New Johnny Cash video
January 18, 2003 6:21 AM   Subscribe

New Johnny Cash video This gorgeous rendition of the song, "Hurt" (actually a Nine Inch Nails cover), makes my heart ache. As a longtime Cash fan, I sure hope he knows how much he is loved. I was moved to mail him a card and got the address from his fan site: House of Cash, 700 Johnny Cash Parkway, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Send the Man in Black some love.
posted by sparky (60 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
...and then I heard his version of Desperado and tore up the letter.
posted by machaus at 6:53 AM on January 18, 2003


*Warning: 41.9 M Quicktime file. But worth it.
posted by ColdChef at 7:08 AM on January 18, 2003


Upon further review: The Christ imagery is silly and it looks like Johnny's part was all done in one take, but even Bad Cash is better than No Cash.
posted by ColdChef at 7:14 AM on January 18, 2003


True ColdChef.
I have always been a big fan, long before the kids started to listen to him again because he was " a cool old guy who knows who Trent is."
I personally feel that this is Bad Cash, but that's just my opinion. I really don't care for his new "I'm so cool I can cover alternative bands" attitude... but if younger generations start buying his stuff and begin to listen to his older - and in my opinion, far superior - music, than more power to him.
posted by bradth27 at 7:20 AM on January 18, 2003


but if younger generations start buying his stuff and begin to listen to his older - and in my opinion, far superior - music, than more power to him.

I've never listened to Cash, besides a few U2 songs (One, The Wanderer). However, this definetely is a brilliant version of Hurt. In fact it is so good that it actually does make me want to learn more about Cash.
posted by einarorn at 7:50 AM on January 18, 2003


reminded me of the "flashback" drug in the poet's tale of dan simmons' hyperion for some reason :D oh and the hand gestures. the hand gestures!
posted by kliuless at 8:02 AM on January 18, 2003


einarorn,

Do it. You won't be sorry.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:14 AM on January 18, 2003


I really don't care for his new "I'm so cool I can cover alternative bands" attitude... but if younger generations start buying his stuff and begin to listen to his older - and in my opinion, far superior - music, than more power to him.

See, that's interesting. I'm into most of Cash's music, but I prefer this phase of his recording career to some of his others (the all hymn/spirtual phase, the slew of overly goofy/silly songs he recorded -- yes, "a boy named sue", too). Sure, not his best, he's not turning out any Walk the Lines or recording anything with the raw power of live at folsom, but he's an old guy, and he's doing much better than most aging musicians do.

Hurt is a good song, and that's coming from someone who doesn't much like NIN (The Downward Spiral being the only good record trent turned out, IMO). It never sounded nearly as authentic coming out of trents mouth as it does here tho.

Each of the last few "American" records has a few gems on it, like this one. On the last record it was his cover/duet of Will Oldham's "I See A Darkness".
posted by malphigian at 8:15 AM on January 18, 2003


The scenes of younger Johnny reminded me of The Limey, in which Terence Stamp's flashbacks to his daughter as a baby are shown through scenes of a much younger Stamp from another movie, Poor Cow.
posted by britain at 8:20 AM on January 18, 2003


Johnny Cash is my hero. Only he could write a country song about killing his wife, and still become popular.

Johnny Cash -- the original heavy metal attitude.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:22 AM on January 18, 2003


Dark Messiah: If you're talking about "Delia's Gone", he didn't write it, its an old folk song. I'm pretty sure various versions got covered by lots of people.

Interestingly, while wandering the web trying to confirm the above, I found this tidbit:
1900 In Savannah, an argument between two teenagers turned deadly as Moses "Coony" Houston shot and killed (she actually died on Christmas, but was shot on Christmas Eve) Delia Green. "Coony" apparently claimed Green was "his girl" while she objected. The incident inspired the popular song "Delia's Gone," a.k.a. "Delia," "All I Have is Gone," and "All I Got Done Gone." Item contributed by John Garst, University of Georgia.
Who knows if thats true, but its a story anyway.
posted by malphigian at 8:37 AM on January 18, 2003


This is what first interested me in Johnny Cash; I believe it originally ran as a full-page ad in the Nashville paper. It's classic.
posted by The Michael The at 9:08 AM on January 18, 2003


Though I am not a fan of country music, I enjoy Johnny Cash. "I Walk The Line" is my favorite tune --- I was first exposed to Johnny Cash while watching an episode of Space: Above and Beyond [Google: Johnny Cash + Space Above and Beyond], a few years ago.

