The 911 recording of the call between an anguished Kid Rock and a Nashville-area operator was obtained and released legally on April 26, just one day after the very real Robert James Ritchie found the body of his assistant, Michael Sacha, lying dead on the grounds of his Nashville estate.
And like thousands of other people, we listened to that 911 call.
And like thousands of other people, we were personally devastated.
And sometime during that 4-minute recording, we asked ourselves – why are we listening to this? Why are we invading the privacy of a mourning man that just happens to go by the name of Kid Rock? Why would we find some sort of perverted pleasure from listening to something as devastating as this?
What right do we have?
The fact is simple – we do have the right. Every day, we have the right to watch what we want and listen to what we choose. Yet, what sets the country music community apart from the rest of this sterile-feeling world is that when our artists are in pain, we share in that pain. Whether your name is Joey Feek or Merle Haggard or Kid Rock, we mourn right alongside of ‘ya.
In an exquisitely-worded piece on April 27, Nashville Scene’s Betsy Phillips tried to explain this simple fact with the rest of the critical world. And while Kid Rock might not even be considered country and while Kid Rock might claim Michigan as his home and while Kid Rock might never understand why Nashville is standing up for him in one of his most painful moments, we will stand by him.
Because on that 911 call, we fell in love with Robert James Ritchie.
And now and forevermore, he will be one of Nashville’s very own.