’s pretty crazy. It’s a dream come true.
Chris Fryar: This exhibit gives us pause to remember all the ways that our lives have been impacted by all of you who have somehow managed to come in and touch us and help push us a little farther and take us that extra little step that maybe we weren’t aware that we could make. Zac, I continue every day to learn so much from you, and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be part of your musical journey.
John Driskell Hopkins: It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s so emotional for us, because we’re all such emotional people. As I walked past the bass guitar that I named for my girls, I’m reminded of what those names meant to me when I named them. So now I’m having this relapse of inspiration about it. It’s like flipping through a history book or a journal almost, remembering why you did something in the beginning and making you revisit that emotion. It’s pretty intense and awesome.
We walked through that hall, and we see all these pieces, the timeline, it’s kind of mind-blowing to think about where it all began and where it’s gone ... I hold all these guys as brothers, and I’m the oldest of four brothers, and I really understand what that is. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of this.
Matt Mangano: I think that one of the reasons this band is so successful is because family is so important to Zac and everybody in this band. Our lives, our touring schedule, is all built and designed around family. We rarely go a week without seeing our families, which is rare in the touring world, as many of you know. So it’s a luxury to have that, and it’s just a testament to why this works so well. So, if there’s anything that the Zac Brown Band represents, it’s family.
Homegrown: Zac Brown Band will be open through July 18, 2017. More information can be found on the Country Music Hall of Fame's website.
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