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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Encore: Interview with Kid Rock

Aired July 6, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KID ROCK, ROCK STAR: When they first told me I was going to be interviewed by Piers Morgan, I was like, man. Who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is Piers Morgan?

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Kid Rock is the quintessential all-American rock star. This guy by his own admission has taken every drug known to man. He's slept with most of America. And he's fought everybody that gets in his way.

As he turns 40, there's another side to Kid Rock which I find equally compelling and which I hope to unravel for you tonight.

This guy as a human being is as fascinating as he is as a rock star.

KID ROCK: Morgan --

MORGAN: Mr. Rock. After you.

So what do I call you? Are you the Kid? Are you Bob? Are you Mr. Rock?

KID ROCK: It doesn't really matter to me. My good friends call me Bobby. My stage name is Kid Rock, as you know. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

MORGAN: So you've just turned 40. I mean is there a point where you'd have to change your name from Kid?

KID ROCK: And if I had 100 bucks every time somebody asked that.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: No, not at all.

MORGAN: You're like -- I mean I get the feeling you quite enjoy being -- not a kid, but, you know, you enjoy the wild side of life, don't you? You like being a rocker?

KID ROCK: I enjoy to have a good time. I would say that's true.

MORGAN: How wild does it get?

KID ROCK: Probably wilder than I'm willing to discuss right now.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, did you ever keep totals? Do you know how much you've consumed over the years?

KID ROCK: No. I'm not going to be, you know, Will Chamberlain or Gene Simmons or any of those people and try to put numbers on an amount -- how much I drank or women I've been with or anything like that. I've had a good time and I can honestly say that I think everybody around me has had a good time, too. I don't think anybody has walked away from the party or any time that's been wild, saying, you know, I feel weird or used or, you know, that was just dirty or something was wrong or bad.

It's always been, you know -- it might be dirty fun, but at the same time, it's got an element of clean to it.

MORGAN: But you're livid about it. You're sort of unashamedly a rocker, aren't you? You're proud of it. You like it. You like behaving bad. It's what rock stars do, isn't it?

KID ROCK: I like who I am. You know, I guess there's enough information out there to support that I'm a crazy, wild dude and rock and roll and this, that and the other. And there's enough information to support that, you know, I'm a single father, that, you know, has been a pretty standup guy in his community and pretty private about that stuff. But it's on both sides. I'll take it off.

MORGAN: Is there anything you regret?

KID ROCK: No.

MORGAN: You'd say nothing?

KID ROCK: Nothing.

MORGAN: That's quite a statement.

KID ROCK: I'm -- you know, I'm not -- I'm not into losing. So I would never pick a battle that I'm not going to win, whether it's, you know, older in life or having regrets or anything else.

MORGAN: But do you --

(CROSSTALK)

KID ROCK: So I'm going to find the good in it all.

MORGAN: How do you feel about being 40?

KID ROCK: Great.

MORGAN: Do you like it or is part of you like --

KID ROCK: I love it.

MORGAN: Why? KID ROCK: Because I can't fight it. And I'm not going to lose. So I'm going to embrace every day, every year, every age, whenever it comes, you know, of -- I can look back at everything and -- and find some great, great things in all that, find some learning experiences and I'm looking forward to -- to, I guess, the next however many the Good Lord above grants me.

MORGAN: How long do you think you can rock? At what point does it become embarrassing?

KID ROCK: Well, I think I'll be able to rock for a while. You know, if you want to talk about the head banging and, you know, jumping around on stage, I'm sure at some point, my body is not going to agree with what my mind wants to do. And I'm ready for that. I've always said that, you know, I'm trying to figure out how to grow old gracefully.

MORGAN: "Vanity Fair" just came out. It had Justin Bieber as the cover.

KID ROCK: What's it?

MORGAN: "Vanity Fair" magazine.

KID ROCK: Oh, "Vanity Fair."

MORGAN: "Vanity Fair."

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: And it had Justin Bieber --

KID ROCK: I was going to say, what you'd call me?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: No, it wasn't insulting. You know, trust me. I've read the stories.

KID ROCK: Right.

MORGAN: But "Vanity Fair" came out and it had Justin Bieber as its cover. And they're sort of building him up as the kind of new face of music. What do you feel about that?

KID ROCK: There's always a Justin Bieber. Ever since I've been around, there's always been one of him. You know, you can trace it back from how old you are and the boy bands that came along then and the teen sensations and whatnot. And, you know, good for them. There's a few of them that make it out and a few of them that don't.

There's a funny story, though. I just met that kid at the American Music Awards not too long ago. He came up to me and said, hey, "Kid Rock, what's up?" I was like, "Hey, Justin Bieber, what's up, buddy?" He said, "Man, I've got your old tour bus." I was like, "Really? Hope you had it sanitized." (LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: I don't know if he quite understood what I was talking about, but --

MORGAN: What did he say?

KID ROCK: He just kind of chuckled then. He was a nice enough kid.

MORGAN: Do you think there's room for everyone in music?

KID ROCK: Yes, sure there is. You know, the thing I wish with music is that there's room for everyone, but it comes to a ploy with everything in life where people take advantage of situations. And with people like in his realm, whatever you want to call it, you know, you wish -- and I -- what I've heard the kid's kind of talented, I don't know, I can't confirm it because I've never paid attention that hard.

But if somebody is talented in the work, and I think that's great because it influences other kids, you know, what's good in music and to keep, you know, digging into things that are good in life and not just something that's marketable.

