tv Charlie Rose PBS May 12, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
. >> rose: welcome to the program, we begin this evening with our continuing conversation about president trump and the firing of former fbi director james comey. we talk to robert costa of "the washington post" and pbs. >> it's doing damage to him on several fronts, if within the white house it's caused tum ult, the staff in some respects felt unprepared for this, the president made a personal decision over the weekend with the attorney general, and his white house council. but more broadly the party on capitol hill i just walked over from the capitol, they feel like they were given a curve ball this week by this decision. >> rose: and we continue with admiral william mcraven former commander of u.s. operations and currently the chancellor of the university of texas. >> you just don't quit. there will come times in training when you will be exhost-- exhausted, when you
will begin to doubt yourself, when they will apply pressure on you and you just have to tell yourself, i'm not going to quit. and so the difference between those that make it through and those that don't is just that, and that's why it doesn't make any difference how fast you are, how strong you are, it really does matter about your demple determination not to quit. >> rose: we conclude this evening with sting singer songwriter chris stap e8ton. his new all bomb is called from a room volume one. >> have i been given so many opportunities in music in the last, well, justover my whole career but particularly in the last years that i can't imagine there is anything that i'm not getting to do that i want to do. it's really amazing in that way. i tell my mom all the time, i've gotten, i literally have everything i ever wanted. >> rose: costa mcraven and stapleton when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is
provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. we begin this evening with our continuing coverage of james comey's firing, in an interview with nbc's lester hold president trump said we have fired the fbi director regardless of the justice department's recommendation, of the president
comments contradict the previous statement. meanwhile testifying before the senate intelligence committee, acting fbi director andrew mccade rejectedded the white house claims that comey lost the support of rank and file fbi agents. >> is it ak rat that the rank and file no longer supported director comey? >> no, sir, that is not accurate. >> rose: the administration's credibility has been called into question by the several misleading accounts. >> joining me from washington is bob costa a national political reporter at the "washington post" and moderator of washington week on pbs. i'm pleased to have him back on our program. bob, let me just tell you one broad question, what damage do you think this is doing to donald trump, if any? >> it is doing damage to him on several fronts, within the white house it has caused tum ult, the staff in some respects felt unprepared for this. the president made a personal decision over the weekend with the attorney general, and his white house counsel. but more broadly, the party on capitol hill, i just walked over from the capitol, they feel like they were given a curve ball
this week by this decision. they were not ready to talk through the president's decision or really defend him in an articulate way. and then it gives disruption to his entire agenda as he tries to pursue health care and taxes, now all everyone is talking about here in washington is russia and director comey or former director comey. >> rose: and why do they think he did it? >> he did it because based on my reporting and the reporting of my colleagues and other publications, this was the culmination of frustration feeding at times anger about comey. and the president told lester hold today that he did call the director at certain times and ask him about whether he was being investigated, whether the president was under scrutiny, even at a dinner, charlie, where director comey was asking to perhaps stay on as director of the fbi. so the president was very engaged in the idea that this russia investigation in interference was going on. and he was very, also i'm told by top people inside of the white house, he wanted the fbi
to go after the leaks within the federal government. and there was resistance from the fbi to take direction from the white house. >> rose: but there is also this suspicion that he did it in the end because he didn't want to see, he was tired of this whole investigation called the russian probe. he's called it simply nothing there. >> he's very unhappy with this ongoing probe. >> rose: is it because he fears something or he thinks show they're out to get him without reason? >> well, when he talks to his associates he uses the latter explanation for his anger. but i have been reporting in recent weeks about how he watches television all day and he's monitoring what is on the cable networks. and he sees russia probe. and when comey went to capitol hill last week and talked about how the russian interference investigation was ongoing i'm told the president in essence really became furious. he thought comey was strange, was talking too much about
russia. so this is a president who wants so badly to move on from the russian issue and the russian ties, perhaps, to his campaign during the last year's election. but the federal government has not been able to move on, has not been willing to move on. and that lead to this clash over the weekend. >> rose: what is your impression of the senate intelligence committee investigation? >> so far it has yielded little. senator burr has been careful in some of the language he uses publicly to make sure he keeps his credibility. we have seen house intelligence committee defon noonan, a trump ally struggle keep his committee going, he had to recuse himself from the russia investigations because of his behavior and ties to the white house. but yet the senate, warner, mark warner of virginia the ranking member in the senate intelligence committee and the burr the chairman from north carolina, republican, they have a strong working relationship. but there is still tension there about how far to lean in. because democrats want a special prosecutor.
