Garth Brooks is exercising some artistic license in his definition of a “dive bar” with his announcement Tuesday that the next stop on his “Dive Bar” tour of small venues is coming Aug. 15 to Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield.
Owens spent $7 million of his own money to build the 550-capacity club and restaurant in the town from which he vaulted to international fame in the 1960s with a string of hits unmatched by any other country artist of that decade.
Brooks has fond memories both of performing at the club when his career was in its ascendancy in the 1990s, and also as the spot where he proposed to singer Trisha Yearwood in 2005.
“For anybody that knows Miss Yearwood and I’s past, we got engaged at the Crystal Palace, Buck Owens’ place in Bakersfield, California,” Brooks said in a session broadcast Monday over his official Facebook page. “The next Dive Bar [stop] is the Crystal Palace...
“This is going to be fun,” he said. “It’s going to be indoors; the last one was outdoors [in Chicago] and we had thousands of people. I think there’s going to be what, maybe 500 people for this one? What I love about the Dive Bar [shows] is they’ve got all the electricity of the stadium show and it’s packed in this little room.
“The [other] thing I really like about the Dive Bars is, what I’ve learned in the stadiums is that the stadiums are the right size for “That Summer,” for “Friends in Low Places,” “Thunder Rolls,” “Dive Bar” — the songs fill up that stadium.” He added, “But I also gotta tell you, they’re so much at home in a honky-tonk. So, Bakersfield — here we come.”
Tickets are being given away by Bakersfield radio station KUZZ (AM 550, FM 107.9), one of several radio and TV stations Owens acquired in building a multimedia empire over the course of his career. Owens also served as a mentor to Brooks, among many other younger country artists, and famously advised the Oklahoma singer and songwriter to do whatever was necessary to retain ownership of his recording masters during a contract standoff with Capitol Records after he became the biggest country star on the planet in the ‘90s.
In addition to giving fans an opportunity to see him in an intimate setting, the mission of the Dive Bar tour is to promote responsible drinking. Brooks and Blake Shelton recorded a duet single “Dive Bar” in conjunction with the small-venue tour.