You know, I would say if it looks good, you'll see it. If it sounds good, you'll hear it. If it's marketed right, you'll buy it. But if it's real, you'll feel it. I think that's the most important thing. And I just want to make sure kids are getting some of that feeling so they can kind of make, you know, good choices in everything in life.

MORGAN: What do you think -- we're in -- we're in the era of brands now in all aspects of entertainment.

KID ROCK: You're telling me.

MORGAN: Yes. But you are a pretty strong brand. But it's a brand that relies, you know, on you continuing to be Kid Rock in all its guises.

KID ROCK: Well, it's a brand that relies on, you know, doing what I say and saying what I mean. And the brand is right here. It's in my heart. When I endorse a product like Jim Bean, that's because I've been singing about Jim Bean before they even approached me. You know, when I make beer, it's because I know about beer. I like beer.

MORGAN: How would you describe your brand? What is it?

KID ROCK: It's honest. It's real.

MORGAN: And do you believe you are -- well, I mean, no, no, no. It's a -- it's a statement to say your brand is honesty, isn't it? Are you completely honest? Have you ever been dishonest?

KID ROCK: Well, I'm sure I've been dishonest at times. But, you know, that might be for a -- for a -- for a reason of somebody may be going to be real hurt about something that's just unnecessary. But I'd say for the most part, yes, I'm 100 percent honest.

MORGAN: What else do you stand for, do you think?

KID ROCK: Jeez, where do you want to start?

MORGAN: Wherever you want to start.

KID ROCK: I stand for being proud of who you are, your heritage, where you come from, the country and just things you believe in, and everyday goodness of life. And all those things don't have to be, you know, white and black, there can be a middle ground somewhere, you know? I think that's where I lie on most things, just in the middle -- right down the middle.

MORGAN: I mean you are a fighter in all senses.

KID ROCK: I stand up for what I believe in.

MORGAN: And you're not afraid to defend yourself, if need be.

KID ROCK: I get a little nervous, I get a little scared, like everybody. But when push comes to shove, no, I'm -- I'm trying to -- you know, I have completed anger management twice.

MORGAN: Really?

KID ROCK: With flying colors.

MORGAN: And what are they like, those courses? I've always wondered.

KID ROCK: Well, you know, the funny that -- was the first time I went and Lady Miss. Nadra (ph) in Detroit that I went and talked with, very nice older black woman. And she had been through a lot, told me her story. And we were talking. And we filled out a little questionnaire and she was like, "Baby," she's like, "You just don't strike me as somebody who's angry."

And I said, "Well, Miss Nadra, I think -- I think there's been a -- there's been a mix-up with the sentencing from the judge," I go. "Rather than, you know, anger management, I think I should have been sentenced to AA."

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: Because I definitely have a drinking problem. I said I don't know about an anger problem. But you know, whenever the drinking is going on real strong, that seems to be when the problems occur.

MORGAN: Are you -- are you only ever violent when you've been drinking?

KID ROCK: I mean I'd say that's been the stupid stuff, you know, the fights in Waffle Houses and the, you know, different things like that. But, you know, if it's something I believe in, if I'm, you know, standing up for a family member or somebody that maybe can't defend themselves over something that's just plain wrong, you know, then, no --

MORGAN: But you're -- you're sober now, right? What would it take for me to push you over the edge? Would you -- could I actually be in fear of a right hook?

KID ROCK: No. No. Not at all.

MORGAN: So you can control it when you're in this environment?

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: But if we were in a bar --

KID ROCK: This is a pretty safe environment, by the way.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: That's it, right? (INAUDIBLE).

KID ROCK: Well, we have the -- the Ritz Carlton with bright lights and cameras.

MORGAN: But wait --

KID ROCK: Don't feel that threatened.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: When does the red Mitzvah descend for you, do you think? When do you feel it descending?

KID ROCK: I don't know. It's just -- you know, I guess I'm a little bit too self-righteous at times and there's certain things I believe, you know. Sometimes I've gotten into trouble for defending friends over dumb things or defending a woman's honor, this, that and the other.

Things I do believe in and I think are right, but at the time -- now when I look back I know they could have been handled a different way.

MORGAN: But you don't regret smacking Tommy Lee, do you?

KID ROCK: No.

MORGAN: He deserved it?

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: Waffle House guy, does he deserve what came his way?

KID ROCK: Absolutely. MORGAN: You don't actually regret those things, even though you've got angry and got violent, you think it is justified?

KID ROCK: Could we rewind the tape to no regrets?

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: No, I -- you know, I felt they were justified, yes. I mean I went to court for several of those things and sat -- you know I could have, you know, paid somebody off 20 or 50 grand, whatever it is. And I sat in court and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars just to defend, again, what I think is right, you know, to go after these scum sucking attorneys, you know, these ambulance chasers who are out there, you know, that see me as pay day. And I'd rather just spend the money and stand up for what I believe in.

MORGAN: Coming up later --

I would argue that Pamela Anderson changed your life. Massively for the better.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: There is a contradiction with you which I find fascinating. On the one hand, you're this wild rocker, not afraid to defend himself with his fists, if need be. You've admitted that you --

KID ROCK: I'm not that violent.

MORGAN: I'm not saying you are. But you -- you seem you maybe have a bit of a drinking problem. In sort of the classic kind of signs of a big rock star. And yet there's this whole different side to you which I find fascinating, that when you go home from these wild tours and you shut the door, you're this extraordinary character who is a single parent.