Easier than eating pancakes.
posted by quam at 9:12 AM on January 18, 2003


Pfft, Cash has clearly taken the easy way out on doing a NIN cover. He could have at least done "Closer".
posted by wackybrit at 9:13 AM on January 18, 2003


I'm pretty new to Cash, a friend introduced me to him about 7 years ago. If you're skeptical of his remakes of grunge or alternative bands, listen to his brilliant version of Rusty Cage by Soundgarden.

I've seen him in concert a couple times, and he always played a high energy, 2 1/2 hour show. I'll be sure to check out "Hurt".
posted by vito90 at 9:13 AM on January 18, 2003


I nip off for a johnny at least four times a day.
posted by johnnyboy at 9:14 AM on January 18, 2003


Interesting that "crown of shit" became "crown of thorns"

Great song. He did a great cover of Spain's song "Spiritual" a few years back.

Cool video though.
posted by pjdoland at 9:15 AM on January 18, 2003


Interesting that "crown of shit" became "crown of thorns"

It's less messy that way.

Oh, right, the blood. It's less stinky, anyways.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:35 AM on January 18, 2003


I'm with ColdChef: pretty heavy-handed video, not very original imagery, C minus (and this from someone who sleeps under a Jim Marshall photograph of Cash live in San Quentin). But the "Hurt" vocals kick ass, even if it's obvious that mr. Cash is, sadly, in very poor physical conditions. If any of you has seen Cash on Larry King (the host embarrassing as usual, Cash in very bad shape, very tired and by now almost blind, but full of dignity and decency as usual). The transcript is here (via Take Country Back!)

I 've never listened to Cash, besides a few U2 songs (One, The Wanderer).
*cries*

Interesting that "crown of shit" became "crown of thorns"
The man has often said that he's not into modern-day profanity use -- a Southern gentleman to the very end
posted by matteo at 9:44 AM on January 18, 2003


Oh, and also, since "pacifist" nowadays seems to be a dirty word, a few words of wisdom from the original Man in Black:

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak-of-lightnin' cars and fancy clothes.
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought to be a Man In Black.
...
I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold;
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been:
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believin' that the Lord was on their side.
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin' that we all were on their side.

posted by matteo at 9:50 AM on January 18, 2003


Thanks for posting this, I heard they shot a video for it but would never have seen it on tv (or remembered to search online for it myself).

I'm so cool I can cover alternative bands
I'm absolutely sure that thought has never entered the head of Johnny Cash.
posted by dogwalker at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2003


I'm so cool I can cover alternative bands

Johnny Cash is much more than cool. He can do, or cover, whatever or whomever he wants.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:08 AM on January 18, 2003


Thanks Sparky. I, like Dogwalker, probably would never had seen this nor would ever had thought to look for it.

I am not familiar with the orginal version of this song but I found the whole thing pretty moving. I'll leave any complaints of heavy-handedness and been-there, done-that by the wayside: I guess you could say I'm in awe. Maybe it is because I am a recent Cash fan (from hearing Ring of Fire one day on the radio) although my awareness of him geos way back. It all goes back to being a musician in my high school days and listenining to Cheech and Chong. I don't remember the exact quote; something like: "Don't worry Carl, I wa-n't gonna say bitch." /Johnny Cash voice
posted by Dick Paris at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2003


Man, and I thought I was cynical.

You guys should give Johnny a break, he is the real deal.
posted by canucklehead at 10:22 AM on January 18, 2003


If you read the cnn transcript that matteo linked to, to the part about being in jail in Georgia. That was actually the LaFayette , Georgia jail...a couple of miles south of me (Chattanooga). Johnny came back a few years after that and played a free concert at the drive in there. A former co-worker told me about seeing this as a kid. Johnny was clean and kept thanking the sherrif. Saying that the sherrif saved his life. This was in the early 70's I believe. It was really weird reading about this from Johnny himself..
posted by mkelley at 10:28 AM on January 18, 2003


I love that he's covering contemporary stuff, because he shows everyone how much better he is than they are. I love Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but Cash's cover of The Mercy Seat makes the original look like a used bandage. Hooray for him.
posted by Hildago at 10:50 AM on January 18, 2003


Hildago, I feel the same way about Hurt. Cash's version is far more painful and intimate than the NIN original.

