Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mid-Week TV Watching

The last movie to come in from Blockbuster Online is Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt. Most, if not all, of my favorite songwriters count Townes among their favorite songwriters, so I've wanted for some time to learn about this guy and hear his work.

He's a classic folk singer-songwriter who lived through the 60s and 70s among people like Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark - no real home even though he had a wife back in Texas, lots of alcohol, and lots of drugs.

Guy Clark, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, and Norah Jones have recorded his songs, among many others.

One of the most moving scenes in the documentary is a shot where he's singing Waiting Around to Die in his trailer, and he brings an old black man to tears with the simple song. Waiting Around to Die was the first song he ever wrote. That's one hell of a first song to write.

For better or worse, Townes Van Zandt seems to have been completely unaffected by anything around him - wives, children, friends, success, even - and he, in turn, deeply affected everyone else around him.

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