You've brought up this boy that you have custody of. He's turned out to be a delightful young man. You are a sort of standard bearer for Detroit. You know, you fought the -- the fight for them, in many ways. And you have this great integrity value in both those things, which is -- can be in complete contrast to the way that you are, perhaps, on stage.

KID ROCK: Well, I don't know about on stage. I think it's, you know, the off-stage antics that get captured by the cameras and I don't really run from them. I'm pretty whatever. I'm not going to let a camera ruin my -- you know, rain on my parade. So that's a lot of what people see. That's the information that's out there.

You know, my home life has always been pretty private and probably until the last year, when I've done -- let a few people into my house and kind of see -- you know, after watching so many programs and so many people who are kind of, I guess, grouped into my stereotypical category, say, no, it's -- there's another way to do it. And I think I've been doing it that way and doing it pretty well. So I've kind of let people in now that my son is older. And I know he's a man now and equipped with the tools to deal with it so --

MORGAN: How old is he now?

KID ROCK: Seventeen.

MORGAN: He's 17? I've got a 17-year-old son. So they're not the easiest when they get to that age. But you've done an extraordinary job with him. I mean you brought this boy up.

KID ROCK: Well, I've got to, you know, stop you there and say, you know, yes, he's my son and I -- and I -- and I have, I believe, done a lot of the right things and mainly I think the biggest thing I've done is realize the old saying that, you know, it takes a village to raise a child.

And I've had great family, great godparents. I mean everybody around me is family and I live in a very small town in Northern Michigan, where there's no sunshine for four or five months out of the year, there's no pretty girls running around in bikinis or any of that stuff, you know, no palm trees.

And look at -- you know, I've wondered several times while I'm living there, like how am I doing? I'm like, you know, I could be up in the hills in Hollywood or anywhere I want in the world and I've worked hard and save some money. And now I look back on it, I'm like, no, I did the right thing because I look at my son and I've realized that a lot of that community that he's from -- that's the only place that really matters to me of what people think of me, is my community and where I live.

That matters to me, what people think of me there. Other than that, I can't, you know, go after and try to, you know, convince people that I'm this or that all around the world. I don't have the time or the energy. There's too much fun to have in life. But where I live, it's important.

MORGAN: How do you think your relationship with your son has been dictated by the relationship you had with your father? How have you been different as a father, do you think?

KID ROCK: Well, I never really paddled him that much.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, that's interesting. I mean you've never smacked your son?

KID ROCK: No, he got a -- he got a few. He got a few on the hand when he was young. I'd snap the belt a few times. But --

MORGAN: Nothing -- nothing like you got?

KID ROCK: No. I think, actually, his grandfather was the one that actually got him when he got older a little -- a little bit hard, the one that got me. But, you know, looking back on it, too, it's one of those things where it's just different times.

You know, my mother used to send me to school with a note pinned on me in grade school that said you have permission to spank Bobby if he gets out of line.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Really?

KID ROCK: Yes. Those times just -- you know, I guess -- I guess I'm getting old now, telling these stories.

MORGAN: But what kind of dad do you think you've been?

KID ROCK: I think I've been a good dad. And I'm positive he'd tell you the same. As proud as I am of him, I think he's as proud of me. And we're not friends, as good a -- as good a buddies, as well, we're not friends. I'm his father, still. And I've always tried to make that clear line in there.

That as easy as it would have been for me, at times, when someone else has to discipline him when I'm on the road, whether it's grandma or his aunt, his godparents, the cleaning lady, whoever. But I've always been the one to step in, you know, and lay the finger down and let him know, you know, I'm your father and, you know, this is -- this is the law of the land right here under this roof. But at the same time, you know, we are very close.

MORGAN: What do you think the law of the land should be for your son?

KID ROCK: Show respect to the people around you, especially have a little respect for as much as I'm gone -- and I've tried to adjust my schedule to be home. That's just not the way it is. And try to -- and try to think about some things, too, about how fortunate we are to have the things we have. And while there's other people that are gone from their homes, i.e. military members, people in business that travel a lot, that's just the way it is for a lot of kids.

And you know, and when there's a few times in his life that, you know, oh, this stinks, you know, you're famous and I've got to read about your antics in the paper and get teased at school, I'm like, that's a pretty nice bed you've got upstairs, you know what I mean?

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: This is a pretty nice car we drive to school every day, like calm down.

MORGAN: If he started taking drugs or stuff, would you be censorious about that?

KID ROCK: Well, you know, he actually attended Malibu High School for like one month. And it was a total culture shock to him. And I picked him up the first day of school, you know, small town, rural Michigan, Malibu High School.

I picked him up the first day of school and he said -- I said, "How was school today?" He's like, he started to get that huff and puff. He said, "It sucked." He said, "All these kids here do is ride skateboards and do drugs."

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: And I looked at him and said, "Hey, stay off them skateboards."

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: When we come back --

KID ROCK: I wish I could have had a conversation with, like, LeBron James. You know just to say, like -- you know, what don't you understand about winning?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KID ROCK: Just got get cleaned up. You know, they've got to bring -- I mean, you just -- always need an angel.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I want to talk to you about Detroit, because, obviously, this is your heartland. It's become musically, and I think spiritually for you, rather like New Jersey for Bruce Springsteen, that important. Why is it so important to you? What does it mean to you?