Cash has never been welcome in any genre. The rock'n'rollers think he's too country, country singers thinks he's a rebellious rock'n'roller and now some alt listeners think he's a washed up old poser who covers alternative because it's cool.

For someone to put out such quality work, consistently, over so many years and still earn suspicious side glances because of his refusal to be pigeonholed, I'd say he's doing something right.
posted by Tacodog at 11:08 AM on January 18, 2003


Each and every time that voice is recorded before it stops forever is a good thing.

</melodrama>
posted by rocketpup at 11:27 AM on January 18, 2003


Thanks for this link, it's a beautiful version of the song (but the end, where he closes up the piano, made me sad - I had a morbid flash-forward). I also love his version of Personal Jesus.

I love Johnny Cash, he's always been the epitome of cool, he's got integrity, grace and class and just isn't interested in fitting in, he honestly likes what he likes. I completely agree with what Tacodog said.
posted by biscotti at 11:37 AM on January 18, 2003


I thought it was pretty good, although I was cringing with the expectation that a rotating pigs head or some such nonsense was going to appear.
Nah, just the standard Christ imagery and the "bountiful table" motif.
posted by 2sheets at 12:31 PM on January 18, 2003


Awesome. So, so very cool.

Like biscotti, I found the end pretty sad.
posted by MrAnonymous at 12:42 PM on January 18, 2003


I feel like I'm coming at it from the other way. I grew up with Johnny Cash in our house like a permanent (very, very welcome) houseguest, but I've never liked NIN, like at all. Now, though, maybe I'll give them another shot. There's a good song in there, which I would never have listened close enough to find.

And Cash's gospel stuff is fantastic, even to this day: to cite yet another example, he turns Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" into this gospel hymn, and it resonates much deeper than the original.
posted by chicobangs at 1:36 PM on January 18, 2003


I kind of backed into Cash years ago with Nick Cave's cover of The Folksinger. I'm a devotee now.

This video, and a few more of the songs on the last couple of albums have had that quality, of making something for the teevee to show when he dies, but I think that death has been an important part of Cash's writing and maybe this is his way of coming to grips with it.

It also seems to me he has a real flair for the dramatic imagery of pain and loss. What he's going through now is losing his very self. These songs and images are also part of the showman.

I still don't like the Depeche Mode cover, though.

Give me Rock Island Line anytime.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:39 PM on January 18, 2003


i've never been a big cash fan but have liked a few of his songs. i think his cover on 'hurt' is well done indeed. but i do have to defend trent also... he's done a lot for music imo and cash's video is velvet-cheese compared to some of trent's work: the closer video was inspired by some of my personal favorites.
posted by poopy at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2003


Johnny Cash is the coolest man alive and that's been true at least since Elvis died.

I understand June Carter Cash is working on a new album. "Press On," her 1999 album, was fantastic.
posted by maurice at 3:42 PM on January 18, 2003


I never could stand Tom Petty but Cash's cover of "I Won't Back Down" transformed the song into something strong and forthright and amazing, especially with his facin'-the-judge-almighty-soon age and health. He made an annoying (to me) pop song into a beautiful, defiant ballad... I think we're going to use his version of "Would You Lay with Me" at our wedding.

On preview... it finally loaded. Wow. Wow does he look rough, wow was the old footage cool, and wow are there tears in my eyes.
posted by mimi at 3:44 PM on January 18, 2003


This is weirdly timely for me: I picked up The Essential Johnny Cash today, just because I heard the first few songs while I was shopping for books. Not the perfect collection -- I would have loved to get Long Black Veil, and his 90s work for American isn't included -- but there's a lot of lovely, classic stuff. The Amazon Canada site has samples of all the tracks.

It's very odd to pause "Big River" to see and hear that video. What a difference, but still so strong, so good.

Thank you, Mr. Cash. Thanks.
posted by maudlin at 4:44 PM on January 18, 2003


Johnny Cash rules.

Anyone who can take a Nine Inch Nails song and make it into something much darker (and better) is OK in my book.