>> rose: and the suspicion is, once you give a special prosecutor power, i think president clinton found this out, you know, you never know how wide the investigation is going to become. on the other hand, if you want to eliminate all the suspicion, you should try to create a body of investigation that will be credible and have some sense of finality to the investigation. >> the unending nature of a special prosecutor looms over the white house. the part of this you have to remember, the core of what drove this was the president's desire to move on from the russian investigation to get these russian probes off of his plate and of his presidency. and that is what lead to comey really getting out there. but this has been papered over in some ways by the white house. their explanation was that rod rosenstein the deputy attorney general because of his mem dumb was the reason for the ouster but really people inside of the
white house acknowledged that it was the president himself fuming about russia that lead to comey's dismissal. >> rose: so what is rod rosenstein saying now? >> he is the most intriguing figure in all of this. he gets called to the white house on monday with attorney general sessions. they meet with the president. rosenstein based on all of our reporting had been looking over the fbi. he had been reviewing comey's leadership. he tells the president comey hasn't been doing a good job, in his opinion. the president says to sessions and rosenstein, put that in writing. i want a mem dumb on that, get some letters. by tuesday those texts are provided to the president and he moves quickly to fire comey, but rosenstein feels based on people close to him that he was used in a way by the white house, that he was reviewing the fbi. but the president had made the decision before he connifieded with rosenstein on monday, so rosenstein, he remains deputy ag but we're told he was very unhappy with how this all played out and the white house pinned
it on him. >> rose: did he meet today with the chair and cochair of the senate intelligence committee? >> he's going to keep getting called back, charlie because when i was at the capitol these lawmakers, everybody wants to hear, especially from the senate intelligence committee wa, did rosenstein say to the president on monday, what has he been working on in terms of his investigation into the fbi and comey's leadership. what is the context of his conversation with attorney general sessions who supposedly as we remember was supposed to recuse himself from russia investigation at the justice department, but he was involved in the discussions about comey. everyone wants to know what rosenstein is thinking. what he has said, what is the president has said. >> what is the next step in this story. >> congress, but the congress is controlled by republicans so the extent to which they do anything is going to be closely watched by democrats and critics of president trump. if there is not going to be a special prosecutor how hard will the chairman push in the senate. what else will be done by leader mcconel and to delve into the
scition to fire director comey. the president kps saying comey failed in his leadership of the fbi but the russian probes continue and how they are handled will be closely monday tred. >> rose: thank you, bob, tbreat to see you. >> thank you. >> rose: bob costa from washington, back in a moment, stay with us. >> admiral william mcraven is here, he served as a navy seal for almost four decades, as a four star admiral. his he cass commander of u.s. operations. is he now chancellor of the university of texas system. his new book is called make your-- a thing that can change your life and maybe the world. i'm pleased to have admiral mcraven back at this taibility. welcome. >> good to be back. >> such a good story, i want to you repeat it and beer with me am will you write a commencement speech. all of us have done it we have two things we want to do. we want to say something that comes from our heart at not what everybody else says.
>> i have been writing the speech a couple of weeks prior to the day i was scheduled which was may 17th. and the week before it was about wednesday the week before, i couldn't make the speech work. i had a theme, and it was all kind of coming together and then it just stopped. i couldn't finish the theme and had a little bit of writers block. and i remember turning to my wife and i said i can't finish this thing. and she said why don't you write about something you know. i said the only thing i no he is being a navy seal for the last 35 years at that point in time. and she said well write about that. i said the problem is i'm about to step on to a university campus in uniform, i don't know whether or not the students want to hear about what it took to be a navy seal and the lessons i learned. but she kept saying writing about something you know. so i started actually thursday and kind of wrote the speech and was writing it all the way until an hour before i gave it. but it seemed to have come together. >> rose: and you started with
these ten things. >> ten lessons, right. >> rose: were there 20, what you boiled down to ten. >> no, i-- i kind of had in mind-- i actually had in mind, you know, i wanted to frame it to about 20 minutes because i knew that was the expectation on the commencement speech. but i had ten lessons, clear lessons in mind and i probably could have gone eleven or twelve but the ten seemed to fit. >> rose: and did you show it to her before you went. >> you know, i never show anybody my speeches before i give them. it is a little bit of a superstition of mine. i don't let anybody read it. i don't let anybody hear it. that's-- i wait until i deliver it before anybody gets a chance to hear the remarks. >> how many people have since read that speech? it went viral. >> millions. >> rose: 25 million. >> that is my understanding, about 25 million. >> rose: what was it? >> i think the fact of the matter is the lessons are simple. as i said at the beginning of the speech t really doesn't make