KID ROCK: It's where I'm from. It's where my family is, it's where my roots are. I don't know how to say it any more than that. You know, I'm very proud of where I come from and at every level. I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's really the heart of it.

MORGAN: When you sing about Detroit, what's going through your mind?

KID ROCK: You know --

MORGAN: You sing with great passion and eloquence about it.

KID ROCK: You know, everything I've done in my career has started in and around Detroit, you know, the metro area and Michigan. And, you know, I always say, this is my house, but it was built by a lot of hands. And a lot of those hands were right there from day one.

Anything I've done -- the first records I sold, the first time I started to sell, you know, an -- an arena out, it was all there, a stadium was right there. You know, any company that I've started and, you know, and I've had a lot of friends on both sides, of the suburbs and the city. And, you know, it's always seemed like the politicians were the ones that were at each other's throats. You know, and the black politicians are like, oh, the rich suburbs are messing everything up and the rich suburbs are like, oh, we don't want this ghetto mentality out in our suburbs and this, that and the other thing.

And there was always, you know, me growing up, it wasn't like that with the people and the kids my age. So, you know, once I started to get successful, I saw an opportunity just to try to help people out. I always believe in helping your neighbor first. I understand -- and there's opportunities that come up all over the world that I try to help out on, but that's just writing a check.

MORGAN: Yes, but I -- it's actually more than that, because I've checked out a few of these things. You've read about a pizza delivery boy in Ohio who had been robbed of $15 and when you heard that he lived with his mum and was trying to work his way through college, you paid for that for a year.

That's not just handing out a check. I mean that's taking a vested interest in that boy's future.

Another story in Florida, you had a guy -- his American flag kept being stolen from his porch. And you read about this, so you bought him a 30-foot tent pole.

You know, I love these kind of stories because they are different to the average rock star. People don't do that.

KID ROCK: Well, I mean it's also, I look at that as the community that I'm in at the time. I go into these markets and I take out dollars. People spend their hard-earned money to come see me, so it just dawned on me years back and it's something I just kind of did anonymously. And I have -- I have -- I conflict about that.

And I believe if we talk about it now, that might inspire people to do good things. But at the same time, I don't like to put it on a flag and wave it around. But since you brought it up, it's -- you know, it's sort of like I'm taking dollars out of these markets and I read the paper.

And I'm just like, is there something in this paper, some little story that I can just help somebody out?

MORGAN: How often do you do that?

KID ROCK: As often as I can. Believe it or not, there's some cities you go to sometimes and there's no bad story like that. You know, there's not an opportunity to touch somebody directly. You know, there's always a national story, something that's bad, this, that and the other, something going on in the world. But I mean right there in that community, there's -- not always. But I do it as often as I can.

I mean it's kind of fun. As tragic as it sounds, it's kind of fun, you know, to do something good for somebody when you're able to. It's just --

MORGAN: Detroit, obviously, is the center of the car industry and has been decimated through the recession. And you've seen that up first hand when you've gone back.

How bad has it been, do you think, in reality, in Detroit? And where is it now?

KID ROCK: Well, I mean, when it really started hitting -- you know, Detroit has been devastated for a lot of years and it's been going that way. When you just look at the population decrease since -- basically, since the '67 riots, you know, losing over a million people since then. You know, it's just absolutely devastated the city at every level.

And then when it started to creep to the suburbs with the auto industry and now it's hitting the white collars. And you've seen all the foreclosures of your friend's homes and they're scared to even say anything to you and probably embarrassed, I guess. And you look at the foreclosure sign go off and then they're gone and, you know, you can't take the kids here and this, that and the other.

Nowadays I see the people in Detroit are very -- they're like a lot of cities, but they're very proud to be from there and they really want to see change and they really want to see good things happen.

MORGAN: You prefer being quite a big fish in a small pond relatively like Detroit.

KID ROCK: Sure.

MORGAN: Than being just one of a cast of thousands like here in L.A., for example.

KID ROCK: Yes, I mean I get treated -- I mean I get treated beyond belief there. And I mean I give a lot of love to where I'm from and they give me a lot of love back. And there's nothing on earth -- you know, I wish I could have had a conversation with like LeBron -- LeBron James, who I consider, you know, an acquaintance. I've met him several times. I'd say he's a friend.

You know, just to say like, you know, what don't you understand about winning? You've already won. You're from Akron, you know what I mean? You play for Cleveland. Just by saying I'm going to stay in my hometown and support my community, you could go anywhere in the world you want. Take your private jet, go anywhere, but you are literally a king there.

And that's how I feel in Detroit. And no one could ever take that from me. That love -- that's nothing like being loved in your life.

MORGAN: You couldn't do a LeBron and -- and switch allegiance to another city?

KID ROCK: Never. MORGAN: You can't be bought, can you?

KID ROCK: No. That's why I try to make a lot of money. For one thing I'm most proud f is I've never made an un-honest dollar off a working man's back ever. And I can hold my head up and walk anywhere in the world knowing that.

I don't have to drive around in a tinted down Rolls-Royce and get out and run into hotels and hide from people. You know, I'm very proud of that. But I do want to make a lot of money. I want to make it honestly, but I want to make a lot because that kind of sets you free, in a weird way, when you can tell somebody --

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: You know, when they come at us with this, that and the other, we're going to pay you this. I'm like well, well, you're not treating people right. You know, I've walked away from shows where they're not treating the crew people right and they're not -- they don't have dressing rooms for the girls and just some water and stuff like this.

