#Fulla5 Adam Hood

Tuscaloosa 2015

Tuscaloosa 2015

I’ve known Adam for close to 30 years, and I’m proud to call him a close, personal friend. I was a senior at Opelika High School when he was a freshman. We  have had a lot of good times together. He even came to stay with me in Washington State while I was stationed there and he was on a west coast tour back in 2005. After that, he often crashed with us when I lived in Shreveport and he was making frequent trips to Texas. I think I last saw him in Tuscaloosa last year. He came to my show with the GIs of Comedy and then we went to eat BBQ the next day.

With a John Denver grin and mind full of Alabama attitude, Adam Hood knows the beautiful mess of blue-collar love and everyone on Music Row wants in. Tracks from his critically acclaimed 2011 album The Shape of Things have been cut by Little Big Town, David Nail, Josh Abbott Band, Brian Keane and John Corbett. The legendary Willie Nelson and Leon Russell have each picked Hood for respective national tours. 

the shape of things

For more on Adam, please visit his website at adamhood.com.

“Bar Band is one of my favorite Adam Hood songs.

 

1) You’ve come a long way since I used to see you play at the Breezeway in Downtown Opelika? How has your music changed over the years, other than no longer playing Margarittaville, Brown Eyed Girl, and Sweet Home Alabama?

Well, I appreciate it. I’m pretty fortunate to be able to say I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’m glad you can see some progress. The main thing that’s changed, as you mentioned, is that I write my music now.  The cover songs got me the gigs and gave me an outline for what a good song “feels” like (Margaritaville is a pretty well written song), but once I started writing and got the nerve to PLAY those songs in front of folks, everything changed. It got real. After turning that corner, I just started doing it, refusing to regress. I’ve found my own style through all the years of working at it and listening to folks that know more than I do. BUT, at the end of the day, it still sounds like me. Always has. I won’t ever be able to shake that.

2) I’ve seen you play in Shreveport, which is more like Texas than Louisiana, but please tell us about Texas music and how it differs from elsewhere?

Man, Texas is its own thing. All the way around. The music, culture, food, etc are self-sufficient and that’s the way they want it.  Coming into that music scene from the outside was extremely intimidating for a while, but I fell into it after a while and I think it suites me. Most of my heroes and influences were Texas writers, so my style fits in Texas, but the Alabama influence is what makes me sound a little different. And there are TONS of bands out there, so different is good!!

This is Adam's latest. In my opinion, it's his best work yet.

This is Adam’s latest. In my opinion, it’s his best work yet.

3) Congratulations on being a new dad. Talk a little bit about Drue and how have things changed from your first go around as a dad? Are changing diapers like riding a bike?

Adam and the newest member of the Hood family, Drue.

Adam and the newest member of the Hood family, Drue.

Saying I wasn’t a little “scared” about having a baby would be a lie. Honestly, anyone that says they’re fully prepared for children is telling a lie. The feeling wasn’t out of lack of love, but more my own mortality. Haha. I want to be able to keep up, you know.  But children just change everything for the better and we’re enjoying every minute of it.  All the folks in my camp and I work hard to keep a “balanced” schedule so that when I’m home, I’m home with no distractions. Ashlyn is at an age where she’s mature enough to handle being a helpful big sister without it cramping her style.  I feel totally confident in saying all of us are good!  As for diapers, what can I say…The mechanics are the same, but the package keeps you on your toes!

4) How’s the garden going this year? Any advice for first time gardeners like, oh, I don’t know…me?

I downsized the garden this year. We went nuts last year and planted too much with too little time to manage and most of the garden flopped.  This year we’re keeping it simple… A few tomatoes and peppers and that’s it. Growing things is a great pastime if you’re thinking about it. Planting one tomato plant in a clay pot can be really fun and sort of calming (sorry to sound Zen).  Hell, I don’t even like tomatoes. I just like to get up in the morning, walk outside and see what happened while we were sleeping… And something always does.

*I guarantee you I planted way too much this year.

5) This is like “Free Day Friday” in elementary school. Whatever you want to say, say it here.

