In some of the interviews about my song, Helluva Cowboy (which was written for the late rodeo legend Lewis Field), I have mentioned how inspiring it is when you meet your heroes in person and they actually act like heroes. That was definitely my experience with Lewis, but there was also another time when one of my all-time, biggest heroes proved to be even cooler than I could have ever imagined he would be.

When I was 16, I got to see Garth Brooks play in Salt Lake City; a few days later I left for a family vacation in Lake Tahoe. One rainy day, there wasn’t much to do. The family (bummed out by the weather) headed into Reno for a little shopping at the mall. I was standing in some store with my dad when my youngest sister came running in, looking all wild eyed and frantic. She saw me and said “Pat! I think Garth Brooks is in the sporting goods store…mom told me to come and get you!”

I was very skeptical at first, but she persisted…”I really think it’s him! Come on!” and she ran out of the store. It clicked in my mind at that point that I had heard on local radio that Garth was playing Reno that weekend, so I ran after my sister towards the sporting goods store. We got back to the register by the shoe section, and right there, paying for a pair of Nike gym shoes, was my idol and hero! My mom casually slipped up next to him and said “Excuse me, but we are all huge fans. We saw you in Salt Lake City last week, and wondered if we could get you to sign some autographs?”

Garth was gracious, kind, and accommodating, and chatted with us while he signed whatever scraps of paper we could dig up. He thanked us for the support and for attending his show in Salt Lake…and made us feel like he genuinely appreciated us. He then left and went on his way, and after a few minutes of excitement and chaos, we realized that a couple of my younger cousins (also huge Garth fans) had missed out on the experience. I grabbed a piece of paper, and took off out into the hallway of the mall to see if I could catch Garth. After some frantic looking, I spotted him walking towards an exit, and ran him down. “Excuse me, Garth?” He turned around, smiled and said…and I kid you not…”Oh, hey Pat! How are you bud?” Garth Brooks had just spoken to me by name, and called me bud! I could not have felt cooler and more important than I did in that moment. He waved me up, with my little sister in tow, and told us to walk with them so he didn’t attract too much attention, and again graciously signed autographs for my cousins while he chatted with me about what we were doing in Reno, and how we had liked the concert in Salt Lake! I was on cloud nine. That was the best day of my life up to that point, and a guy that I had idolized, admired, and even been a little obsessed with, cemented himself forever in my mind as a true hero.

I feel like I learned from the best, the importance of taking the time to show appreciation for those that make it possible to do what you love to do, and the impact you can have on one person just by taking the time to be friendly and kind. Music is magic. It connects people in ways that nothing else can, and I feel genuinely grateful to have the chance to connect with amazing people through the simple songs I write and sing. That being said, I truly and sincerely appreciate each of my fans, and am so grateful for those of you that have joined me in this journey that started on a rainy day long ago.

If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone of that journey, click here to listen to my most recent album, ‘Small Town Scandal’.

Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.

God Bless, y’all!

Pat hanging out with fans

10 Responses

  1. Hi Pat
    I to am a big Garth fan I have never seen him live.when my son got the basket with your CD and hat at the out of the darkness suicide walk he was on cloud 9 and still is he takes your CD with us every day.I love your music it has meaning and reminds me of Garth. Have a great day

  2. Thanks for the feedback, John! I messaged with your wife about this a little bit already, but if you can get your son out to a show sometime, I promise to go out of my way to make it a memorable experience for him. I really appreciate your kind words and your support.

  3. Thanks Pat could you possibly do a tribute to Soldiers my husband is coming hone from the Army im pucking him up at Salt Lake City airport soon. He has served our country and fought for 18 years. Now hes coming home. I really love your music and would love you to do something special. For. Him. And all the soldiers if thats at all possible. My father recently passed away a nd he was a soldier too when he was younger.. Thanks so much for taking time to post on your blog and gor sharing your wonderful talent of music with all of us.

    1. Hey Anitra! I love that idea, and I really love our soldiers! When does he come home? If you can get me the details, I will try to see if I can come up with something. Thanks to both of you for your sacrifice, and I’m really happy for you that he’s home soon.

  4. Pat I love the album and the Christmas album u have always had a great voice don’t forget about us small people when u become rich and famous always remember where u came from I hope I can get to one of ur concerts and introduce a real cowboy to my kids they too listen to ur songs and have become a huge fan of urs

    1. Hey Teena! I’m so glad you like the music, and I really appreciate the kind words. You definitely need to make it out to a show- it would be great to see you and I’d love to meet your kids! Keep an eye out for the next album early next year, and take care. Thanks again!

  5. Hi Pat,

    Thank you for sending the “Pat Swenson Free Music.” I was so intrigued by your songs so, I tried to listen to your other music on youtube such as Where I Belong, Don’t Come to Home Tonight, Where I Belong, and much more.I love them!!!

    When you said that you were on “cloud nine” when you met and chatted with Garth Brooks, I had the same exact feeling when you responded to my Direct Message on Twitter. I was indeed on “cloud night” and that was very sweet of you. I hope that you will never ever change when you become more famous that you are now and earning tons of money and perhaps making movies, right?

    Take care and I hope that you are going to create more music that will touch our hearts and make us a better person. You are absolutely and totally wonderful!!! Don’t let the fame and fortune change you. You are incredibly talented!!!

    1. Well thank you Cristy! I really appreciate the support and kind words, and I am SO GLAD you like the songs! Stay tuned…I personally think the songs coming soon on the next album are the best I’ve ever written… 😉

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