Kid Rock caused another scene at a Waffle House — this time, for charity. The entertainer came to sign autographs for hundreds of fans during a fundraiser at the suburban Atlanta eatery. The event came just a week after Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, pleaded not guilty to a charge of battery from a fight last fall at another Waffle House.
Waffle House spokeswoman Kelly Thrasher said the Atlanta-based company wanted to "take a negative situation and turn it into a positive situation."
Proceeds were to go to Nicholas House, a homeless shelter for families in DeKalb County, where the 37-year-old entertainer was arrested last October following a fight with a customer. Ritchie was scheduled to serve food to Waffle House customers Tuesday but changed plans when he realized he would only have time to sign autographs before his concert scheduled for later in the evening at nearby Gwinnett Arena.
Ritchie said he wanted to make up for the fight.
"The whole situation before was kind of silly," he said as he signed autographs for fans. "We just thought after that unfortunate incident we'd try to do something silly but something more positive."
With posters, CDs, guitars and hats in hand, the line of Kid Rock fans snaked around the building for hours waiting for an autograph and photo with the hick-hop star.
Some of the fans drove hundreds of miles to see him.
First in line: Ashley Miles, 21, from Morgantown, W. Va., and her mother, Terri Miles, from Maryland. They arrived at 8:30 p.m. Monday, set up chairs and waited all night.
"I love him; he is gorgeous," the daughter said.
Next in line: Alisha Mullen and husband Wes Mullen, who arrived at 3:30 a.m. from Point Pleasant, W. Va. They brought sons Carson Taylor, 7, and Brady Taylor, 10.
When asked what he would say to Kid Rock, Carson smiled and said, "I'm a cowboy, baby," mimicking Ritchie's hit song.
Police say Ritchie's tour bus had stopped at another area Waffle House on Oct. 21 after a performance in downtown Atlanta; an exchange of words with a customer escalated into a fight that spilled from the restaurant out into the parking lot.
Officers took Ritchie and five members of his entourage into custody about a mile down the road after the group left the Waffle House.
It's not Ritchie's first public altercation. About a month before the Waffle House incident, he was cited in a police report for misdemeanor battery after he was accused of slapping and punching Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas. (Both musicians are ex-husbands of Pamela Anderson, who was a presenter at the show.) Charges were never filed in the case.