By Andrew Ellis, Editor-in-Chief
Pat Watters of the Pat Watters Band remembers when truck driving was the ultimate profession. There’s was nothing cooler than those who spent their lives hauling heavy loads down every road in this country. They even made movies about it. Ah, the joys of growing up in the 80s.
The country world has also given the profession a lot of love with songs such as C.W. McCall’s “Convoy,” Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road,” and Red Sovine’s “Phantom 309.” But at some point, for some reason, those songs stopped coming out. Watters wanted to change that.
“I intentionally wanted to write a song in 2017 that reminded listeners of the value these men and women bring as a backbone of our economy,” he says.
The moment of inspiration came as he was scrolling through his Facebook newsfeed. A truck diver friend of his posted a picture of his rearview mirror with the caption, “gettin’ loaded.”
“I kinda chuckled and thought, ‘I guess there’s more than one way to get loaded on a Friday night,’” he says. “The idea stuck with me for a while. I had about half of it written in my head by the time I got around to writing it. The rest of it came pretty easy.”
It was very important to him and the band that “Loaded on a Saturday Night” wouldn’t be ignorant of the life of a professional truck driver. So Watters was very conscious of the words and phrases he used. Once the rest of the band worked their magic to bring the song to life it was time to make a video. But what was the best treatment for this song?
When they were throwing ideas around Watters remembered the video they did for a previous song called “I’m Your Buddy.” They had their fans submit photos of them and their friends together and they put those photos in a video. The fans enjoyed seeing their pictures and sharing the video so Watters thought why not use same concept for this song.
“I thought, ‘Man, it would just be cool to put the call out for truckers to submit pictures of their rigs and make the whole video a tribute to the profession,” he says.
As they started going through the footage the idea for the opening scene came to Watters. He called a friend of his at country radio, J Brooks from KISS Country in Mason City, Iowa, to cut the DJ line that introduces the song. Once they released the song and video into the world it took off, especially within the trucker community.
“We got 30,000 views in just a few weeks,” he says. “We had a lot of truckers reach out during that time and say they loved the song. It was cool to get their stamp of approval. It made it feel legit.”
But there was one comment that stuck with him. It came from a guy who had been a professional truck driver for over 40 years. He said he seen the truckers’ reputation “go from ‘knight of the road’ to subhuman trash,” but songs like “Loaded on a Saturday Night” made him “damn proud” to be a professional driver.
“The idea that this fun little tune we did could make somebody, who felt the world had forgotten about him and his kind, feel that way meant the world to us,” he says.