And they think, you know, you ought to be privileged to be on their show. I'm like, go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself, I'm going home. Have a fun show.

MORGAN: And money brings you that power, doesn't it?

KID ROCK: It kind of does, yes.

MORGAN: Do you ever feel guilty about the money that you have when you go back to Detroit and you see so many people jobless and having no money? Do you feel guilty? Or do you feel you put enough back into that city?

KID ROCK: No, it's a weird thing. Sometimes it is a weird thing to have so much and see other people with so little. And then, you know, you try to figure out, well, how can I divvy it up between the people I love but don't -- and just -- it comes to this point where like you can't -- you've got to give people the tools.

Like I have this policy, I won't loan people money anymore. But I've had several friends who they're like, I thought, you know, I'm an electrician. I'm like why don't you learn how to become a master electrician? What do you need to do that? I'll pay for it.

MORGAN: What's the most extravagant thing you've ever bought?

KID ROCK: I think a -- an original 1930 Cadillac.

MORGAN: How much was that?

KID ROCK: It was just under a half a million dollars.

MORGAN: Have you --

KID ROCK: But I mean -- but also it's a piece of not only American history, it's a piece of Detroit history.

MORGAN: And your dad used to make American cars. So --

KID ROCK: Yes, he worked in the steel mills and, you know, I have plenty of family members on the line. My dad sold cars, you know, built his own dealership from scratch, put himself through school and everything else. And it's just -- it's -- it's not only an investment, by the way, it's not going to lose money, but it's something that, you know, is really a piece of American and Detroit history.

We can sit and crack beers and smoke cigars and just go, look at this ingenuity on this thing, the first V16 ever built. You know, and it really inspires me.

MORGAN: Coming up, Kid Rock, the all-American patriot.

KID ROCK: We're on a plane with human remains and there's an American flag draped over a casket that you're flying with. You know, really sparks up some things. Really makes you think.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very enthusiastic. It makes you realize that people -- famous people like Kid Rock really care about, you know, ordinary soldiers.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: You are, obviously, a very well known patriot. You fly a lot to Afghanistan and Iraq to play for the troops.

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: It means a lot to you, though.

Are you a traditional Republican?

KID ROCK: No.

MORGAN: You're -- you seem sort of complicated politically. You're not either one or the other, really.

KID ROCK: No. I think I --

MORGAN: You're more for your country than you are for a party?

KID ROCK: I think I'm -- I'm -- I think I'm like the majority of people who are tired of the -- wouldn't want a bunch of bible thumpers running the country and we don't want a bunch of pot smoking hippies running it. You know, there's a mid -- there's a middle ground there.

I think that most of us around the world are. So I'm like, hey, chill out, man. Let's just try to, you know, figure this out and give people the opportunities and the tools to -- what we say, live the American dream.

And I know there are some things wrong on both sides. Now, I would sway, belief-wise, more Republican and less government and -- and creating opportunity. You know, if you had to strictly say one of those, yes, I would sway a little bit more that way. But then I would sway left on, you know, other issues.

MORGAN: Do you -- do you think the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been just wars?

KID ROCK: You know, that's tough to say, because, you know, it's -- when you get into politics, I know -- I know this much, I don't study political science and I didn't do that well in school.

MORGAN: But forget the politics.

I mean are we -- are we winning these wars, from what you've seen on the ground?

KID ROCK: Well, we -- we need to have a presence there. You know, it's kind of like somebody -- somebody keeping an eye on the bully around town. If you let him free, you know, he's going to work up a scheme and a scam and he's going to get you.

And I think we need to be over there spy -- I think we need to be doing a lot of things that we don't need to know about, you know, things that people don't need to see. They just need to pay their taxes and understand they live in, you know, if you live --

If you're born free somewhere, you know, not to rev -- well, whatever -- born free somewhere, that's such a great thing by the grace of God just to be born free. And there are reasons why you are free. You pay your taxes and people go out and do things to protect you, to make sure you can sleep at night, you know, and not have to worry about, you know, a plane flying over and dropping bombs and terrorist attacks, you know, every other day and this, that and the other.

So I think it's a necessary evil and there's -- I don't know if we're doing it exactly right, because I don't know everything about it, even though I've been there several times. My thing is go to entertain the troops.

I've had conversations with them. And the majority of the guys tell me they -- they believe in their country and they're very patriotic. That's why they're there.

MORGAN: That's not quite the same as believing that these wars are just, is it?

You can support the troops. I mean my brother has just done a tour of Afghanistan.

KID ROCK: Well, yes, when --

MORGAN: And it's difficult, I think, if you look at it, you know, are we winning, do you think, from what you've seen there?

KID ROCK: When you're on a plane with human remains and there's an American flag draped over a casket you're flying with, you know, it really sparks up some things and really makes you think. And at that point, no. At that point, you say no, this isn't worth it at all.

And then, you know, you start to analyze it and look through history, and there's a lot of people -- a lot more people that have died to not only make our country free, but to make a lot of countries free around the world, to help out a lot of countries, to do a lot of good things.

So, you know, war is never a good thing. But I do think it's necessary.

MORGAN: When you travel around Europe and Asia and other countries outside of America -- not many Americans do, you know. Still, when you do, what do you think the perception of your country is?

KID ROCK: Misunderstood. You know, we -- we took a lot of -- a lot of flak -- and maybe some of it just -- for the Iraq War, and, you know, a lot of the things that Bush did. And I wasn't in Bush's shoes, you know, so I don't know what that was like. And -- and they kind of look down. But I think they forget, you know.

