posted by Nastassia Lopez with Dave Arnold
We have wrangled our first celebrity wish list skoaler! If you are not familiar with Merle Haggard stop what you are doing and get yourself to Google.
Dave is a huge fan of this country music icon. Dave sings Merle tunes around the office, and he has his two young sons singing ’em too. Picture a four year old drawling “toniiiight, the bottle let me dowwwn…”
Merle had a cancerous piece of his lung removed last year, but he’s still touring and doing shows– a true badass. We like badasses. Haggard has written some of the all-time best songs on the subject of drinking. We like drinking. His other main themes– love, redemption, and the US of A –ain’t so bad either. Check out I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink and you’ll understand why Dave made it his mission to fly to the January 3 show in Modesto, California. But would Merle skoal?I put to use one of my special skills: meeting rock stars. I can get backstage at any concert with any artist anywhere, and not the way you think. Just talking. Some Merle research indicated that he had stopped doing interviews of any sort — it took him five years to complete a recent Rolling Stone feature and he was pretty much all set. I was undeterred. I tracked down Mr. Haggard’s publicist and pointed her to the Cooking Issues Skoal Project. Too good to be true: her husband is Swedish. She immediately aligned herself with our cause. But my luck did not end there: Merle’s daughter wants to go to culinary school. The publicist would present our case.
The next day she called. Merle wants to skoal!
Now the Cooking Issues team must Make it Through December before Dave hops a plane to Modesto (which, incidently, is the town 13-year-old Merle fled to after escaping juvenile detention in 1950 –badass). Dave needs a ride from the airport, so we’ve recruited Californiano and fellow badass Harold McGee to join the Haggard quest. For those of you who want to join us in the crowd, visit this site for tickets!