Gretchen Wilson

Do you have a favorite place to perform or watch a performance in St. Louis?
I was in cover bands, so I played a lot of places. One of my favorites was Pop’s – the band played from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., so the first couple of hours you’re drinking coffee and breaking in. Pop’s would really start rocking after all the other clubs closed down.

Baywolfe was a rock band, so we would all have big hair for rock ‘n’ roll nights, but we doubled as a country band – Midnight Flyer – so we’d put on our bolo ties and cowboy boots for country nights.

How was your music affected by St. Louis?
St. Louis had a massive influence on what I write and what I listen to. Basically everything that soaked into me early on came from listening to live music. I listened to a lot of music in honky tonks too, but I would go to concerts on the riverfront and shows at Riverport (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater). Looking back, I wish I’d known more about St. Louis’ blues scene when I was there.

What were some of your favorite places to go when you lived in St. Louis?
Old Spaghetti Factory – I loved to eat there – and any time I had friends in town I’d make sure we went over to the Arch. St. Louis’ zoo is amazing – it’s the best in the country. I’ve been to the San Diego Zoo and it doesn’t even hold a candle to St. Louis’. A Cardinals baseball game is a definite must-see – I went all the time with my grandpa.

Whitey Herzog, Tommy Herr, Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee and Ozzie – those guys were superstars to me. They probably had a bigger influence on my career than anyone would ever know. They were the epitome of celebrity and a lot of my “wishful thinking” was probably brought on by the baseball guys. I’m always rooting for the Cardinals.