BOUNCING BACK

Pat Green refuses to let a vicious beating keep him down

Pat Green is a glass-half-full kind of guy. "I don't have a dark, deep side," confesses Pat. "I'm an optimist -- and I have no room in my life for negativity."

Pat's positive attitude has served him well, especially during tough times -- such as last March when he was brutally assaulted on a Texas beach.

"It was absolutely random," he confides. "I still don't know what the guy looks like."

Pat, wife Kori and several bandmates were walking down a stretch of South Padre Island beach during Spring Break. Two men suddenly approached, and without warning, one attacked Pat.

"He broke my face in five places," he explains. "I spent two days in the hospital. It still hurts. So I put Grade A Fancy frozen peas on my face."

How can Pat be so lighthearted about the attack?

"There's nothing to take personally," he shrugs. "The guy didn't know me. He was just mean. He'll get his. I really believe you reap what you sow."

Pat, who turned 30 in April, is already beginning to reap what he has sown. For years he's recorded his own albums and sold them himself. Some singers have tried to do that and failed, but Pat's been wildly successful, selling some 200,000 records without record company backing.

Then Pat's life shifted into high gear last year when he released his first major-label album, Three Days. The album's title cut is currently climbing the charts.

"It's weird to have people calling a song of mine a hit!" chuckles Pat. "It's nowhere near No. 1. But I'd rather have 40 Top 20 hits than have one No. 1 and then fade away. I want to do this for a long time."

If longevity is his goal, Pat is already on his way. He's a household name in his home state of Texas where he has toured nonstop for over six years, selling out venues from Ft. Worth's mega-honky-tonk Billy Bob's Texas to Houston's monstrous Astrodome.

"Our fans are so great," declares Pat.

"It's definitely the shows that keeps them coming back."

Pat's recent success and a starring role in a series of Miller Lite TV commercials have altered the course of his life. "People come up to me on the street," he laughs. "I'm welcoming it. I just find it a little embarrassing. But it's a privilege to be able to enjoy this lifestyle. You have to take it seriously."

Pat has made it a point to surround himself with serious talent, including some celebrated fellow Texans. Natalie Maines sang on an early record before she became the Dixie Chicks' lead singer. Her father, Lloyd Maines, has produced all of Pat's albums. And his current hit was co-written by fellow Texan Radney Foster.

But Pat reeled in "the big one" when Willie Nelson agreed to sing a duet, "Threadbare Gypsy Soul," on Pat's current album. "That was the biggest highlight of my year," boasts Pat proudly.

"Willie's one of my dear friends. I hope to have a career just like his."

--M.B. Roberts

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