David Nail Talks About His Old 'Day Job' At Dairy Queen

GAC David Nail Dairy Queen"For tips I caddied at the local course/At night i mixed boat drinks down on the wharf/flirtin with the college girls getting my barefoot wet out in the world/fell in love 100 times."

These are lyrics from the song "Summer Job Days," off of David Nail's album "I'm About to Come Alive." The Grammy-nominated singer never actually caddied at a gold course, or bartended on a pier. When he was 17-years-old, Nail spent the summer working at a Dairy Queen in his hometown of Kennett, Mo., and he returned there for a shift as part of GAC's series "Day Jobs."

"I didn't write that song," he told AOL Jobs. "Although I did fall in love 100 times."

Nail's life is now a far cry from those days spent mixing up Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzards for hundreds of squealing children. Well, the squealing children haven't changed. AOL Jobs caught up with Nail on his tour bus between San Antonio and Austin, Texas, where he's opening for Taylor Swift on her "Speak Now" tour.

"It's wonderful. You can't beat 20,000 screaming girls."

Even if those girls are the same age as Dairy Queen's key demographic?

"Yeah, they are illegally young," he concedes. "But I'm happily married. And it's exciting to hear girls scream anytime."

Nail has been making music out of Nashville for a decade now, only hitting it big in 2009 with the Top 10 single "Red Light." Since then, Nail has hopped from one career milestone to another, including sold-out arena shows with the princess of country-pop.

It was nice for Nail to take a one-day breather in a small-town ice-cream shop owned by his best friend's mom. "Any time I get to go home is a joyous occasion."

And his memories of that time are fond. "When I was there all the cool kids worked there," he explains. "It was a place we could all hang out together, and eat as much as possible without paying for it."

There is a lot of nostalgia for Nail whipped up in that vanilla soft serve. "It was exciting to make some of the same things, order some of the same things as 15 years ago."

Times have changed, however. "Back then I could eat or drink all I wanted and I didn't gain any weight. Now just the thought of eating ice cream puts pounds on me."

Dairy Queen itself has changed too. "Now they're extremely... almost trendy, modern," he says. "Back then it was pretty basic."

Going back, Nail did everything he did as a teen. "In reality, it's not very difficult at all. Taking orders, remembering how to punch them in. It's definitely not curing cancer." And he got to sample again his favorite food from his boyhood days: the Chicken Strip Basket.

AOL Jobs Asks
David Nail
5 Quick Questions

1. What was your first job? Dairy Queen was my first job ever.

2. What inspires you? Life. Real life experience. This is what I was born to do. It's not rocket science; it's just music. I write songs that speak to me and pick songs that speak to me, and hopefully they move other people too.

3. What is the most important trait needed to succeed? Holy Smokes. I'm just a singer, and now you want me to be a philosopher? I don't know-- hard work?

4. What is your biggest challenge? Finding a million people who like what you do. I don't think I've found it yet. If there are a million people who like what I do, they better fork out $10 for my record. Help a brother out.

5. What is the best career advice you ever received? I have no clue. But I can give you my best career advice: Work your rear off, believe in the man upstairs by gosh, and the rest will take care of itself.

Even as a Dairy Queen employee, Nail always wanted to just make music. He tried college for a while, but ultimately left to pursue his real dreams. "I dropped out of a few colleges. I'm not the smartest tool in the shed."

He regrets that move "everyday," he admits. "I'd love to be able to say I have a degree. But I think I made a smart business decision."

The college-age kid moved to Nashville in the early 1990s, working at a blues store downtown by day, and making music by night.

"Obviously I didn't make a whole lot of money through the majority of that time," he says. "And I still don't make that much."

Success is still new for Nail. His sophomore album isn't out for another few weeks.

But he can now make a living entirely through music. "I remember the first time I got a check," he says dreamily. "It's like getting paid to watch a baseball game."

Nail's once-far-fetched career plans are now really within reach. Which is a lucky thing. "I've never been one for physical labor of any kind," he explains. "I don't really enjoy work that much."

On his "Day Jobs" shoot, Nail fulfilled all the duties of your standard employee, except for mopping up. "I don't like to clean," he says. "You're in a restaurant and lots of people are gross. You probably find disgusting things."

While there aren't that many disgusting things about ife as a country music star, Nail's current job bears something of a resemblance to that summer at the Kennett Dairy Queen. There are the screaming girls, of course. And the chance to spend every day hanging out with the cool kids.

Next: Neal McCoy Talks About His Old 'Day Job' As A Ladies' Shoe Salesman

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tyrique watkins

them blizzerds be good as **** son

October 31 2011 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like Country Singer David Nail "Nailed" that job at Dairy Queen!

Today he is singing the blues, about cheating, immorality, and unmentionable heartbreak, etc., and people are naively paying him big bucks to do it!

October 31 2011 at 3:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Third Line Designs

I love Dairy Queen. I used to work at one but the job was lousy plus the paychecks I received.

October 31 2011 at 3:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Third Line Designs

I'm sorry, but I do not know who that is.

If he knows Taylor Swift personally, then he should be known by now.

October 31 2011 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

sounds like a country song,,,used to work at dairy queen till my wife left me and took bubba my dog and even took that ole crooked chrome bumber off 67 chevy truck caused me to be down on my luck so i'sa couldnt hook up the metal boat and hail if hail dont fall cause she even took the battery to the trolling motor so i thought a b it before hanging me with a noose and dang iffens a bubba brain thought didnt hit me so i hooked up the ole boat with no hitch just the noose rope left by the ole x bitch,,,uhmm i means witch then off we went to the nearest pawn shop ,,,he said nope to buying the boat hence no battery for troller motor,,,so i said what about dat dar guitar,,,few dings n scratches but hey a new bubba thought what iffens i can be a country star like dwight, willie, hank and so many more so theres how it all started,,,hehehe they'l never catch me'''just an ole poor artist man i am,,,

October 31 2011 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

good thing he dropped the dairy...now what about the queen?

October 30 2011 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


October 30 2011 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, he sure didn't work to hard, he didn't like physical labor and he didn't lke clean up so go
figure!! He like to stand there and push the price buttons and smile!! That is a hard job for someone like this!!

October 30 2011 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Country Singer Used To Work At Dairy Queen"

No S#!T

October 30 2011 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Seattle jumper

OMG thank you for letting me know. I have always wondered where he (who ever he is ) may have worked. Next time can you lets us know he fav sock brand and does he like pop tarts.

October 30 2011 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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