Beer for my Horses
It was the first time Toby and Willie had done a duet together, and Scotty Emerick, Toby’s co-writer of the song, tells this story about their first meeting:
“We got on his bus and played him ‘Beer For My Horses.’ That’s the first time we ever met him. And we told him we had an idea, we had a song we wanted to do a duet with him. So we just met him on his bus and hung out all night, and played him songs. And he’s so nice, he said, ‘Sure.’ Then it just all fell into place. They recorded it, and it’s great. I wrote “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again” after that first experience, too.”
For the record
“Beer for My Horses” received mixed reviews from music critics. The single reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Keith’s highest charting song of his career at the time. The song also peaked at #1 for six weeks in the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs (one of two songs to stay that long at #1 for Toby Keith). Becoming Keith’s 11th #1 hit and Nelson’s 23rd and his first since “Nothing I Can Do About It Now” in 1989. “Beer for My Horses” was certified Platinum once by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
“Beer for My Horses” also made Willie Nelson the oldest artist to top the country charts at age 70. Further, the phrase, “Whisky for me beer for my horse.” is said in the 1975 film, Bite the Bullet, by Jan Michael Vincent.
The Music Video
The music video for the song features Keith, Nelson and Corin Nemec, as detectives hunting a serial killer, played by Gregg Gilmore. The detectives eventually convince Nemec to dress up as a woman to lure the serial killer and they end up capturing him. The video setting is located in downtown Los Angeles and at the nearby Golden Oak Ranch, in Newhall, California. It is also the first video in which Keith does not actually sing. The video won the Video of the Year for the Academy of Country Music Awards.