And that's what kind of, sometimes, gets me a little angry is people forget like the first time there's a natural disaster anywhere in the world, who's the first people to send money? And those are our tax dollars.

When a tragedy happens somewhere or somebody invades another country, who goes first? Those are our guys and girls who go in there and die. And it's been for a lot of lot of years.

And, you know, it's nice, you know, when you go to Kuwait, for instance, you go to Kuwait and those people are -- when you're American, they're like thank you, thank you. You know, in -- in one sense, you know, the United States, we did save their country from being attacked and overtaken by Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad man and he needed to be taken out.

Now I believe we probably could have taken him out a little bit better than, you know, devastating his country and going in and doing what we did.

But what do I know? I sing rock and roll songs. That's just my beliefs. And usually I share these beliefs just through family and friends, not with you and the whole world.

MORGAN: Well, I find it very interesting, because you -- you're not a stereotypical Republican or Democrat. You -- you're coming at it more from the position of being an American.

And what -- what does being an American mean to you?

KID ROCK: I think the freedom to do whatever you want, you know, with -- without taking advantage. The problem in America, I think, all over the world, has become people take advantage of things, you know what I mean?

But to be American, to me, means to have the freedom to choose to be who you want to be and to have a shot at that American dream, which is whatever that wanted to be, whether it's getting a good job or raising a family, getting a piece of land, you know, just -- just you free, just the ultimate sense of being free, more free than anywhere else in the world.

MORGAN: And do you feel that the American dream is still what it used to be?

KID ROCK: I don't know, sometimes I shake a finger at those Baby Boomers. You know, I wonder if they did some damage there. I mean I've talked to my dad about this and several -- several people.

I think the dream is still there. I think it's a little more difficult nowadays. But I also think there's plenty of new opportunities being created with the Internet and all this other technology things that -- that are coming out.

I think it's always going to be there, as long as, you know, every once in a while, you know, when you're driving fast, you're going to stray off the course a little bit. Jerk the wheel and get back on it.

And I -- I think we're just jerking the wheel right now and trying to get back on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN (voice-over): Next is the question that I just had to ask.

(on camera): So you've declared several times in this interview that you have no regrets. I'd like to offer one suggestion -- your marriage to Pamela Anderson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: So you've declared several times in this interview that you have no regrets. I'd like to offer one suggestion -- your marriage to Pamela Anderson.

KID ROCK: I don't regret that.

MORGAN: Really? KID ROCK: No.

MORGAN: But wasn't that like this crazy --

KID ROCK: It was a blast.

MORGAN: Was it a blast?

KID ROCK: What do you mean, was it a blast?

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: What, do you live in a cave?

MORGAN: I've -- I have actually interviewed --

KID ROCK: I -- I was -- I'm not going to get into the -- the discussions of her have been covered throughout the years and it's over. But I will tell you this one if you haven't heard me say it yet. You know, getting married is some of the most fun I've ever had in my life. I mean I don't know a time that I've had more fun than getting mar -- we loved it so much, we got married like four or five times. It was that much fun.

Now, on the flip side, being married sucks.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, being married to Pamela Anderson probably sucks.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Because she's a crazy, crazy chick, right?

KID ROCK: I'm not going to get into it. I'm not going to get it. I mean I've -- I've discussed it. It was part of my life. I moved on. You know, it's done.

MORGAN: I mean, still, I would argue --

KID ROCK: But -- but I don't know, you know, I don't knock you for taking a shot. You're not the first one to have asked.

MORGAN: Well, I know you -- you hate talking about it. But you see, here's what I can't --

KID ROCK: I don't hate talking about it, I've just covered it.

MORGAN: I get it I get it. But here's what I don't think you have covered, which is that I would argue that Pamela Anderson changed your life massively for the better in the sense that you learned a lot about yourself in that period, that crazy period. And I think from your own admission, you came out a different guy, a better guy.

KID ROCK: Well, who are you going to argue about that with?

MORGAN: You.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Am I right?

KID ROCK: I'm not taking the bait.

MORGAN: Yes, but am I right, do you think?

You can't even say that?

Come on.

KID ROCK: I can't even say that.

MORGAN: You learned lessons, didn't you?

KID ROCK: I've learned lessons all through life.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: I've taught a couple, too.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Does it put you off marriage?

KID ROCK: What's that?

MORGAN: Would you get married again?

KID ROCK: Now, would I get married again? Right now, I'd say no. But I've learned to never say no.

MORGAN: Is there anyone special in your life?

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: Do you care to elaborate?

KID ROCK: No.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: All right, when do you -- when --

KID ROCK: But, you know -- you know what happens with that is you, you know, you put the -- you put these people out to somebody you're with and you declare your love for them and everything and then the press gets interested and -- and sometimes it destroys somebody else's life.

What if that doesn't work out for that other person, I've learned, you know what I mean? And this is somebody who's not a celebrity, this, that and the other, you know, it can really -- it can really be a tough thing to deal with, you know, for somebody else. So I'm thinking of somebody else, you know, not being -- trying not to be so selfish and saying, you know what, and trying to talk like it's better in the end.

You know, whatever is going to be is going to be. And if for some reason, you know, things go one way or the other, at least you're protected.

MORGAN: You like women. You've always liked women.

I mean, you love women, right?