a difference whether you spend a day in uniform. it doesn't matter about your color, your background, your ethnicity your orientation. i think these are basic lessons. things like, you know, don't quit. be your best in your darkest moment, don't back down from the bullies. these are lessons that all of us can use in life. and of course i put them in the context of going through seal training. but in fact, it really didn't matter whether you were ever going to be a seal. these were lessons i think for life. >> rose: you start with making your own bed y is that important. >> well, when i was young, my mother was a texas school teacher. my father was an air force officer. but interestingly enough it was my mother without really made sure every morning i got up and made my bed. i think a lot of parents tell their kid toses make their bed. i'm not really sure i understood the importance of it. but when we got to seal training it was required every morning. we would have to have a uniform inspection and a bed inspection. and i'm not sure i understood at the time why that was important. i would come to seal training to
learn to be a battle-hardened seal and the first thing we were doing every morning was having our bed inspected. and the lesson though became very clear as i want through seal training and frankly as i went through the navy was it is about one, doing the first task of the day and doing it right. if you can do the first task of the di and get that done, that will encourage you to do another task and another and another. but the other piece of this was the seal instructors wanted to make sure that you did it exactly right. there were standards. you had to have the hospital coroners had to be 45 degrees, the pillow at the front had to be exactly right. the treaks blanket had to be folded exactly right. and their point was if you can't dot little things right f you can't make your bed right, how are you ever going to run a seal mission correctly? so it was about doing something that was you know, that was good to do in the morning that started your day off right and then also making sure that did you the little things right. >> rose: and you said if you can, if you want to change the world, start by making your bed. >> right. >> rose: the second one was you can't go it alone.
>> right. >> well, again, in seal training, you learn very quickly that, i don't care whether you are the strongest guy, the best runner, at the end of the day, you know, we are called the seal teams for a reason. because there's a recognition that if you are going to be successful, you have to work as a team. and from day one in seal training you get a little rubber boat, a raft, we call an inflatable boat small, it takes seven men to carry, sixth enlisted guys, two in the front, the middle and the back and the officer is the coxan at the back, the helmsman if you will of this little rubber raft, but you take it with you wherever you go. you run to chow with it, over the deuns with it, and you paddle out in the ocean with it. and the point that they make is if everybody doesn't pull together, if everybody doesn't help get that boat where it needs to go, then i don't care how good you are, are you not going to get there. so the importance of having people to help you paddle was
reinforced every day. of course it was about life and the fact of the matter is i don't care how tough you are, most people can't make it through life on their own. and it's good to have friends and people that love you. >> rose: start with the bed, make your bed, second you can't go it alone. you need someone to help you paddle. the third is only the size of your heart matters. >> again, the interesting thing about seal training is you know, when you start off, there's invariably somebody they pick to be the most likely to succeed, the guy that will be the honor man, he invariably is-- . >> who picks them. >> the team, the class. invariably the class is new and they find the biggest, toughest guy that looks the most like a seal and he invariably is picked to be the honor man and almost invariably he is the first person that falls out. and you find the little guy that you never expected ends up being, you know, the best guy there. and we had in our training, we had, we divided that boat crews,
the boat crews for these little rubber rafts we carried were based on size. the big guys on one boat crew and another in other boat crew we called them the munch kin crew because they were small based on the old "wizard of oz" munch kins. these fellas in this particular boat crew was an unusual mixture of folks. we had an indian american, a greek american, a french american, they were all about five foot five, and they turned out to be some of the best swimmers, best runners, best guys on the obstacle course. and you realize very quickly it really is about the size of your heart, not the size of your flippers. >> so tomorrowee norris was the first time i-- tommy norris, the firs time i met him, i was actually a senior in college and i went out to visit basic seal training. and as i was waiting around to meet a lieutenant who was going to talk to me about basic seal training, out of the corner of my eye i saw what i thought was kind of a young teenage tbie because i could see him from a
