Last week Murry started the ball rolling by answering 17 questions in 17 minutes (more or less). This week Rhett accepted the challenge by penning his responses to the same queries. Here goes. Enjoy!

1. The energy and intensity of TGTV1 has been compared to Too Far To Care. Thirteen years down the road, how does touring life now stack up to the touring life from the TFTC era–Still a rowdy, whiskey-soaked frat bus or more of a quiet, herbal-tea-drinking Christian Science Reading Room?
The novelty has worn off touring for the most part, but there is still a fair amount of fun, laughter and, yes, inebriation.  So sue me.

2. I overpack for weekends away let alone a two-month trek. How in the world do you pack enough clothes for that long an absence? Seriously, who owns that many pairs of gutchies*? How do you deal with the laundry issue?

What are Gutchies?  I pack meticulously and I have gotten pretty darn good at it if I say so myself.  I no longer roll each article up inside a rubber band.  I am content to fold and stack.  The trick is to pack seven days worth of shirts and pants and ten days worth of under-garments.  Then do laundry once a week.  And I do kind of love doing laundry – bring a book, escape the sardine can, take a walk…

3. Speaking of gutchies: Boxers, Briefs or Commando?

Boxer-briefs.  And re: Murry’s answer, yuck.

4. What are three things you absolutely must have with you on tour?

Umm…  Song notebook, good novel and Ken’s board games.

5. You can’t have four guys living on a bus together for weeks without some kind of hijinx. Are you the prankster or the punk’d? What are some of the best pranks ever pulled on you, by you, in general?

With the 97’s, I am usually the punk’d.  On solo tours, I’ve gotten away with being the prankster, but I’m pretty beaten-down by my older band-mates.

6. In Juliana Hatfield’s autobiography, she talks at length about the horrors of backstage dressing rooms: the ubiquitous mystery-stained furniture, horrifying toilets, membrane-melting odors. At this point in your career, you’ve played in just about every club in America. Surely you’ve experienced some hellish environs. Can you share with us the best of the absolute worst in dressing rooms or clubs?

I have a hard time even separating all the lousy dressing rooms in my mind.  The mental image that surpasses all others is a crude drawing of a stick figure with a boner.  Basically, these dressing rooms make me feel like a caveman.  That said, the worst dressing rooms can make for the best moments.  I remember the old Lounge Ax basement in Chicago, tiny and cramped, sitting on an empty keg writing “Dressing Room Walls”.The switch to the tour bus gave us a sweet option to all those awful digs.

7. Riders. What are some of your must-haves? Have you ever thrown in a completely ridiculous demand, ala Van Halen’s green M&M’s only clause just to see if the owner has read it? If not, please do and entertain us with how that goes.

Jameson and clean ice.  That’s about it for me.  It’d be nice if the towels they gave us had been washed before so they didn’t leave little pills of fabric all over my face and hair, but I don’t want to get greedy.

8. Regarding chicken and women, leg or breast man?

It takes both, right?  That said, it’s hard to beat a long, strong pair of legs.

9. Which cities are givens on your touring schedule and why? Any place you haven’t ventured that’s on your wish list? You’re so great about changing up the set list for every show. How much does your familiarity with each town play into tailoring the list? Are there songs you save solely for Southern shows?

So much figures into the set list, but there aren’t many regional songs.  I used to open with California every time we were in that state, but that got old.  We always go back to the towns that have given us the most love from the earliest days: Chicago, Austin, NYC, DC, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Madison.  Our home town of Dallas gets the most play, obviously.

10. What are some of the craziest things to have happened on tour, either on or off stage?

This question always stump me.  Everything on tour is crazy to the point that nothing seems crazy anymore.  I’ve seen parents offer up their daughters in ways that seemed like they’d be inappropriate in the old west.  I’ve seen tattoos I didn’t care to see.  I’ve been asked to sign body parts that should be kept private.  The weirdest on-stage moment was the Buffalo gig we did outdoors a few summers ago when the girl jumped up during the encore and did the booty dance (really well, I think) right next to me and then, as the song finished, pulled her cute friend up and made out with her.  Normally our audience is a little more, well, subtle.  But two girls kissing on stage is it’s own kind of magic.  You can probably still find the clip on youtube.

11. Okay, so who’s the one most likely to funk up the bus?

In a bus full of dudes, I’m sure we are all occasionally responsible, but there is one who is the worst.  I won’t name any names, but let’s just say it rhymes with “Oh my god, you did it again?!?”.

12. All of you are married with young children. It’s got to be very difficult to leave them for an extended period of time. Is there anything special you always do with the kids before you set sail?

Hours and hours of love and attention.

13. Come on. You’re a Texan. Fess up. How many cowboy hats and boots do you own?

One cowboy hat, I think.

14. Let’s say you accidentally knock over your on-stage drink when you’re kicking it up during a particularly energetic part of the set. A sad, sad sight indeed. What beverage might one purchase to replenish your toppled glass?

Jameson over clean ice.

15. Is there anything you miss about the lean years traveling in a broke-down van?

The indestructibility of youth.  The excitement of knowing you are the hell-bent underdog.

16. Your fans will agree nothing beats cranking Old 97’s songs on long road trips. What are your favorite touring tunes to make the miles motor along?

The song I’m writing at the moment is always the one that keeps me going.

17. And finally, Dude, are you stoked? The McRib is back!

Gross.  Double gross.  Why did they shape it as if the bones were still in there? Seriously… Gross.

*For the record, gutchies is a Pennsylvania Dutch term for underwear. Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks Rhett! I’m with you on the McRibb repulsion. ACK! That thing looks more like a rubber doggie toy than an edible food stuff. Would love to know what was floating around in those cubes to necessitate a “clean ice” clause in the rider. But then, again, maybe not. 

Ken and Philip, the ball’s in your court now.

Last but not least, I would be doing y’all a disservice if I didn’t include the aforementioned video from question #10. I was hoping one of the band mates would throw this out there, giving me a legitimate excuse to post it. It’s epic. Thank you Mr. Miller. DDog, I believe this young woman is the very definition of being “made of elastic”. You’re welcome.