Everyone has heard of Garth Brooks. Whether you listened to him when you were younger, or your parents were obsessed with him, Garth Brooks was everywhere in the 90s.
The one thing a lot of people seem to forget is that Brooks took a little break from country music to attempt to have a rock and roll career. He left behind his cowboy hat and his signature goatee while he fully immersed himself in the rock lifestyle, complete with a new name.
Chris Gaines was Brooks’ “rock and roll” character that he decided to take on, but not a lot of people know why. Turns out he wasn’t just wanting to hide from his country fans, it was all part of an elaborate plan.
The character Chris Gaines first debuted to fans on September 28th, 1999, when the Chris Gaines album was released. Everyone was really confused.
It was obviously Garth Brooks’s face, but he had shaved his goatee into a small soul patch and his hair was long and in his face. The album tried to claim that it was “Chris Gaines Greatest Hits” but no one had ever head of him before. While the album was trying to be more rock and roll, it was actually more of a pop-album. The song “Lost in You” was on the Billboard pop charts and made it all the way up to number five!
There was actually a whole reason why Garth Brooks turned himself into the pop-rock star, and it makes it seem a little less insane…
The things people do in the entertainment industry will always seem a little out there to those of us who aren’t in it, but I guess you have to do what you have to do!
Brooks was looking for some new opportunities and was actually looking towards film as his next creative outlet. Chris Gaines was actually created as a character for Garth Brooks to play in a movie.
The plan was that a movie called The Lamb based on the character Chris Gaines. For some reason, they decided to release the album first to help establish the backstory and create interest, but it all backfired.
The character was insanely detailed. Apparently Chris Gaines and his friend Tommy started a band called Crush in 1985. Unfortunately, as their band started to gain momentum, Tommy died in a plane crash.
Gaines eventually released an album that sold 12 million copies. His father died of cancer, and this launched Gaines into a sex addiction.
Then, Gaines fought with his manager, and had to settle a legal battle over an unfair contract. He eventually ended up getting into a horrific car crash after leaving the studio and needed reconstructive surgery on his face. This was their intended moment for Garth Brooks to jump into the role.
The problem was, the album didn’t do well. They tried so many things to make the character take off. He hosted Saturday Night Live as Garth Brooks, but then was also the musical guest as Chris Gaines. They also made a fake documentary called Behind The Life of Chris Gaines for VH1 that no one seemed to enjoy.
No matter what they did, it didn’t work. The album didn’t sell nearly as many copies as a regular Garth Brooks album and the project was abandoned. Apparently Brooks has officially given up on the movie, but he said that he has no regrets for his choice to try it out. He returned to his country music roots and seems to have stayed there ever since.