You don't have to ask where David Cook is or what's he's doing.
He's always on the road.
Yeah, David Cook has an "American Idol" title, but if you follow the show, you know champions disappear faster than good parking spaces at the mall during the holidays. (Anybody seen Fantasia, Ruben, Taylor or the dude who beat Adam Lambert lately?)
Cook has been touring relentlessly behind his self-titled debut. He won't be forgotten anytime soon, but he knows he's got some work to do.
And he's willing to play his way to - or is that back to? - stardom.
We talked to Cook, who will play at the State Fair on Saturday, about fame, crowds and life without "Idol."
In Jay-Z's song "Run This Town," Kanye West says "this the life that everybody ask for." Is this what you asked for?
Yeah, actually. It beats the hell out of the alternative. The goal was to always to get to this point.
You have to put on a lot of clothes for photo shoots. Do you get tired of dressing up and doing hair and make up?
I've never worried so much about it. I don't mind it too much.
You played arenas with the "Idol" tour. And you've also played small stages at clubs? What's the best vibe for you? What do you prefer?
I get less concerned about the venue and the crowd size and try to get the right energy from the crowd.
Of course, I had to ask an "Idol" question, but this is different. The show obviously helped launch your career. What's scarier: being judged by millions on TV or trying to make a career without the TV show?
The TV show for me was scarier. You're kind of flying blind. From growing up playing in bands and playing clubs, I disliked that. I love being out on the road. It's a good litmus test. There's less down time and less waiting.
When it's done, how would you like to be remembered?
I would just like to be remembered. It's easy to get caught up in everything else. For me, I just want to put out good records and play good shows.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: State Fair
tobyMac, 7:30 tonight: The Christian-contemporary rapper is playing his second-consecutive fair. $15
The Charlie Daniels Band, 4 p.m. Sunday: Yes, he'll be playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." $1
Nat & Alex Wolff, 6 p.m. Monday: The brothers make up the Naked Brothers Band, formerly of Nickelodeon's TV show "The Naked Brothers Band." $15
Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: Contemporary Christian music. $20
Montgomery Gentry, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23: Country music duo. $20
Eric Benet, 7 p.m. Oct. 24: R&B and decades-old soul. $15
The Fantastic Shakers, 4 p.m. Oct. 25: Shag music. Free