i know i’ve mentioned it before, but i have a definite love for Johnny Cash, & have had for years.
My earliest memories of Cash were when my grandfather would play songs for me on his Gibson Acoustic-Electric. (i will NEVER sell that guitar.) Cash died about a month after my grandfather, so i’ve always associated him as a kind of wise, role model type figure. i’ve still got his old cassette tapes somewhere.
What’s Great About Johnny Cash:
- He’s a poet. His music is moving in that storytelling way where you feel like you can really get out of your own head for awhile, even if it’s just a few. That’s important in life. I can be feeling down, & listen to a Johnny Cash song about being in jail or freight trains or working on a farm- it puts my own life in perspective i guess sometimes.
- He had character. My favorite Johnny Cash song will always be Man in Black, just because of what it stands for. Cash always stood up for the underdog, the people in poverty, the ones from the hard side of life. i admire that he gave a voice to the voiceless, & identified.
- He was a bad ass. (This kind of intersects with the previous point.) He sang his songs at San Quentin prison to the inmates. He was arrested for picking flowers. (Nevermind if he was drunk at the time.) Just listen to A Boy Named Sue, & you know that man singing must be a bad ass.
- He was a romantic. He loved June. Talk about real soul mates. i don’t think there are many relationships anymore in this world like the one Johnny & June had. it’s not something measurable.
- He wasn’t really in a particular genre. This i really like because i hate the way everyone’s trying to nail people down with labels. Sure, i guess Johnny Cash was kind of country. But he was kind of like the beginning of rockabilly as well. And at the end of his life, he was still making music of course, covering songs by bands like Nine Inch Nails & Tom Petty. IN HIS SEVENTIES. That is just awesome.
- He worked hard to get where he got in life. I don’t know. Music these days to me feels so manufactured, with shows like American Idol etc. pumping out new “artists” like they’re a dime a dozen. Real talent takes more than that. He grew up poor & he worked his way out of it, fueled by a love for his music.
So those are just a few of my favorite reasons. And no, I wasn’t too impressed with the movie based on his life, because I felt it focused too much on his “drug problems” for Hollywood’s sake. (Go figure.) Johnny Cash was so much more than that.
And when people ask me if i’m “goth” because i wear black i say no, i’m just the chick in black.