DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Eminem and Kid Rock, two of Detroit’s biggest musical superstars, sat down in a formal dining room somewhere in Michigan recently and re-hashed their shared history.
And then Mitt Romney stopped by the same house.
That’s not a punchline, it’s just one of the stories Kid Rock shared in a wide-ranging, no-holds-barred interview Wednesday morning on the Howard Stern radio show promoting his new album “Rebel Soul.” He talked about the meal he recently cooked for Eminem, the time Romney came over to the house to garner his support, his hunting trip last weekend with Ted Nugent, with brief forays into his failed marriage to Pam Anderson and the re-emergence of his Michigan-made Bad Ass Beer.
“Why are you proud of Detroit?” was the kick-off question.
“I’m proud of our heritage, our history, our struggle, our tough times … The human spirit’s pretty resilient,” Rock said, explaining why he promotes Detroit at every opportunity.
In fact, he’s such a supporter of Detroit that when Romney’s team called and asked for his support of the Republican presidential contender, Kid Rock told him he had to answer some questions first.
Romney’s team agreed, and brought him over to Kid Rock’s house during a campaign stop and said he had an hour of the candidate’s time to ask whatever he wanted. So he did. It was just him, Romney, a campaign aide, a couple of Secret Service guys who had scouted and approved the house — and a handwritten list of questions for the candidate.
Kid Rock said he basically asked Romney, who was clad casually in jeans and a college sweatshirt, if he was “just a rich guy who wanted to become president to out-do (his) dad?”
“I know what it’s like to want to be better than your father,” Kid Rock said, adding, “Of course, I’m getting these ‘I really want to help America’ (answers) and I said, ‘Cut the sh**, this is my living room, this isn’t going to leave here.’”
Rock said: “My main question was ‘I know you’re from here, you went to Cranbrook Schools … Will you help me to do some great things in Detroit?’ He said, ‘absolutely, I will.’”
He gave Romney full support, appearing alongside the candidate and his running mate Paul Ryan at several campaign events. “I’m into less government,” Kid Rock said, explaining his conservative bent, but adding he doesn’t agree with the right wing social agenda. “If gay people want to get married I don’t give a f***.”
So, what did the uber-formal candidate call Kid Rock? “I think Bobby,” Kid Rock said, laughing.
He added that he understands fans don’t always agree with his politics, but it’s fine to disagree.
“It’s OK to stand for something … I’ve got friends who didn’t vote, I want to smack them upside the head,” Rock said — calling out the Red Wings’ Chris Chelios, who he calls “Cheli,” for not voting. “Yeah, Cheli, you ass****,” he said.
He said having Romney in his house was a mindf***, adding, “To think that I started out in this business, wanting to get a hot piece of a** and maybe a car.”
Someone else who started out in the music business from Detroit — Eminem — also paid a visit to Rock’s house recently, he said. He said he thought Eminem had “come a long way” from his angry roots.
He said Eminem came by for a meal — cooked by Rock himself. “He came by the house, we had dinner, I cooked, just having a sophisticated kind of dinner,” Rock said, adding the two superstars marveled at their good fortune.
Rock said it’s the kind of thing where you re-connect with “somebody you kind of came up with” and you say “Holy sh**, it f*** worked … He’s a great family guy.”
Another family guy is Ted Nugent, who taught Kid Rock to bow hunt this weekend. “Ted, even is doing things way down, where he’s a conservationist … These deer that are overpopulated … He goes and thins them out and then takes the meat and gives them to homeless shelters… He’s a great guy, he speaks in T-shirts,” Kid Rock said.
He recalled Nugent saying, ‘”I didn’t create ‘F*** you,’ I just perfected it.’”
On to his personal life, Kid Rock briefly discussed his failed marriage to Playmate Pam Anderson, pretending first he had forgotten their marriage, then saying “Getting married kicks ass, being married sucks.”
He said the fiery relationship blew up when “It started to affect my son, when it started to affect my son, I was like ‘I’m out … It took me a minute, but thank God I did.”
Kid Rock, who raised his now 19-year-old college student son as a single father, said his boy had a hard time uprooting from Detroit to Malibu. He recalled a heart-to-heart they had after his first day of school in California.
“This is just so into outer space … He’s all shook up … He said ‘All these kids here do is ride skateboards and do drugs’ … I said ‘Hey, stay off those f’ing skateboards.’” Eventually, he said, his son came clean about how he really felt about his dad’s life with Anderson that had both in tears — and the relationship was over.
In the future, Kid Rock said look for the re-emergence of Bad Ass Beer, the Michigan-based beer company he founded to compete with the major beer companies and provide jobs in Michigan. Kid Rock said he founded it when Coors relocated to Canada, saying they “sold out, when this country needed them the most.”
The owner of the brewery that initially issued Bad Ass Beer was too far in debt to keep going, but Kid Rock said more beer is coming in 2013.
“The beer business is so cutthroat, Budweiser will run you out of town,” Kid Rock said, adding, “They can’t f*** with you in Michigan.” Founding the company and selling cheap beer at his own shows and at local venues, he said he told major beer manufacturers, “This is Michigan, do you want the greatest american hero saying ‘F you, you sold out to the Belgians?”
Then they left him alone, which he said should allow him to bring more brewery jobs back to his home state. “I don’t need the money,” the star said. “The Kid Rock business is fine.”