Kid Rock was fired from his role as grand marshal of the Nashville Christmas Parade Friday night, following a morning appearance on “Fox & Friends” in which he called Joy Behar a “b—h.” But associates are insisting he still plans to lead the parade, booted or not.
Bryan Lewis, the attorney for Steve Smith, Kid Rock’s business partner and “best friend,” told Variety Friday night that the controversial performer was planning on showing up and fulfilling his duty as grand marshal Saturday morning. That’s even though parade organizers have already invited James Shaw Jr., aka “the Waffle House hero,” to be grand marshal in his stead.
Kid Rock “will show up and is going to try to participate as grand marshal tomorrow,” declared Lewis. But if a local hero, Shaw, has officially been assigned that role in his stead, who should Nashville expect to actually head up the parade?
“My best analogy is it’ll be a standoff at high noon,” Lewis said. Given the early, frigid start time for Saturday’s festivities, he corrected himself: “I guess it’ll be a standoff at 8 a.m.”
Lewis said his client, Smith, has given $250,000 a year annually to the city for the parade for the last two years, since Piedmont pulled out as majority sponsor. “It’s like stockholders in a corporation,” Lewis said. “Mr. Smith owns 95 percent of the stock. The other 5 percent of the people who hold stock held a closed-meeting excluding Mr. Smith and made a unilateral decision to exclude Kid Rock from the parade. It is our belief that, as the major contributor, Mr. Smith has the right to name the grand marshal of the parade.”
Smith is the owner of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and several other bars in Nashville’s tourist-oriented Lower Broad district — and, with his celebrity friend, he’s co-owner of a brand new nightspot, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse. That was the site of the live “Fox & Friends” remote broadcast Friday morning that led to a quick apology from host Steve Doocy.
Blurted the singer on Fox, “God forbid you say something a little bit wrong, you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, this that and another. People need to calm down get a little less politically correct… I would say, ‘love everybody,’ except I’d say, ‘screw that Joy Behar b—h’.’”
The resulting firestorm led Mayor David Briley’s office to issue a statement: “If Kid Rock is still the grand marshal tomorrow, the mayor is inclined not to participate.” Councilman Freddie O’Connell was also among those vowing to skip the parade if Kid Rock stayed.
An announcement that he was out came late in the day Friday. “Parade organizers feel that the grand marshal should personify the spirit of the Nashville community and have invited James Shaw, Jr., who became a community hero after stopping a shooting at a local Waffle House earlier this year, to be honored,” organizers said.
Lewis told Variety that Smith is looking at filing a lawsuit, saying, “We’re doing our due diligence and background to pursue a potential legal action against Tennessee Holiday Productions… and other parties involved in the decision today to exclude Kid Rock.”
Kid Rock was unapologetic — except about the live cussing part — earlier Friday, saying in a statement, “Behar has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, and when myself, Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent visited the White House last year, Behar called it ‘the saddest day in in the history of the White House since the British burned it to the ground in 1814.’ Today I said ‘Screw that Joy Behar b—h.’ Mess with the bull, you get the horns. End of story. I apologized for cursing on live TV, I will not for my sentiment nor do I expect an apology from her or anyone else who has choice words for me or doesn’t like me. God Bless America.”