How a convenience store food favorite inspired a song and a YouTube channel.
“When you go out on the road, you always look for something that’s going to be close to home and all the big-time places just didn’t cut it. When hungry-on-the-road bands travel, you don’t stop until you hit a gas station. You make it one-stop shopping and it’s usually a gas station, and that’s what we’d run in there and get was the chicken.”
“Being in the restaurant business for 17 years, I know everybody can have a bad day. And with the number of views that I was getting, I was having a real impact on people’s business because I was getting feedback from business owners who I rated high. They were like, ‘you wouldn’t believe how busy we were the week after.’ So now when I rate something low, it never makes it past my computer. We only put the good ones on and the great thing is I have friends like you that often send me some good places to go.
“There used to be an old running joke in bands that if you’re a drummer, the quickest way to get fired is to come to rehearsal and say, ‘I’ve got this song!’ By then they’ve got you by one belt loop and by the neck of the shirt tossing you out of the practice room. So I had the thing in my pocket all those times because I thought nobody wants drummer to come up with a song about a chicken, you know?
“When I walk in a gas station to the smell of fried chicken, it immediately takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. And there’s something that’s comforting about that kind of food. … For a lot of people, particularly with all the things that are going on with the world between the pandemic and war, comfort is a really important thing for people right now. The other thing is that everybody has that hometown gas station, too. And so when I go to a gas station in your hometown, you’re going to be the first one to share it. You’re gonna be like, I grew up going in this gas station and now this guy from Mississippi is in there filming it.”
“I’ll say this too: I always look for trucks with tool boxes and ladders because that means working people are eating there and working people know where the good food is.”
About our Guests
Stafford Shurden, Host of “Tailgate Gas Station Review”
Stafford is a farmer, restaurant owner and former justice court judge. In between farming and cooking, he tours the south giving inspirational speeches and reviewing gas station food.
Mark Stutso, Musician
Mark is the drummer for The Nighthawks, which has been called “the best bar band in the world.” Originally from West Virginia, he put in five years in the coal mines before escaping into his drum kit for the past four decades.