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Zac Brown Recalls His ‘Soggy’ Beginnings

Zac Brown
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Zac Brown was so in need of tip money back in his bar and club playing days that he gladly reached into his beer-soaked tip bucket and felt lucky to fish out stray bills. “[I’d be] playing in a bar, and then wringing the beer outta my tip money from the tip bucket,” he tells CMT. “At the end of the night, people would be spilling beer and stuff into that bucket but I didn’t care. I’d reach down and grab the one dollar bills from the bottom and shove ’em in the cargo pants I used to wear.”

“I mean, I had soggy wads of one dollar bills on me for years. And that was my gas money, and what it took to get to the next place,” he explains.

Now that Brown and his band play arenas and other major venues, it’s easy to forget that they were once just young musicians scrambling to have their music heard. Still, Brown says the memories do come back to him when he’s on the road.

“Looking back, I forget about those days.” he says. “But then when I get back out on the roa  and I see what we do now, it never fails to astound me how far we’ve come.”

So what did Brown do to turn the corner from leading another baby band to an A-list act? He modestly chalks it up to perseverance.

“It was all just trial and error,” he says. “I think my entire life has been trial and error.”



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