distance. and he was smaller than i was. and thin, medium build and thin and i kept watching him out of the corner of my eye and he was looking at these pictures that we have hanging in the seal training compound, pictures of guys in vietnam. i remember i kept thinking to myself does this guy really think he would be able to make it through seal training? small stature, wiry, thin almost, and i thought wow, this guy is just, he's fooling himself if he thinks he's ever going to make it through seal training. at some point in time i get invited into the law tenant's office and talking to this lieutenant who does look like the poster child for a seal. and doug looks passed the norway and says hey, bill, let me introduce you to somebody. he yells out the hall and says tommy, come in here for a minute. tommy norris walks in, he is one of the last seal metal of honor recipients from vietnam. by far and away the toughest seal in the history of the seals
up to that point in time. and so again, it was a lesson for me to realize that you got to be careful about appearances. tommy norris want on-- . >> rose: it was the heart that matters. >> he want on to be on the fbi hostage rescue team, just an incredibly tough, tough guy. but nothing the biggest guy on the boat. >> rose:-- received the medal of honor? >> i do, there was an old movie called bat 21, the real story of bat 21 was an air force lieutenant colonel plane had gotten shot down over vietnam, lieutenant cornel had par chuted out and then lieutenant norris, navy seal lieutenant norris spent several days going behind enemy lines trying to find him, eventually managed to pick him up. had to fight his way back to friendly lines but this day after day of trying to find this now lieutenant colonel, eventually finding him, fitting his way back, rescued the lieutenant cornel and for that
he received the metal of honor. >> rose: the nengs one is life's not fun, not life is not fair, drive on. >> yeah, this is really about what we refer to as a sugar cookie in the seal training. sugar cookie is when an instructor just ash rarely, and this is an-- ar by trarly says you know mcraven, i don't like your likes. hit the surf. so you go hit the surf, you roll around in the sand and you are covered from head to toe in sand and are you wet and sandy and you spend the rest of the day kind of wet and sandy with sand between your armpits and legs. but it is the ash trarriness of it that always frus rated frustrated people because sometimes guys looked perfect in their uniform and their brass was perfectly polishinged and shoes perfectly polished and they expected they would get rewarded for this great effort. and then every once in a while an instructor would say hit the surf and become a sugar cookie. >> life's not fair. >> life wasn't fair.
and that was the point of the lesson was look, sometimes i don't care how hard you try, how good you might be, life is yus not fair. you just have to get over it. >> rose: let me point to this number. in your class only 33 graduated and there were 150 students who started with you. >> right. >> rose: what is the difference, i take these ten rules. >> right. >> rose: if you want to change the world, what is the difference between those that ring the bell which is what you want to do, and those that pass the finish line? what is the difference? >> i have a young man who was graduating from the university of texas last year. he was a decath let. and he was getting ready to go to seal training. so nationally ranked decathlete and wanted to talk to me about the secrets of making it through
seal training. so i had him over for lunch. and he sits down across from me, incredibly sharp young man. he says well admiral, obviously i would kind of like to know, you know what is the secret of making it through seal training. do i need to spend some more time running. i said no, you look like you're in pretty good shape. he said about how about swimming. i said no you are a decathlete you will be able to do. this he kind of went through the litany of things that people think about, what does it take to make it through seal training. and i said it's easy to make it through seal training. you just don't quit. and he kind of took a deep breathe, he said no, no, i understand that. but should a strengthen my upper body. and i said let me be clear. it's easy. you just don't quit. there will come times in training when you will be exhausted, when you will begin to doubt yourself, when the instructors will be applying
pressure on you. and you just have to tell yourself, i am not going to quit. and so the difference between those that make it through and those that don't is just that. and that's why it doesn't make any difference how fast you are, how strong you are, it really does matter about your determination. >> rose: your heart. >> not to quit. and so you know when you look at life, at some point in time life deals all of us a difficult hand. >> rose: what's the biggest surprise in your new now job as chancellor from the university of texas. >> the transition from military to rung the university, went smoothly. i'm used to running large organizations you realize in running large organizations it is all about the people. you have to respect the people. and of course have i a very diverse population, 228,000 students. about 100,000 employees spread across 14 dpirch institutions.
