Any country artist will tell you playing at the Grand Ole Opry is one of the highest honors they can receive and Eric Church is no exception. In July, he stepped on the Opry stage while the show was being filmed to be broadcast on GAC. It wasn’t his first Opry performance, but it was the first time he forgot the words to not one but both of his No. 1 hit songs.
“As I was getting ready to walk onstage, Pete Fisher, head of the Opry, said to me, he was joking, he said, ‘Don’t forget the words,’” Eric told JS Online. “We got through “Creepin’” and “Smoke a Little Smoke,” but we got to “Springsteen” and “Drink in my Hand,” it just steamrolled. One steamrolled into another one. You wait your whole career to have a number one song, and then you get on the frigging Opry on television and you forget the only two number ones that you have.”
Eric handled the situation with humor, knowing all he could do was laugh along with the audience. “When you’ve played as much as we’ve played and you’ve played in the settings we’ve played, you just go with the energy in the room,” he said. “The people there, they were laughing, hell, I was laughing. I’m thinking, here I am on TV, I just looked over at Pete and shook my head, thinking ‘God almighty…’”
Eric was also scheduled for the second Opry show that night. He stepped up to the mic for a do-over performance of his earlier flubs and saw that the Opry had taken precautions to make sure he got things right the second time around.
“During the second set, I didn’t even know the Grand Ole Opry had a teleprompter,” he said. “I just started “Drink in My Hand” and all of a sudden the words to the song appear in the back of the theater. I about lost it again because it was so funny. It was a funny night.”