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: I've had no problem with women.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Could you imagine genuinely settling down with one woman for the rest of your life?

Do you think that's in your makeup?

KID ROCK: Yes, I think that's always been in my makeup. But it hasn't always been, you know, the opportunity that's afforded me that.

MORGAN: Yes, but isn't it more the temptation when you're on the road --

KID ROCK: Of course. Chris --

MORGAN: -- I mean it's just outrageous, isn't it?

KID ROCK: Chris Rock said that years ago in his comedy vignettes. It's fricking so true. You know, you're only as faithful as your options.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: How many options do you get in an average tour?

KID ROCK: Have you ever been to Baskin Robbins?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: And do you like that and do you still get the same buzz out of it you do when you --

KID ROCK: That is -- it was a lot of fun when I was, you know, I was not the prettiest kid. I mean look at me. This is --

MORGAN: No, I mean you got lucky?

KID ROCK: Just totally. I mean, do you know how -- I wanted to pick up a guitar and play rock and roll so I could, you know, get a new car and a hot girl. I never expected all that other stuff to be happening and to be, you know, involved with charities and playing with the troops and touching people's lives and everything else.

It's been -- you know, hanging out in the White House, this, that and the other, just mind-blowing events like not at all. But that's pretty cool.

MORGAN: Has it -- has it been all you hoped it would be?

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: And do you like being famous?

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: What are the -- what are the best things about fame, do you think?

KID ROCK: The best things about fame?

Well, the money don't suck. Let's start there.

MORGAN: How much have you made?

KID ROCK: A lot.

MORGAN: Do you know how much you make?

KID ROCK: None of your business. I'd care for you to stay out of my personal affairs.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: You're getting quite good at that.

KID ROCK: I've done well. My sister just got a call, she just told me the other day we -- we got -- we got a new accountant and she was like, they called and we were like, we had no idea.

MORGAN: How rich you are?

KID ROCK: I -- I guess you could say that. But I don't know. At the same time, I don't really compare notes with anybody. You know, I just --

MORGAN: Yes, but what do you casually --

KID ROCK: I don't -- I don't live very lavish either. I live -- I live in Detroit, Michigan. I have, you know, a home in Malibu and a -- a small place in Nashville. But, you know, I live pretty modestly. I -- I've always said to my band and to people around me that I care about that -- that work for me or whatever, live under your means.

I mean and enjoy the little things in life and you don't have to get up and go to work every damn daily nine to five grind. You can afford to put as much gas in one of those two cars you've got, you know, sitting out there and this, that and the other and really enjoy those little things, because think back to when those little things were, you know, like climbing mountains in your mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN (voice-over): When we return, Kid Rock on his big beef with Steven Tyler.

(on camera): Why did you think that he sold out by doing "Idol?"

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: The album "Born Free" is ripping up the charts.

Tell me about it.

KID ROCK: Oh, it's a record produced by a great friend of mine, Rick Rubin, who's done a lot of good records. It's probably the most honest record I've done in terms of songwriting, with great musicians taking it back to what -- what the records I loved to listen to as I grew up, just honest guys in a room, great players with no click tracks, no trickery, no wizardry, just in there making honest music.

And it's the best I could do.

MORGAN: Is it the best you've done, do you think?

KID ROCK: I think so, yes.

MORGAN: Are you an emotional guy?

KID ROCK: Not really.

MORGAN: When was the last time you cried?

KID ROCK: When I found out my dad had a heart attack.

MORGAN: You -- obviously, at the time, you were riding high. Everything was going great and then you get hit by this sort of hammer blow.

What -- what does that tell you when that sort of thing happens to you in life?

KID ROCK: Whether you care about somebody, you care about your family deeply.

It brings you back to the same thing that I've always believed, and what's really important in life?

I don't think I've ever really had a gray area there. I've always, you know, been thankful that -- that I learned at a young age what really is important in life and that is your family and friends. There's no question.

MORGAN: If you look back over your life and career, what would be the moment that you would replay again?

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be the one thing you'd like to relive?

KID ROCK: Jeez, I don't know. It might be -- it might be something as simple as walking my son to school and seeing him in his little Carhartt like snowsuit, you know, all bundled up with the hat, you know, and like marching down to class with, you know, me just starting to get famous and people kind of knowing who I am.

And then coming home after school. We lived in this very small house. And turning on MTV to see what number my video was. You know, I would be like, we're going to get new house soon, you know?

Stuff like that. Probably moments with him that we, you know, just shared together. No, because he's kind of seen it all unfold even though it was kind of, you know, he was probably five or six, seven years old when I started to really kind of gain some money and success and stuff.

He was -- he saw enough down here to -- a lot of the stuff we've experienced together. You know, we've both gone through a lot together.

MORGAN: How important to you is your credibility?

KID ROCK: It depends to who.

MORGAN: Well, it's interesting, when I saw you attacking Steven Tyler, who is a -- I know he's a friend of yours, but you criticized --

KID ROCK: I wasn't attacking Steven Tyler.

MORGAN: No, well, OK. Let's rephrase that. When you were being pretty highly critical of his position --

KID ROCK: Somebody asked me a question, what do you think about Tyler --

(CROSSTALK)

KID ROCK: -- I don't think it's a good move.

MORGAN: You were honest. But -- but when you did that, it seemed to me you were -- you were sort of saying that, you know, this is not the kind of thing a guy like him should do, because he's a -- he's a bona fide rock star, a great performer.

KID ROCK: In my opinion, yes.

