It’s with a sad heart that we announce this uneasy news: Brian has decided to retire from the Bottle Rockets. Although he’s in good health, he’s been feeling the passage of time and has lost interest in anything that distracts from or takes him away from home. Unfortunately, this means the Bottle Rockets can’t continue as we know it. This is a difficult and emotional outcome for the band, and we share the sense of loss over this ending, but it can also be framed as an opportunity for new directions.
We appreciate our fans, many who have become dear friends over the years, and we thank you for the wonderful 28-year adventure. It was a thrill and we couldn’t have asked for better people to share it with! We sincerely couldn’t have done it without your loyal support — the music lives on through you.
The Bottle Rockets
A message from Brian Henneman…
Well friends, it’s time. Time to say “so long”. I’m givin’ it up. Packin’ it in. Retiring. I’m done. Been thinkin’ about it this entire time off. I’m more certain of it than anything I’ve ever been certain of before. I’m turning 60 this year. Including my time with Uncle Tupelo, I have been doing this recording/touring thing for 30 years. I don’t consider myself too old to do it anymore, but I do consider myself too old to want to.
Every musician has their own shelf life for doing what they do. Some go on into their 80’s, some quit in their 20’s and never look back. Ol’ Number 60, that’s me. 60 o’clock, that’s quittin’ time for this guy. Kickin’ off my travelin’ shoes and slippin’ on my house shoes. Home is where my passion lies these days. That excites me now the way the band used to.
I have no problem at all with the band. That’s not why I’m leaving. It’s all about where I’m at on the walk of life. I no longer want to travel, don’t really have any burning desire to write songs anymore either. I just want to be a good husband. A good neighbor. A responsible homeowner. A little dog’s daddy. A guitar repairman. A guitar player in my kitchen, and in some local country cover band whenever that scene comes back around. That’s how I want to spend the rest of my days. I want to be home for supper and home for bedtime. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. I want to experience a “normal life” just as badly now as I did NOT want to in my youth. While I’m still healthy enough to enjoy it. Before I get ancient and impaired. Things change. That’s life. I’m ready and eager for change. Being home for a solid year made me certain of it. I don’t want to miss ANYTHING here anymore.
Mark, John, and Keith all understand where I’m at. That’s such a relief. But they’re damn good guys. The best. Those guys have been the greatest partners a man could ever have. Dedication. Devotion. Turnin’ all the night time into the day. No tellin’ what’s next for them, but knowin’ them like I do, I’d say the sky’s the limit. They all have the musical skills to do anything. A truly “hot shit” band. And, unlike me, they still have the desire to get out there and do it. And they are ULTRA professionals. Keep an eye out for ‘em. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see them show up in phenomenal places. I am rooting for them. Them’s my boys. My team. My life partners. Please support them. I know I will. They are the longest running members the band ever had for a reason. They’re the best on so many levels. I love them forever. Gotta salute Robert Kearns, Tom Parr, and Tom Ray too. All were members of the band I’m bidding farewell to. Everybody did a great job in their own time, in their own way. Everybody.
I gotta be honest, I’m not sad that this is really finally happening. It was bound to happen someday. What does make me kinda sad is that it’s already that day. WTF??? Where did that time go??? See? That’s my point. That’s what made me go through with this. Knowing how the time goes SO fast. I wanna get goin’ on this next phase, before it passes me by as fast as everything else did. I’ve finally reached an age where things get urgent. Available decades are gettin’ slim. Gotta find what you REALLY want and go for it. So I did.
I want to sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You all supported us for so long. I will never forget that, or take it lightly. I am forever humbled and grateful. It’s been fun, but now it’s done. Surprise ending, yes. But the band had a surprise beginning too, so it seems that’s just how we roll. Maybe the band’s not done at all. Who knows? I just know I won’t be in it. ‘Cause I’m done.
With a year off, and nothing on the books, this was the perfect intersection of time and timing. There would never be a time when leaving would disrupt less. That’s why I did it now. Didn’t wanna make a big deal outta my big deal. Wanted it to be as painless as possible.
So this is where the cowboy rides away. Goodnight now ladies and gentlemen. It’s the end of the show, now it’s time to go.
Maybe I’ll see ya at Home Depot or somethin’…
# # #