There won’t be any mistaking Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville, because the sign outside will be a big bum.
It’s 20-feet tall, lit up in neon, featuring a guitar with a curvaceous bottom shaped like a woman’s rear.
City council members approved the sign last week, reluctantly.
The Tennessean reported that though the council gave the sign a thumbs-up by a 27-3 vote, “some of the council members who voted to approve the sign said they did so out of fear of infringing on the bar owners’ First Amendment rights if they objected.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
City attorney Mike Jameson cautioned the council that First Amendment rights apply to signs, too.
“If a local government decides to issue regulations that would constrain the contents of a sign, it has to have a specific governmental interest that it is protecting,” Jameson said, the newspaper reported.
“Prohibitions on purian interests or vulgarity has been deemed to be a legitimate government interest but it is fraught with peril in defining what is obscene.”
Kid Rock, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, is not shy about his conservative political leanings and displays the Confederate flag at his concerts.
This is the second time in a month the Detroit rocker has made headlines in Nashville. Last month he invited “Fox & Friends’ to visit his new Honky Tonk and during the interview referred to “The View” co-host Joy Behar as a “b***h.”
“The comment even surprised someone like (Fox & Friends co-host Steve) Doocy, who apologized for the language, prompting Kid Rock to follow: ‘I apologize for the language, not the sentiment,’” reported Consequence of Sound.
He had been slated to serve as Grand Marshall of the city’s downtown Christmas parade. But “in light of the backlash ... organizers replaced Kid Rock with legit hometown hero James Shaw Jr., who thwarted a mass shooting at the city’s Waffle House back in April,” wrote the online music magazine.
According to News Channel 5, City council member Freddie O’Connell said the sign for Kid Rock’s new bar had “prompted a lot of chatter among city officials - chatter that he hasn’t seen over a sign since the controversy of the Wild Beaver Saloon, which was eventually approved.”
O’Connell told the TV station that some of his colleagues worried that the sign was moving downtown Nashville further away from being a family-friendly atmosphere.
“There’s this general sense whereas lower Broadway once had an authentic honky tonk appeal, it’s descending into something that is more like a theme park and an attraction,” O’Connell told the news station.
Though this is the Detroit native’s “first foray into the Nashville food scene,” wrote Eater Nashville when the place opened in October, “he isn’t new entirely to restaurant ownership — last year in Detroit he opened (a) 5,800-square-foot food and beverage project called Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit.”
Nashville council member Kathleen Murphy, who voted against the butt-shaped sign, said during debate that Nashville has worked hard to become an “It City” tourist destination, the newspaper reported.
“This one I feel crosses the line between good taste, family-friendliness, and I think what we would like Nashville to portray to people who come to visit us,” she said, according to the Tennessean. “If we allow this, what is going to come next? I think we can all use our imaginations there.”