and-- it's fabulous and fascinating. one day are you talking to a nobel lawyer yet, another to a heisman interest ofee winner and everything in between. i tell you what has pleasantly surprised me is the number of people that want to give to the university to give to causes, you know, i have md anderson cancer clink. and there are folks from all walks of life that want to contribute to try to help cure cancer. there are folks that want to improve the quality of life for young kids in south texas and the rio grand valley and they donate not only their money but their time. and their resources and their passion to helping these young men and women. because many of them see in these young men and women themselves. we have a lot of first in families in texas. a large hispanic population. so when you can see these young men and women who are the first in their family to go to college and then the first in their family to go to medical school, and you realize that they have
just changed the entire tra jectory of their family's lineage for ever. because statistics show if you go to college, chances are your kids will go and their kids will go. so this is the great appeal of this particular job, is having an opportunity really to watch the young men and women. they're not all young men and women am but most of them are, you know, that 18 to 21 year old, and they come in and they change their lives. >> since the time you left the military and you look at the world today and you lack at it through the prism of someone who understood the national security challenge, where do we stand today? >> well-- . >> glor: because you-- . >> rose: because you sat at this table a couple years ago that you thought we needed to right.re troops. so i will tell you, i applaud both president obama and president trump for the tra jectory we are on now in terms of the fight against isis. so it is probably a little over
a year ago, probably march of last year when president obama really decided to kind of double down on our efforts in iraq and in syria, in terms of increasing the number of troops on the ground. working with the iraqis, working with the moderate syrians. and i think you have seen the effect that this has had on isis and certainly as president trump has come in, he has continued that effort and i think even increased the number of troops on the ground. so i think that strategy is working as far as isis goes. and i am appreciative of both presidents for their efforts against it because isis is really a scourge, not only for the middle east in that region, but the second and third order affects of what isis creates when you have this mass migration into europe, when you have the potential to pressurize the-- jordan and lebanon and others t is important that we take care of this problem. so i think we're making good progress against isis. >> i think that this, the strike
that we conducted in syria when we determined that there was another chemical attack, i applauded those efforts. i hout it was appropriate. it was proportional. my only regret is that i think we need to continue to apply pressure in syria. on the ground, when we see the syrian army beginning to threaten the moderate syrians, and until you do that, until we begin to have the high ground, if you will, both the tactical, strategic and moral high ground of syria, i don't know that we can apply pressure on the russians. right now we don't have many cards to play. so i do think we need to come up with a strategy. when i say we, i think this is is the great work that, you know, rex tillerson will do and jim mattis will do in terms of advising the president on options to apply pressure on assad, on the russians. we've got to be in a position to strengthen syria and we're not there. >> rose: trump does seem to have a lot of respect for the military.
>> he does. and we appreciate that. and i think his choice of jim matit-- mattis as the secretary of defense was absolutely the right guy. >> rose: what do you say about mattis that makes everybody say that. >> jim mattis, one intellectually very deep. is he a voracious reader. jim was my neighbor for several years and i worked with him for many yearses. we were old and dear friends. i have the greatest respect for jim mattis. he is, again, tactically and strategically, you know, incredibly sound in terms of sunday understanding the battlefield and implications of how to kind of fight wars. is he great with the soldiers, sailors, air mern and marines. is he the general's general, if you will, he knows how to spend time with the soldiers. he knows what makes the soldiers tick. he has the respect of not only the young soldiers, airmen and marines but the respect of senior officers and military and as the secretary of defense, certainly all the combat ant commanders, senior officers, we report to the secretary of
defense. >> rose: the book is called make your bed, admiral william h mcraven, u.s. navy, retired. he's had a remarkable life for a young man. and it condition continues in the good state of texas. back in a moment. stay with us. >> countries stapleton is here, the grammy award-winning singer songwriter has been called country's reigning outlaw. his new album was recorded in the same studio that has housed such musical greats as elvis presley and dolly parton called from a room volume one. rolling stone calls the album equal parts otist redding and waylong jennings, here is chris stapleton recording either way in our studio.
♪ like this. ♪ say the world will call it quits. ♪ baby you can't go you can't stay. ♪ i won't love you away. ♪ >> rose: i'm pleased to have chris stapleton at this table for the very first time, welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: reigning outlaw. >> well, a comparison of way long generals not bad. >> no, not at all.