I want to thank you, Jody, for asking me to do this and for your friendship.  I’ve enjoyed watching you work to develop your career as well.  And you’ve earned every rung you’ve climbed.  We have a common denominator when it comes to our line of work. We have different ways of entertaining people, but we do the same thing and we both know that the distance between “man, you’re funny enough to be a comedian” at OHS and being a touring entertainer is pretty vast; it’s a hard row to hoe, but being able to look back and see all the ground you’ve covered makes the effort worthwhile. I’m proud to know you, my friend. Go dawgs!

*I did not pay him to say any of that nice stuff, but I do appreciate it.

Like Adam’s page on Facebook by clicking here.

Follow Adam on Twitter by clicking here.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

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“That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

I’m going to get in trouble for this one but to quote a famous animated sailor, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

Last Friday night in the Lone Star State, the Aledo Bearcats squeaked past the Western Hills Cougars by a score of 91-0. You read that correctly, ninety-one to nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

91-0

Are you kidding me?

The coach ought to be ashamed of himself for running up the score on the helpless Cougars, right? Well, to quote a college football icon, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

It’s easy to look at the score and assume that the Bearcats displayed poor sportsmanship, but we all know what assuming does.

Apparently Aledo’s Head Coach, Tim Buchanan, called off the dogs early. He began substituting players in the first quarter, let the clock run continuously, and instructed his players to call fair catches after back to back punt returns. By the end of the game, every player on the roster had seen playing time.

They only threw the ball 10 times the entire game and nine different running backs carried the ball an average of 2.6 times apiece.

Should the coaches have told the players not to run hard? Absolutely not! That’s when injuries happen. Should the coaches have told the players to take a knee? Heck no! The Bearcats ran the ball, and the Cougars couldn’t tackle them. It’s as simple as that. Should the coaches have told the defense to let the opposing team score? No way! That’s insane. Should they have turned the ball over purposely? No coach would ever do that, right?

Coach Buchanan did everything he could think of not to score.

One of the parents of the defeated Cougars filed an official complaint of bullying against the entire Bearcat coaching staff.

Are you kidding me?

Western Hills Coach John Naylor said he disagrees with the allegations that his team was bullied.

“I think the game was handled fine,” Western Hills coach John Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know Coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.

“We just ran into a buzz saw, you know,” Naylor said. “Aledo just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

The parent set a poor example for his child, even if his heart was in the right place. Some people react emotionally, whereas logical thinking folks react, well, logically.

If he doesn’t want him to lose or to experience the agony of defeat, he needs to withdraw his child from the team, from school, and from life. Perhaps he could live in his parents’ basement for the rest of his life. He’ll be safe there.

This guy is likely so sensitive he goes around crying wolf or cougar or bearcat, oh my!

In life there are winners and losers. It’s as simple as that. Most winners have lost in various aspects of life but learned from their failures and became successful down the road.

Last year, Auburn was 3-9 and suffered a humiliating loss to Texas A & M who put 63 points on the board against the defenseless Tigers. Last Saturday, Auburn avenged that embarrassing loss and defeated the seventh ranked Aggies, on the Aggies’ home field no less and now stand at 6-1 on the season.

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous  year's shellacking!

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous year’s shellacking!

In a California youth football league, there is a mercy rule. If a team wins a game by more than 35 points, the coach faces a $200 fine and possible suspension.

What?

One of the coaches says that he agrees with the league’s enforcement of the penalties and has in the past instructed one of his players to purposely turn over the ball.

Read about California’s “Mercy Rule” here

Are you kidding me?

Ending the game prematurely when the game is out of reach is one thing but purposely not playing hard and giving the ball away is asinine and benefits no one.

We want our children to be resilient; however, we protect them from experiencing situations that build resilience. Negotiating adversity is a part of life and builds character and resilience. In other words, to an extent, it is a good thing.

I think we are setting our children up for failure.

In youth sports leagues across the country, every kid gets a trophy. It doesn’t matter if they lose 91-0; they still get one.

That’s not reality. In reality, it’s ridiculous and detrimental to their reality.

Come back next week for part two as my rant continues and delves into how the anti-bullying campaign, like many other well-intentioned programs, has gotten completely out of hand.

Update: A Texas youth football league is making a change. Organizers say they will no longer handout trophies to every child who plays. Click here to read more.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

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Enjoy the ride!

Devil's Tower National Monument in Northeast Wyoming in May 2003.

Devil’s Tower National Monument in Northeast Wyoming in May 2003.

