Guitarist Damon Johnson appeared on the podcast, Side Jams With Bryan Reesman to talk about his love of golf. He recalled his good fortune when he joined Alice Cooper’s band (he played with them from 2004 – 2006 and 2009 – 2011.) He was hoping to get a little golfing in on the road, but Alice laughed and said, “We play golf every day. You just won the lottery.” Johnson said that if a tour totaled 100 shows they played at least 85 rounds of golf, and they often played on off-days. Because Alice had a longstanding relationship with Callaway Golf, they sent him to courses that sold their products. Johnson said about 95% of their games on tour were comped by Callaway. “They would pre-arrange all this stuff,” he recalled. “We would literally get a golf itinerary. You know, here’s the tour itinerary in this book. But then we got another book that was the golf itinerary.”
Johnson had golfing escapades with Alice that crossed continents, and he described some of them in the episode.
“We’re in Australia. We got the day off,” said Johnson. “The Callaway hookup doesn’t start until the next day. So Alice says, ‘There’s this course in New South Wales. It’s where the PGA Tour plays and they have their tournament. Let’s go there.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just saw that on television two weeks ago. Yes! Let’s go.’ We go there. Long story short, 500 bucks a round, 500 bucks per person to play 18 holes. Now, I coughed it up because it took us an hour and a half to drive there. And I was like, I’m here with Alice Cooper. Alice usually just took care of everything. He would drop his credit card pay for stuff. This was a stretch too far. So I didn’t hesitate. I was like, here’s my card, let’s do it. I’ve never paid that much money for a round of golf since, and I probably won’t ever again. It was picturesque and incredible. It was super, super tough. And I did not play very well that day because I was still in that time period where I hadn’t really found my proper swing yet. So I can’t deny, you’re in the cab on the way back thinking, ‘Oh my god, I just paid 500 bucks to get my ass kicked by this golf course.’”
Johnson revealed that his best moment came in Los Angeles when Alice invited him to play at the Bel Air Country Club in Beverly Hills.
“That’s where every famous person that’s ever picked up a golf club has been a member and played – Sinatra, Dean Martin, Michael Jordan, the list goes on,” said Johnson. “So we go, and as we’re walking into the pro shop, the first people we run into are Dennis Quaid and Luke Wilson. They’re all hugs and high fives because they know Alice. ‘Hey, Coop. All right. What’s up?’ And what’s his name? Dunleavy that was the coach of the Golden State Warriors at the time. He was there too. They’re all playing together. It’s me and Alice and the president of Callaway Golf. So we go up to the first tee. And of course, we got to go first. Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, president of Callaway, Coach Dunleavy…I’m really freaking out. And I just I walk up, I close my eyes, I took a deep breath. And I said, ‘Damon swing really slow. Just take a slow swing.’ And I brought that club back and I piped it. I bombed it straight down the fairway. It might have been the best tee shot, better than Alice’s or that Callaway guy. As we’re starting to walk off the tee box, Dennis Quaid looks at me and goes, ‘Are you really that good?’ And Alice goes, ‘Hell no, he’s not that good!’”
Damon Johnson & The Get Ready recently released their new album, Battle Lessons. With touring on hold due to the pandemic, Damon and his bandmates will perform the Battle Lessons album in its entirety for the first time via ivestream from Nashville, TN on April 16 at 8 PM Central.
Tickets can be purchased now at this location. The livestream will be available to watch anytime over 72 hours, and repeat.
The video for “Battle Lessons” can be seen below. Order your copy of the album now at this location.
To read BraveWords scribe Aaron Small’s interview with Damon Johnson, click here.
(Photo – Stephen Jensen, F3 Studios)