Kid Rock Still Heartbroken After Death of Frequent Collaborator Years Later
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Kid Rock Still Heartbroken After Death of Frequent Collaborator Years Later: "Devastating"

It may have been years later, but Kid Rock is still heartbroken over the death of one of his frequent collaborators — Joe C. The musician recently reflected on the rapper's death.

Speaking on This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von podcastKid Rock talked about the first time he met Joe C. Joe C became known for appearing at Rock's concerts. He struck an impression with audiences thanks to his small stature as well as his language and bold attitude. Joe C, real name Joseph Michael Calleja, died in his sleep in 2000 from complications related to celiac disease.

"Fortunately, he passed away at home," Kid Rock said. "It was already devastating enough, but if that would have happened on the road...."

Kid Rock first met Joe C. during one of Rock's shows. Their first encounter resulted from a comedy of errors. Kid Rock explained that he instantly made an impression. "He came to one of my early shows. It was probably 600 to 700 kids there. He's standing on a table. You could tell he was a little dude, but he didn't have the features. He would always yell, "I'm not a f—king midget. I'm just a little mother—ker,'" Rock said.

Kid Rock and Joe C Become Fast Friends

Rock though Joe C. was a little kid at first. He asked to see him after the show because he was concerned. Rock said, "He's smoking a joint on the table, singing along to all my old dirty songs. I'm like does anybody see that f—king kid out there. Someone brought their six or seven or eight-year-old kid. Somebody go get that kid. I have questions. I get him back there."

Rock continued, "He goes that's f—king awesome man. And he lights up another joint and I'm like WTF. He goes, 'I'm 18, I'm f—king Joe C mother—ker.' Do you want a job? He goes I'm not really that good of a rapper. I'm like well I can teach you. I can teach you. I can show you young sensei."

Kid Rock and Joe C. struck up a friendship that lasted the rest of Joe's life. Kid Rock made him part of his group and became a mentor for the musician. He also looked out for him while he was touring, making sure that Joe managed his symptoms. When Joe forgot his medicine one time, Kid Rock made Joe eat two bottles of Tums on the suggestion of Joe's father.

"From that day on, he was down, he was in the crew. I miss him every day man," Kid Rock said. "He had celiac disease, He was diagnosed as a kid. So god bless him, he had to take like 72 pills a day. He had kind of like this dialysis machine that he hooked up at night. So it was tough to bring him on the road, but I'm glad he went to a lot of spots with us, to be able to see. This was when we were f—king nutmegs. We were just following the handbook of rock 'n roll to the tee and hopefully inventing some new chapters in it. He got to see so many cool places and got to meet so many of his heroes.