MORGAN: He -- he said the fact that you were jealous --

KID ROCK: That was funny. I was a little upset with that actually. I just saw him recently and I was like, that -- that's as good as you could do?

(LAUGHTER) KID ROCK: I'm like, I've, you know, I've followed your career for years. I'm not only a friend, I'm a fan. I was like, I expected so much more out of you.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: I got this (INAUDIBLE) -- no, I -- I'm walking material. All you have to do is Google me. You know, so you can come up with -- you could rip me for days on anything. But --

MORGAN: But what -- why did you think that he sold out by doing "Idol?"

KID ROCK: I didn't say sold out. I said it was -- I thought it was a bad move, because he's one of the most credible rock singers in American history. And I don't agree with the premise of that show. You know, I don't knock the kids who go on and try it and I understand they want to be stars.

But, you know, I'm a believer you've got to get some scars and you've got to get some feel and -- and there's a certain path you've got to take in life with anything you do. You know, before you own the garage, you've got to learn how to sweep the floors. I believe that. I was taught that .

And I think the worst thing in life is -- is -- the biggest curse would be to be famous without any money. And I think that's what that show does to a lot of people. And I don't think he needs to be down there, you know, telling kids if they can sing or not, you know, in teeny bopper land.

You know, it's been said to me, too, and I've said this many times and I'll tell you because it's kind of funny and true, that a buddy of mine gave me some crap about this.

He's like who do you think you are? There's 30 million people a week who watch that show and you're on your high horse saying they can't use your songs and you say it's no good.

I go, well, I go I'm not a mathematician, but the last time I checked, there's 300 million people in America, and I'd like to talk to the 270 million that don't watch that bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Your other big thing is about iTunes. You know, you're one of the very few -- even The Beatles are cracked now. But you stand out now like a shaft of tough gold, while all around is dulling.

Why are you continuing to resist? What's the principal at stake here for you?

KID ROCK: Well, it's very deep and it's very honest and I'm going to be very candid with you. I don't like being told what to do.

(LAUGHTER) MORGAN: That I can believe.

KID ROCK: I will say this, just so there's no -- no misconceptions. I'm not only a fan of Apple products, I have stock in the company. I think Steve Jobs has started one of the greatest American corporations -- one of the greatest corporations in the world in the last 30 years, whatever it's been.

And I appreciate the way he says, you know what, it's my company, you know, sell your music for this amount of money, I'm going to run it the way I -- I like it and if you don't like it, screw off.

I can relate to that. That's exactly how I run my companies.

MORGAN: But here's the irony of your position. Everyone thought you were mad, being obstinate and yet I read a report very recently suggesting that you've made more money staying out of iTunes than you would have done if you got into it.

KID ROCK: I've made the record company a lot more money, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: I made myself a couple extra dollars. But I don't think anybody out there wants their money back that doesn't like the album, you know, front to end. Come on, bring it back.

But, you know, I just don't think that everything costs the same price. I think that's un-American. Everything is not the same price at any level. You know, there's things that hold value and put value on it by money. That's how our system works.

I -- I've said before, I said, well, just tell iTunes this. I'll be on iTunes, but I want to sell one of my songs, say, one of my hit song's "Picture" that I had with Sheryl Crow. I want to sell that for 79 cents and I want to give them two other songs for free.

Now -- now they're really confused.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: So do I do it cheaper?

Sure, why not?

Let me make the deals. Let me figure out the packages I want to sell to my fans. Let's all be creative that way. You know, and, at the end of the day, too, I've said this many times, I believe that if a product is that good, people will buy it. It's not about the convenience of it, that you can just buy it at the click of a button. I mean that hasn't done -- done anything to help the state of music and the quality of music we're listening to at any level.

I believe if they make the greatest lawnmower in the world and the only place you can get is it Toledo, Ohio and it's that great, people will travel to Toledo, Ohio to get that lawnmower. MORGAN: Well, talking about things that you would travel a long way to get, this is a bottle of your Badass Lager. Now I have to warn you, I am a connoisseur of beer, because I just bought a pint in London.

KID ROCK: Fill that up.

MORGAN: Sure, man. Is that your lighter?

KID ROCK: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: So this is the ultimate test for you, because I'm actually -- I just bought a pub in London.

KID ROCK: I'm going to share one with you.

MORGAN: And I know my beer.

KID ROCK: I'm not going to let --

MORGAN: But --

KID ROCK: -- I'm not going to let you drink alone.

KID ROCK: What's your pub called?

MORGAN: The Handsome Pad in Kensington.

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: And we're doing this together.

KID ROCK: Yes.

MORGAN: Kid Rock, thank you.

KID ROCK: Ah, terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

KID ROCK: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

MORGAN: Sorry about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Tomorrow night, the interview that made the White House sit up and take notice, my sit down with Matt Damon.

And on Monday, the man who revolutionized American television, Simon Cowell.

Good, bad -- be Simon the critic. Be Simon the -- SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL": I personally think it is a better show than last year. I genuinely do. I think what they've got is that they -- it feels to me that they've got their energy back, that they're confident. They're competitive.

And I said to everybody on my show -- I said, if you think that I'm not going to be the same as last year, think again. They're going to be working ten times as hard as I would. And I think it's a good show. I can't really fault it.

It's not the show I would make myself, because that's why I moved from the show in the first place. I want to make something different. But for "Idol," as I said, based on last year, I think it's better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Now here's my colleague Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."