Toby Keith: Hope On The Rocks

The Songs and The Stories Behind Them

Toby Keith photo courtesy of Show Dog-Universal Music.

1. "Hope On The Rocks"
(Toby Keith)
Last fall I was driving out to my hunting and fishing ranch in southern Oklahoma. And all the way there I had a verse and chorus going that I'd had for a couple months. I knew it was dark and a little out there, but I just couldn't let it go. I spent two days down there and the whole time, whenever I wasn't talking to anybody, I was working that song in my head. I just hammered on it; completely obsessed. When I finally nailed it, I played it for a couple guys and knew it was exactly what I thought it was. When I handed the album over to the label and management, it wasn't the first one that popped up, but it wasn't three days before it reared its head as the pick of the litter. Now when they're out playing stuff for radio, this is the one they're coming back on across the board. One of my favorite things I've ever written.

2. "The Size I Wear"
(Toby Keith, Rivers Rutherford)
My dad used to say that line and I always thought it was funny. See a pretty girl and go, "Look out, boys. That's the size I wear right there." It's like when me and Scotty wrote "As Good As I Once Was." That's something my dad used to say, too. He also used to say, "I don't know what I'd do if your mama ever left me ... guess I'd just go with her." Me, Scotty and Dean Dillon wrote that one ("Go With Her"). Stuff like that is very intriguing to me and I had it laying around. Rivers took off on it and we decided it was about a couple buddies drinking. I had the "five-foot-two, 95 pounds, round in the places she's supposed to be round" and Rivers just flipped over it when I told him the idea. There was another little piece that didn't work, but Rivers fixed the chorus and then we wrote the verses. It's just comical.

3. "Scat Cat"
(Toby Keith, Rivers Rutherford)
When somebody sneezed my dad would say, "Scat, cat. You got gravy on your tail." I don't know to this day what it meant. But I was telling Rivers we needed to do something swampy sounding and he came up with that great groove. We started writing about an old moonshiner and how the young guy was going to get out of there. Love the song, well-crafted and you can hear Rivers' bluesy Memphis thing all over it. Really paints a picture.

4. "I Like Girls That Drink Beer"
(Toby Keith, Bobby Pinson)
Ninety-nine percent of the women at the country club where I play golf, if they order an adult beverage will order something frozen or with an umbrella in it. I play with one of my best friends and his wife, and we'll be in there watching someone order vodka with a splash of orange juice and 7up with a twist of this or that. And my friend's wife will just go, "Two Coronas." So we got to calling her "Beer Drinking Shari." Her face got red and I went, "No, no. I like girls that drink beer." And then I thought, well that sounds like a song title.
When I was coming up, you could drink beer at 18, but liquor wasn't legal until you were 21 in Oklahoma. So there were a lot of places you could go into and have beer, so you'd see a lot of girls sitting around with longnecks. Now they've usually got a mixed drink or nothing at all. So we wrote it about a country club and this guy who moves out of the country into the city with his sugar mama. If anything, it kind of reminds me of Alan Jackson. Sounds like something he could have written. It's simple and so catchy. When I played it for the label it went to the top of the list immediately.

5. "Get Got"
(Toby Keith, Bobby Pinson)
That's exactly how Bobby talks. We were at dinner one night and he dropped his fork on the floor. When he bent down to pick it up he had plumber's crack. Everybody at the table saw and his wife started laughing. She makes as much fun of him as anybody. He knew what everybody was laughing about and said, "Sorry, everybody. My jeans quit being jeans before my ass quit being an ass." Everything he says is that funky. So when he came out with, "Sometimes you get it and sometimes you get got," we just started in on the idea. We tried to come up with as many pieces of advice as an old man can give you. It's a well-crafted song and everything you kind of expect to achieve when you start out with a great idea like that. This probably has to be a single.