A few weeks ago, I went to Las Vegas for a gig. I was there for 3 nights before flying back for another one in Montgomery. I flew because I had places to be and was in a hurry.

But I prefer to drive. In fact, I insist on driving when time is not an issue.

I enjoy the alone time. I enjoy having time to think. I enjoy blasting my radio to Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash, although, sometimes it’s Anne Murray, Carly Simon, and The Carpenters. It’s just me, so no one will ever know.

Oops…

carpenters

One of my favorite movies is National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase as the incomparable Clark W. Griswold. When asked by his children why they weren’t flying to the fictitious theme park, Walley World, Clark replied, “Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.”

I know that.

When I was in the seventh grade, we traveled in the family car to Washington DC for Spring Break. The family car was a 1980 Pinto with a spoiler.

THE 1980 Pinto with the spoiler!

THE 1980 Pinto with the spoiler!

While my mother and brother shared driving duties up front, I rode in the hatchback alongside the ham sandwiches and Piggly Wiggly sacks.

Had we flown, we would’ve missed America’s splendor along the Blue Ridge Parkway and throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

We likely would've missed a picture with the bowl-mullet, pies, and fake Members Only jacket, too.

We likely would’ve missed a picture with the bowl-mullet, pies, and fake Members Only jacket, too.

Oh, we also would’ve missed a chance encounter at a Shoney’s located 308 miles away from Opelika in Asheville, North Carolina, with our eighth grade home economics teacher, Miss Boothe.

There is just so much to see, do, and eat along the highways of America.

Another classic line from Vacation is when Clark says, “Hey, hey, easy kids. Everybody in the car. Boat leaves in two minutes… or perhaps you don’t want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?”

While I have yet to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, I have seen the world’s largest bottle of catsup in Collinsville, Illinois.

The world's largest bottle of catsup in 2003.

The world’s largest bottle of catsup in 2003.

Upon graduation from my Officer Basic Course at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, I was assigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington, which is a journey of 2,900. I know some people that would’ve made the trip in three or four days, but why?

I took 28 days of leave and embarked on the trip of a lifetime. I drove close to 8,000 miles and saw Yellowstone, Yosemite, Devil’s Tower, the Grand Canyon, and, yes, the world’s largest bottle of catsup.

I recently drove to Arizona for the National Stuttering Association’s annual conference. The drive out there and back added to the overall experience of the trip.

As this young man went west, I spent the first night with friends in New Orleans. We enjoyed an amazing meal at NOLA, one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in the French Quarter. Bam!

The second night I had a great meal and conversation with a friend in San Antonio, before trekking through the seemingly endless West Texas at 80 MPH the next day. I stopped for barbeque, twice.

I also experienced a monsoon in rural Southern Arizona and a sandstorm in Tucson that came with tumbleweed and all. It was fabulous!

As always, I experienced a magical time at our stuttering association’s conference but knew the trip back would be the proverbial icing on the cake to what was already a wonderful trip.

On the way back, I stopped at Saguaro National Park in Southern Arizona, home to the nation’s largest cacti, before having dinner in Tombstone at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, located near the legendary O.K. Corral.

Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

The next day, I was able to put a checkmark on my bucket list when I went to Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Throughout the years, I’ve been to many caverns but none quite as spectacular as these. Pictures and words simply do not do the “8th Wonder of the World” justice. I felt as if I was on another planet. I was overwhelmed. It was truly awesome.

Likewise, it was AUsome hearing a “War Eagle” from the depths of the caverns, too. Although lighting is limited throughout the cave, my orange Auburn shirt clearly stood out.

The next day saw a stop at the Botanical Gardens in Ft. Worth, as well as lunch with an Opelika buddy featuring barbeque goat.

The last day of the trip included crawfish étouffée in Shreveport, a stop at the Duck Dynasty headquarters in West Monroe, followed by a sunset at Vicksburg National Military Park along the banks of the Mississippi River before embarking on the final lonesome stretch of highway through Mississippi and Alabama.

I could’ve flown, but why?

There’s just so much to do, see, and eat along the way, but we are often in such a hurry to reach our destination that we don’t take the time to truly enjoy the ride.

Besides, getting there is half the fun. You know that.

Jody Fuller is a comic, a speaker, and a soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com