If you’re on the road with Eric Church, you’re expected to carry your weight. Even if you’re only five years old.
Eric’s currently on his “Holdin’ My Own” Tour, which is coming to the Staples Center on Friday, March 31st. As part of the show, he brings a local high school choir on stage to help him out on his song “Mistress Named Music.” Since Eric is already on stage when the choir comes on, he realized he’d need some help bringing them on. And then it occurred to him to give his son a job!
“Choir Wrangler is what he does,” Eric explains in a statement from his label. A”nd Boone’s got a radio, he’s got his flashlight, he’s got a little work belt and his pass, he goes in there, and he’ll make sure that when the choir’s ready to go, it’s his job and Jill’s job to move these teenagers – he calls them teenagers – with flashlights over to where the show is.
“Now what Boone proceeds to do is call me the entire time to see how close we are. My road manager, my tour manager, said, ‘I’ve been trying to get you on stage on time for a decade, and your son has a better chance of that.’ Because Boone, you tell a five-year-old we’re getting close, and you put it back down and 20 seconds later, ‘You comin’?’ ‘We’re getting close.’ But you know, it’s this constant, he’s wearing me out,” he says with a laugh. “So, we do get to the stage quicker than we used to, but his job is to get them up underneath the stage and then up the steps on the stage; he waits at the bottom, they come back off, and he escorts them to where they need to go. He’s helping out, and he’s having a big time with it.”
But Boone’s already figured out that he doesn’t work for free. “About three weeks into the tour, [Boone] goes, ‘Dad, I really don’t like my job.’ And I said, ‘Well, son, a lot of people don’t like their job.’ I said, ‘The important thing is you’ve got to do your job.’ I said, ‘What don’t you like basically?’ He said, ‘Eh, it’s boring, and I don’t get paid.’ And I said, ‘Okay, did you have catering? Yeah. Do you have a nice bus to ride on? Yeah.’ I said, ‘Well, you got paid.’ He said, ‘Well, yeah, but the band gets paid.’
“So, I humor him. I said, ‘Okay, Boone. I’m gonna humor you. How much would you want to get paid.’ He goes, ‘$4,000.’ I said, ‘A show?’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘How ‘bout a dollar?’ like that. He let me negotiate, and we agree on $10 a show, and I shake his hand, and I’m thinking, ‘Good God, I just got hustled.’
“So, I shake his hand, and as he’s walking away, he goes, ‘That’s $30 for the weekend, right?’”