>> i will take that for sure. >> rose: what do you think they mean when they say country's reigning outlaws. >> i think it is just a reference to music. i'm not much of an outlaw. >> rose: what about the music, that is what i really mean. >> i don't know, i certainly always have a tip of the hat and have in my mind way long and willie and merl haggard and that error of music, that is a lot of my favorite things. there were a lot of things that i think musically they were doing right and not that there is a right and a wrong but things that i prefer. >> rose: what were they doing? >> i don't know, just being themselves. that's-- and doing what feels good to them versus trying to be whats somebody else was doing. >> rose: when would the music thing happen for you. >> i always played music and sang in church with pie brother brothernd my dad liked to
play the radio a lot. my mom would sing around the house. but i had an uncle that played guitar and sang. i don't know t was kind of always there. and nobody, i don't necessarily come from a musical family like it's not like we were a touring-- . >> rose: right, right. >> nobody went out and played. >> rose: you weren't singing in the choir. >> no, not really. but i don't know, at some point i kind of fell into it, maybe for a lack of wanting to do anything else. so-- it found me, i guess. >> rose: was it to sing or was it to write? >> to write, initially, when i really got serious about tment when i found out you could have a job that someone would pay you money to sit in a room and write songs for other people,. >> rose: that was the job you liked. >> i thought that sounded like the greatest job in the world. >> rose: that worked out really well. >> i was really lucky and had a lot of things line up for me pretty early. >> rose: did adele, did you
write a song that she covered, didn't she? >> i did. and she got it off of a record that i made in a blue grass band called the steel drivers. or that is the story i know. i have never met her. >> rose: here is what amazes mement i know how big you are, but what amazing me is they all say you have the greatest voice around today. it's not even about the songwriter skills which are clear. but the voice. >> i don't know about all that. there are a lot of great singers. a lot of tbreat voices. but you know, hopefully have i something that is recognizable. and possibly you know, will hold up over time. >> rose: well, two million albums will say something. >> it says we sold two million albums. >> rose: two million people were willing to pay. >> absolutely. >> rose: to hear you sing, that is what it said. >> absolutely. >> rose: when are you in nashville in a room writing songs, tell me about that process. >> it can be different on any given day but if it's just me
alone, i'm sitting with a guitar and strumming and humming something and seeing where that leads. that's pretty of the process. or i could hear a conversation out walking around somewhere. >> rose: and it gives you what, a title. >> a title or something somebody says may fix in my brain or sometimes it just falls out of the sky into your lap. >> rose: i know how you feel about this, i'm not trying to push you there too, but everybody, for whatever reason people see you, you know, as a route back to wailon-- weylon and others, you mentioned willie. that show you are today an entry back to what made them. >> i don't know that i would be an entry back. but i certainly wouldn't mind being viewed as a bridge, you know, somewhere in between. >> rose: or spoken of in the same breathe. >> well, i'm not going to put myself in any kind of a sentence with those guys.
but yeah, i mean, i think it's important for me, personally, to always kind of have a tip of the hat to those guys am but also you know, old r & b singers ray charless and aretha franklin, you know. i like all kinds of music. but i hope some of that shows up. >> rose: what happened at the 2015cma awards? >> well, yeah, a lot happened. eight minutes that-- . >> rose: changed your life. >> changed your life, for sure. ♪ oh. ♪ tennessee whiskey. ♪ you are he a as sweet. ♪ as strawberry wine.
♪. >> did you know it owe moment? >> i knew that we were going to have a really fun time playing music in that eight minutes because we had spent two days rehearsing. >> rose: so the two of you just coming together. >> it was a collaboration in the truest sense. he's-- he's a remarkable kind of singular talent, you know, as far as musical people go. and he-- if you are going to do something with him, he's going to be something good. >> rose: because his talent is so special. >> yeah, he elevates, you know, he can elevate things. and he is a great, positive energy and a great performer, you know. he's not very old but is he a veteran performer, you know. there is a things that he brings to the stage that not many people can. >> rose: traveler sold out how many, two million. >> plus, i don't know. >> rose: originally you, i'm
told, this is what i have been told, that you were prepared simply to cut the album and then go on tour, and perform all the songs. >> that was my request. >> rose: yeah. >> of the label and their request of me was like well let us find some other ways to market thing. and let's thing about this and we will approach it that way. and that's what we did. we didn't have a leadup single or anything like that. we put the record out and whatever the sing theal went to radio was, came out kind of the same week. and i booked some dates and was going to go play, that is how i knew how to do it. ♪ i'm just a traveler on this earth. ♪ ♪ my heart behind the pocket of my shirt. ♪ i just reap coming. ♪ i'm a traveler. ♪. >> that's what made sense to me. >> rose: that was the most logical path for you to follow. >> i think that's-- yeah, that
is the easiest math to me. you go play a show, you send people home with music. they play it for somebody else and they bring them back to the show. that's the easiest math for me. >> rose: and they buy the album at the show s that what. >> yeah, that is very nip notion, that comes from blue grass times, but yeah, that was the-- that was my plan. and other things happen add long the way that were fortunate. >> rose: this is volume one, volume two comes out later. >> later in the year, yeah. >> rose: tell me about the creation of this album. >> we knew, i knew we were going to have to make it up at some point and we-- . >> rose: at some point you were going to demand that. >> we set aside some time, we set aside a couple of months. and went back into the aca reddit editing room where we recorded traveler and sort of carned out. >> rose: that is an important room. >> very important room. and there are not a lot of them, these historic studios have
