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In the Studio with Rascal Flatts
As They Release Their Eighth Studio CD, Changed, the Trio Reflect on Music That's Made Memories
JAY DEMARCUS: The 1980 Ohio State Fair, Dolly Parton. It was a high like nothing else. I made up my mind that night that's what I want to do and went home and pulled out pots and pans and set up my own drum set.
GARY LEVOX: Kool & the Gang in, probably, '84. They had like 5,000 people onstage dancing. My jaw dropped. It was like Dancing with the Stars with instruments.
JOE DON ROONEY: My first concert was Mel McDaniel with Vince Gill opening. But seeing Garth Brooks in 1991 changed my life. He broke all the rules.
First album you bought?
JD: Chicago 16. When I first heard "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," it stopped me dead in my tracks. It was the most amazing production I'd ever heard. I wore that tape out.
GL: It was probably KISS. I was a huge KISS fan. The outfits, Gene Simmons spitting fire and blood. It was like, "Whaaat? Yeah!"
JDR: Extreme's Pornograffitti. I was 13 or 14 and getting into the guitar. "More Than Words" was on the radio, and I wanted to learn it on the acoustic. To this day, I think they're an underrated band.
What song makes you cry?
JD: "He Walked on Water" by Randy Travis. I sang it at my Papaw's funeral in 1993. It's exactly the way I felt about him.
GL: Probably Brad Paisley's "He Didn't Have to Be." My parents got divorced when I was 7, and my stepdad was the man in my life. He taught me all about the outdoors. That song always gets me.
JDR: My hometown, Picher, Okla., was bought out-it doesn't exist anymore-and our old house got sold for scrap for $75. A couple of weeks after that happened, I heard "The House That Built Me." Jeez almighty. I literally had to pull over.
What do you rock out to in the car?
JD: "Jessie's Girl!" Absolutely. I'm such a closet Rick Springfield fan, I can't even see straight."
GL: I very rarely listen to our stuff, but "Life Is a Highway" always gets me. I'll crank that.
JDR: Well ... since this is a trust tree ... it's Miley Cyrus's "Party in the U.S.A." It's slamming!
What song do you sing to your wife?
JD: She loves to hear me sing "Misty Blue." When we were a very young band, Joe Don and I would sit in with friends' bands around town, and that's one we used to do. She'd hang out to watch us, so it's sentimental.
GL: I'm always singing something. Sometimes I'll do [singing] "Only you can make this world seem right ..." [by The Platters].
JDR: I have Gary come over and sing to her!
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