updated 04/30/2009 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/30/2009 AT 12:45 PM ET
Dolly Parton is in New York City for Thursday’s opening of her Broadway musical 9 to 5, but she didn’t always love the Big Apple.
In 1968, Parton and a friend arrived in the city and got a room at the cheapest hotel they could find – right in the middle of the city near 42nd Street. “That’s where all the prostitutes run and they ran in pairs for safety,” Parton told David Letterman on The Late Show With David Letterman on Wednesday night, “and we looked like we might be them. I still had the big hair, looking trashy like I do.”
While walking near Times Square, Parton was propositioned by a man who wouldn’t take no for an answer. As the confrontation grew more aggressive, Parton defended herself the Tennessee way. “We were just country girls,” she says, “and our daddies had given us both a gun when we left home … I said, ‘Look, if you touch me one more time, I’m gonna shoot you.’ “
The mistaken identity continued when they returned to their hotel room. “They had locked us out of our room.” she says. “They thought we were turning tricks. Our luggage was in the hall.”
Parton called the adventure a “bad bad experience” and tells Letterman, “I didn’t come back here for years and years.”