INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Kid Rock kicked off his Tour for the Troops with a packed house at Incirlik's Hangar 4.
It was standing-room only as more than 1,000 members of the Incirlik community crammed into the hangar to hear Kid Rock play such hits as "Picture," "All Summer Long" and "Bawitdaba."
Rock, along with The Twisted Brown Trucker Band, comedian Carlos Mencia, singer/songwriter Jessie James and members of the Band of the Air Force Reserve, started the first of many concerts to thank the troops at Incirlik before heading to other locations in Southwest Asia. Incirlik is serving as his "home base," heading down range and coming back following the shows.
"I think this is the least we can do, especially for people like me who enjoy every freedom available to me in the good old USA," said Kid Rock. "I feel very strongly about freedom and the people who protect it and serve for it and do it so unselfishly. It's literally the least I could do."
An avid supporter of the military and repeat performer at various military bases around the world, Rock has typically gone to deployed locations with just his guitar and performed acoustic shows for troops in the field.
This time the Air Force Reserve supported his full show with airlift on a KC-10 tanker/airlift plane.
"The Air Force stepped up to the plate," Rock said. "It made a lot of sense. I was to the point where I said, 'Hey, I'm just going to raise the money myself.' But the Air Force said, 'Hey, we've got the planes. These guys and girls should be getting the best America's got to offer.' It's nice this year to really turn it up and let it fly."
This show is as close to what a typical Kid Rock show would be like in the States.
"It may not have all the big screens and lights, but all I need is my band and our instruments," Rock said. "If I've got that, we can give these guys a big old slice of American rock 'n roll; sprinkled with all the other styles I like to bring. We want to give them a full show, something that will bring everyone to a different place for a couple of hours."
While this is his first performance at Incirlik, Rock is no stranger to Turkey. His friend Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records and son of the first Turkish ambassador to the United States, helped Rock start his own record label. Rock came to Turkey when the senior Ertegun passed away.
"I've always had a fondness for Turkey," Rock said. "I spent some time with Ahmet in Turkey when his father passed away. I came for his funeral and spent time in Bodrum. I've definitely got a place in my heart for Turkey. Coming for this really brings back a lot of those memories."
Following the Southwest Asia part of the tour, he headed to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)
SOURCE: Sgt. Raymond Hoy
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs