If you meet Vince Gill, he'll tell you that he's normal – "painfully normal," to be exact. He frequents the same breakfast joint every day, plays a guitar that was gifted to him as a child, and handles a large family. But, there's nothing average about this storytelling, multiple-Grammy-Award-winning country musician. He's the kind of man who'd never meet a stranger, and that charm is mixed with an outstanding passion and celebration of music and its roots. Vince joined us at his Nashville, Tennessee home to talk about everything from being a dad to his musical beginnings to Amy Grant to his love of mac and cheese.
I don't want to say that I didn't care but I didn't. I just said here we go let's see what happens and I was gutsy enough to take off and try. [MUSIC] It's still getting my first guitar. Nothing will trump that. I don't see how As a ten year old kid, I was ten years old, and I got a really nice Gibson electric guitar. And to see my folks scrimp and save, and be able to pull that off, and give me a great instrument like that to learn, to play on, it was invaluable. A lot of kids when they get started, they get a really Bad, bad instrument that Chet Atkins couldn't play, you know? I was lucky, and it mattered and it was inspiring. That's all a kid needs, at the end of the day, is just to be inspired. I've still got that guitar, and that amplifier, a Fender Super-reverb. Still got them both. Man don't sweet the small stuff [LAUGH] keep them alive that's all you try to do. Man we've had a lot of, of scary incidents with one of the kids Sara there's been like three pretty scary accidents you know one was. very close to being fatal. And you just never know, so just being grateful is about as good as you can do, you know? About all you can hope for. [MUSIC] What is the most prevalent is manners. Kindness, those kinds of things. People are nice to each other around here and I love that. It's been a great thing to be a part of. I've lived a Southern lifestyle for 33 years that I've been in Nashville. Amie is a Southerner. I just like it here, I like the pace of life, I like the people, I like Everything about it. I like how green it is. I like the golf courses. [LAUGH] I can't imagine, I won't live anywhere else. I know that. So I think it really gives me a sense of place. The great thing that has happened to me, is perspective. You know, in being able to say I've been to Europe. I've been to I've been everywhere, you know? Six, seven times, you know? And just that in itself let's you see how other parts of the world might be different. But at the end of the day, we're really all the same. [MUSIC] Mac and cheese is pretty hard to beat. I guess that's southern food. I think fried chicken is pretty universal. I don't think the south can claim friend chicken. Can they with a straight face? My granny made a pretty good fried chicken- [LAUGHTER] in Kansas. I go to the same breakfast place everyday. That's the meal I'm most concerned about. I can't really go and Have meat trees every day I'd weigh 400 pounds. So if I did that but. I do to this nice little delicatessen here in Green Hills and Sherman's the cook. And he knows what I like and how I like it cooked. We're big buddies. He always comes out and hugs me. And I know all the waitresses and waiters. And there's a counter you know About eight or ten seats, I just call it Cheers with Eggs. [LAUGH] I've always loved that, ever since I left home, I had to have a place that was my breakfast haunt. [MUSIC] I built two story porch on the front of the house, I built a studio in here. I put two rooms together as one big room, made this studio. I just love messing with stuff this is where I live, I want it to be inspiring to be in it. It makes total sense that I would be into that. Because that is what I do for a living I'm always messing with The stuff, always trying to make it better, so I played this and that and if I did that it'd be better. Same way I am with trying to write a song, trying to find a better way to say it. Take those two words out, just use that one word, maybe three words. It's just all I do, I'm always trying to make whatever it is. That we're all doing. I'm just trying to make it a better experience somehow. [MUSIC] I've always wanted to be moved by music, by a song, by a singer, by a musician. And at the end of the day that's all I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to impress anybody, I'm trying to move somebody. Somebody and there in lies a pretty big difference. I love the emotion of music. I'm not impressed by the amount of notes you can play or, I mean I am but, at the end of the day, it moved me, that's all I really want. Growing up, my first memory of a HAM is how great they are And my grandmother, Granny played on the piano. She was a pretty accomplished piano player. I think it's my first conscious memory of music, period. [MUSIC] My gosh. Maybe Whenever You Come Around. Wrote it for Amy. When I first met her I was taken on how pretty she was, smile she had and just a song of yearning of hope and such a beautiful song. She inspired it. I felt like I made it because I made a living Wasn't much of a living. There were some mighty, mighty, mighty lean years. And I look back on those years and go how, on Earth could you have possibly survived only making a few thousand dollars a year, whatever it was? But I did. It was great knowing I didn't need much. And I still don't. I have plenty I've accomplished, plenty And all of that but my lifestyle hasn't changed that much. I have a few more guitars than I used. And that's about it.>> [LAUGH] In 1981 I had sung with him in IRS that night and it was a big night for me First time I'd ever gotten [INAUDIBLE]. And found out Merle was doing a tour of old honky-tonks. So he was playing beer joints all across the country. And I found out about and told Emmy, and so we piled in a couple of cars and drove about 45 minutes to find this beer joint. I got to hear Merle Haggard for the first time live at a beer joint. And just couldn't get any better than that. And Merle was married to a woman named Leona Williams at the time and she had cut one of my songs. And they had it out. And after he was done playing, Emmy said do you want to meet him. I said yeah. Then she carried me on the bus and said Merle, you need to meet this kid. He's kinda special and he said, I know who you are. You're that kid that wrote that song that Leola's got out. And I said, shoot, he knows who I am. [LAUGH] Greatest thrill of my life. [MUSIC] When I made that first record, I remember somebody played it, when I was driving down I-40 in my pickup truck. And, 17 year old kid, and it was the greatest feeling in the world, to hear my singing on the radio. That had never happened before. Then I started yelling on the CB for Everybody turned in this radio station. They're playing my song and blah blah blah. And people are coming back on the CB radio saying stuff, positive stuff. And I didn't realize it at the time but all of a sudden I was, I had the gift of this hope. It gave me hope. And that never waned. [MUSIC]