Terry Bradshaw with his backup singers The I-Qties.
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OK, so maybe he's not the greatest country singer of all time, but we've seen a lot of impressive things from Terry Bradshaw, and it's only the tip of the iceberg.
"I got stuff that I can do that people can't do," he declares, stating the obvious.
But we'll play along. Such as?
"I can A-I a cow. I can breed a horse with frozen semen. I've got unlimited potential here. I can shoot hogs, bail hay, fix tractors, mow the yard, gather eggs, I got chickens, kill a snake, like I did yesterday in my yard."
He probably had us on the cow insemination. But here's what else he can do. The Pro Football Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl winning Steelers quarterback can step of out QB mode, out of Fox football analyst mode and out of motivational speaker mode to perform a freewheeling music and storytelling variety show, like he'll do at the Meadows Casino & Racetrack on Saturday.
"America's Favorite Dumb Blonde... A Life in Four Quarters" was sparked by his friend John Mack, a former writer for Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show," pushing the idea to producer/director Anita Mann. They took it to Broadway writer David Goldsmith, who sat down with Mr. Bradshaw and worked out 142 pages of dialogue.
Backed by his band The Professors and backup singers The I-Qties, he opened last July at the Mirage in Vegas, which he said, "was like opening up doing the Daytona 500 or doing the Super Bowl without ever having played a preseason game or anything."
He admits they haven't done the show regularly enough to nail it down tight, but that's part of the fun. Anyone who's seen the Immaculate Reception knows he can improvise.
"It's actually not a fine-tuned show because of me," he says, laughing, in a recent local media teleconference. "But at the same, you're not necessarily going to know where I screwed up."
He tells the I-Qties just to holler at him if he gets lost. Because the same thing that energizes him on stage also drives his motivation behind it, good luck keeping up with him when he goes on a roll.
"I'm one of those ADD children," he says. "I'm great at creating and great at thought processes and great at figuring out humor ... and that to me has always kept me going: the creative side. I've never gotten bored. I've always stayed busy. I'm still trying to create stuff. Doing this show may only last a year. It may last longer. That's fine."
Although he sings in the show, and he's not a bad singer, the show isn't really about reigniting his career as country or gospel crooner, and he dismisses his 1976 debut, which scored a Top 20 hit with a cover of "I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry," as "a horrible album." His teammates laughed at it, he says.
He's also not big on the new country, preferring Willie's Roadhouse on Sirius to the Froggys of the world.
"I'm an Alan Jackson guy. I'm not into the tennis shoes and jumping up and down like a rock star. I have no clue who's got what. I don't watch the CMA Awards. It's rock, it's country rock. My daughter explained to me how it's crossed over. I don't have to listen to it. I work out to The Eagles and The Isaacs [a gospel group] every day."
His daughter is Rachel Bradshaw, who is signed to Nashville's Bigger Picture Group to her release her debut album, and is also getting married this month to Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas.
"She's good, man, she is really good," her dad says. "I'm really proud of her. Whether or not her career takes off, her singing is really good. The first time we sang together was on 'The Tonight Show.' Been a charmed life, man."
He says he had some really bad years dealing with depression and that he suffers short-term memory loss -- can't ever locate his buck knife -- but that despite being on steroids now for rheumatoid arthritis, he has a positive outlook.
"I try not to ever sit around and go 'When is this coming to an end?' Cause that's what people do: 'Oh my gosh, I've had a great month, a great year, when is this coming to an end?' 'Oh my God, I've had a wonderful life. Am I getting cancer today and dying tomorrow?' And I don't look at life like that. I approach every day, every morning, the same way: jacked up."
Mr. Bradshaw, who has been married and divorced three times, says he recently told his girlfriend, "I don't know if I've ever been as happy as I am right now. Kind of like, if you don't do another show, give another speech or broadcast another game, it's been a happy life for me."
Maybe there is one little thing ...
"The only thing left is the cover of GQ Magazine, with some gold chains, maybe the shirt unbuttoned, my body sprayed, shave the hair off my chest, dye it a little bit, tilt my little ass to the camera, bend forward ... Nice. Sorry, I apologize. Don't want to be like [Charles] Barkley here."
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-263-2576; Twitter: @scottmervis_pg.
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