either been torn down or where a lot of great recordings have been made, important recordings. and so to get to feel the kind of ghosts in the walls that inform and elevate what you do in those rooms, it's an important, an important thing to get to feel as a musician for me. >> rose: you feel a kind of communion. >> a communion, absolutely, you feel a responsibility to it in a way, you know, when are you in there. and i think that really can push you along a little bit. >> rose: i read about all the conflicts in nashville about pop and country and authentic country and all that. you seem to be a guy that just said i'm making my music, that's what i am doing. >> absolutely. i don't like sushi but i won't try to get other people to in the eat sushi. >> rose: why don't you like sushi. >> i just don't, i never have. my life loves it, it's just not for me, i grew up landlocked, i
guess. not many sushi joints in kentucky. >> rose: but you have no reason not to like it, you just don't like it. >> no, it's not-- i don't feel ill-will against people who like sushi. i don't want to keep using the metaphor, but that's how a lot of the kind of chatter around music feels to me when one kind of music is right, another kind of music is wrong. you know, if music makes somebody feel good and they enjoy it, that's cool. that's great for them, you know. and if you don't like to listen to something, turn to something else that you do like and listen music, you know, and have fun. and it's okay it doesn't even mean you can't be friendings with somebody who likes a different kind of music. that's so weird to me. but there is-- . >> rose: or make it as some kind of climactic battle that is taking place to define the soul of nashville or whatever it is. >> in the kind of microworld of nashville, i-- there is always been elements of whatever pop
music was and country music and it always kind of rolls over, this pendulum that swings back and forth. i don't think that is a new conversation. >> rose: no, it's not. >> for anybody. but there's always going to be those two sides of a coin, in country music in particular, i think. but in all music where there's going to be some lighter fare, there is going to be some heavier fare. there's going to be some stuff that mixes it all up. it's okay, you know, it's not-- it's not, we're not, not brain surgery. it's music. >> rose: well, pretty important. >> well, its he's important, sometimes even when we don't know it can reflect where a culture is at, i think. but it's important because it can make people feel things, good and bad.
>> rose: it can be poetry. >> it can be, for sure. and i enjoy music lake that. but i enjoy mus thaik just makes you feel good driving down the road too, i mean, i don't have any notions of one being more important than the other one, you know. >> rose: what brings you, i'm not prowdz of this question but i will ask it anyway. what brings you the most pleasure, writing a great song or singing a great song? >> wow, that's a tough one. i am not a great judge of when i get done writing something whether or not i think it's great or not. i think it's really easy to get down writing a song and feel proud of it and think that you have done something really good. so i probably get more pleasure out of singing a song i know is great whether it's mine or somebody elses and usually somebody else's if i think it's great. there is something about when
you know the words are right where they need to be, the melody is right where it needs to be. and they fit together so well like a puzzle. and. >> what amazes me too about whether it is nashville or los angeles or wherever it is, new york city, is that people show when they're discovered, it's like he or she is an overnight sensation. she just emerged overnight when in fact there are long days and long years and long hours and long rejections. >> i know very few people who are overnight actual-- i don't-- i'm not sure that actually exists. but maybe it does for somebody. but i. >> really practice, practice, practice. well w it's do the work, keep your head down and do the work. >> rose: there's a song. keep your head down and do the work. >> and i very much feel that way about, or try to do the work,
try to do the best work that you can do, whatever you are doing. and i think that ultimate-- ultimately is at least an ingredient for the opportunity to be successful, you know. >> rose: let me just ask about some of the songs and sense what comes to your head first. broken halos. >> what comes to my head first? >> rose: what inspired that. >> can i tell you what inspired that. there is a, my cowriter mike henderson who i was in the steel drivers with was reading, it was a keith richards biography, i think. and keith referred, he was speaking to friends that he had lost to drugs or whatever that kind of left this world before they should have. and he had called them broken halos, people, you know, and so we were talking about that one night when we were supposed to be writing songs. and that kind of became that song.
now what i really think of when you read that title is i recorded that song on the day, a guy that i kind of grew up with passed away. and he died of pan cree attic cancer. and that's what i think of when you say what do you think of when you hear that song. i got that song and then phone call and then recorded the song. >> rose: you got the phone call and recorded the song. >> yeah. >> rose: you can feel the emotion in the song. >> that's what, what do you hear when you read that title, i go back to that phone call. and i had already kind of planned on recording that song but to me, i took a moment, i went outside and i said this is what we are going to do. we're going to record this song. >> rose: up to no good living. >> up to no good living. my wife loves that song. >> rose: why? >> i don't know.
it's a bit of a-- her taste in songs is sometimes a puzzling thing to me. but i trust her, you know, without fail on things that she likes particular she has excellent taste in just about everything but men. self-dep rekaition has taken you a long way. >> rose: what comes first, the lyrics or the melody. >> once again, that can be a revolving thing. i have written songs where i would hum and strum and what does that make me feel like and start a sentence and start a song and write it top to bottom from word one am have i also come into it writing it and have a cowriter go i have got this lyric, put a melody on it i've done it both sides of the spectrum and there's no right or wrong way there. and sometimes sometimes the chorus comes first. sometimes the first word comes first. sometimes the idea comes first. and sometimes you sit there and play a melody that you love two
hours before any words come, you know. >> rose: how about this one. >> death row. >> death row was, mike and i had a-- we were in the steel drivers together. and a lot of blue grass kind of murder balance adds, fascinations, you know. but is he also a great bluesman, a great blues guitarist, he's from st. louis area and has a lot of very real, you know, original kind of blues training. so that song was written as a blues song originally and we kind of, our version is kind of a deriffation from that. >> rose: and i wanted to ask you too, without your love which is another. >> can i tell that you without your love started from what is the guitar riff. that is what i remember about that one. and i probably sat there and played that guitar riff that kind of opens the song for several minutes. and mike just kind of sat over
there thinking. sometimes we'll just be really quiet when we're writing songs and he will be scrib elling and i will be scrib elling. and then we go, well, what have you got. and somewhere out, well, what have you got, came the lyric. >> rose: and then you honed in. >> yeah, and then you chip away at it. you know, get rid of the unnecessary things. >> rose: touring is something you love. >> i do. i enjoy-- well, i enjoy playing music live, sometimes the travel is a hard thing. but that's part of it. and we travel as comfortably as we possibly can. but i just-- i make the joke all the time, i play the music for free, you pay me to travel. >> rose: that's great. >> us music is free, you pay for the travel. >> rose: the ticket bought my boss or whatever it is. >> yeah. >> rose: that is what you are paying me for. i lover the music.
>> absolutesly. i did it for many years. i would go play for free, or next to nothing just because i love it. >> rose: you have written more than a thousand songs. >> somewhere in that neighborhood. i don't have an exact count. >> rose: but do you keep all of them? >> i mean, my publishing company certainly keeps track of them as much as can i turn them in, you know. but yeah. i-- do i-- you mean do have i them like-- . >> rose: can you go if i said to you, you know. >> i don't have them on my phone or anything, in the on me, if i wanted to hum a hunt a specific one down, i would call the publishing company and say do have a copy of this. i would track it down. >> rose: anything are you not doing that you want very much to do? >> anything i'm not doing. >> rose: in music. >> in music? i have been given so many opportunities in music in the last, well, just over my whole career but particularly in the last two or three years that i can't imagine that there is anything that i'm not getting to do that i want to do. it's, really amazing in that way. i tell my mom all the time, you
know i've gotten, i have literally everything i ever wanted. >> rose: literally have everything i ever wanted. >> yeah. >> rose: and as far as, you know, things that could you help for-- hope for and want out of-- that is a strange feeling. a little bit, you know. >> rose: howmedz are you? >> i'm 39. >> rose: and you have everything you have ever wanted. >> yeah, or ever even thought about wanting. >> rose: more than you ever thought about. >> for sure, yeah. and that's a strange feeling but it's also, there is a-- there's a, i say all the time have i to get new goals. sometimes, i remember there was a time when playing the ryman auditorium was a goal of mine to get to play a gig that was my gig at the ryman auditorium. i get to that, and we played, you know, a few in succession and i'm like i literally lefted that gig go i have to get a new goal. i don't have like a gig goal any more. >> rose: the great thing about
success, it gives you options. >> for sure, yeah, you have options to do the things that you want to do and hopefully you know, you make the right choices in doing the things that you want to do. >> rose: the more you know, my impression is the more you know, the more you can see not only options and possibilities but also you can see, you know, how much further you have to go. >> yeah, i guess. >> rose: i don't mean in terms of talent, i mean in terms of talent. you get a sense that once you're good, if you are good you know hey a how good you are but how much better you can be. >> i'm always, yes, i always-- certainly have a sense of i need to be getting better playing or singing or, you know, i need to be-- i always want that, that doesn't go away. it's almost like this, there is a lack of-- if there is a lack of satisfaction it is in wanting
to do something a little bit better, you know. and that's okay. i think that's what drives people to make things or to hopefully, you know, work as hard as they k you know. >> rose: to create. this is an amazing album. goods to see you. >> good to see you. >> rose: come back any time. >> yes, sir. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> announcer: the following kqed production was produced in high definition. >> the beef torta was out of this world. >> i actually don't discriminate against pizza. >> this is a temple to -- >> we couldn't see it, and we couldn't hear it. >> like, "whoa! i'm actually in san francisco?" >> this is amazing! [ laughter ] bring me more.