Thanks for the link, I never would have run into this otherwise.
posted by mmoncur at 5:55 PM on January 18, 2003


In today's political climate, could any noted musician get away with playing a concert in a prison, for prisoners?
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:32 PM on January 18, 2003


Good lord, that was good.
posted by GriffX at 6:33 PM on January 18, 2003


I think he has listened to a lot of modern rock, found songs he liked, and covered them.

I'm not a fan of his, but I don't think he's a poser.

BTW, he did an interview on NPR a while back. I think that's where I first heard about his NIN and Soundgarden covers.
posted by moonbiter at 6:56 PM on January 18, 2003


Here's the link to that NPR interview.
posted by moonbiter at 6:59 PM on January 18, 2003


I'm usually not a name-dropper. But I've had dinner with Johnny Cash.

Twice.
posted by brittney at 7:59 PM on January 18, 2003


Johnny Cash is my hero. Only he could write a country song about killing his wife, and still become popular.

If you're talking about "Delia's Gone", he didn't write it, its an old folk song.

Yeah, but he did play a gospel singing wife-killer in an episode of Columbo. (Scroll down to episode "Swan Song")
posted by samuelad at 8:01 PM on January 18, 2003


In today's political climate, could any noted musician get away with playing a concert in a prison, for prisoners?

Steve Earle. Maybe. After that, though, the list gets a little thin.
posted by chicobangs at 9:39 PM on January 18, 2003


I'm usually not a name-dropper. But I've had dinner with Johnny Cash.

Twice.


So are you going to favour us with a story or a tidbit or are you just going to leave it at that? :)
posted by Space Coyote at 12:10 AM on January 19, 2003


I lived in Nashville as a kid and still do. My stepfather often bragged to acquaintances that he was friends with Johnny Cash, and would show off his collection of personally autographed albums, satin tour jackets and other memorabilia. This was in the late 80s, before his resurgence in popularity, and while I'd heard of Johnny Cash, I was 11 and could care less. Besides, everyone in Nashville knows a famous country singer. I thought little of it.

Once he and his wife came over for spaghetti, and once at a later date for lemonade. I remember very little about the dinner and less about the lemonade occasion. I only remember wishing I was somewhere else.

Now, I feel like a complete heel, and my mom and stepdad are long since divorced. Still, me, Man in Black and spaghetti--makes for a captivating opener.
posted by brittney at 12:58 AM on January 19, 2003 [1 favorite]


Conway Twitty
posted by shabrem at 1:16 AM on January 19, 2003


Covers he's done and even more done of him. The man gets around. Or should I say the man comes around?
posted by DyRE at 1:49 AM on January 19, 2003


brittney = Captain Cool. I wish I had known a cool country star when I lived in Tennessee. Bah.
posted by UKnowForKids at 2:31 AM on January 19, 2003


I dunno... I guess I just don't see the appeal -- I'm one of those people who just never will become a Johnny Cash fan.

Gotta admit, the acoustic guitar/piano arrangement really works for this song though.
posted by Foosnark at 9:10 AM on January 19, 2003


contrast with kenny rogers' there you go again :D also btw, if anyone can post a link to kenny rogers doing "the gambler" on the muppet show, i'd be eternally grateful, thanks!
posted by kliuless at 11:08 AM on January 19, 2003


Growing up, I don't recall my mom showing any particular interest in music.

Until Johnny Cash played the local county fair. When he touched her hand at that concert, it is the only time I've ever seen my mom act like a teenager (and I actually have memories of my mother as a teenager).

I have no interest in music myself, and that episode of Columbo is my only adult exposure to the man, but anybody that can make my mom that happy just by showing up is cool in my book.
posted by obfusciatrist at 2:48 PM on January 19, 2003


Some comments were complaining about the Christ imagery in the video. I suspect that these images were taken from the movie of the life of Christ that the Man in Black produced. Most of the other clips in the video are from high points in his past career; the crucified Christ images are probably included because they are from a movie JC made and is proud of. They are part of the "empire of dirt" referred to in the song. (As I understand it, Billy Graham's people still use this movie at revivals.) I haven't seen the movie, so I can't confirm that that's where the images are from, but it makes sense.

Some people may have a standing objection to all forms of Christian imagery, just on principle, but if the images are really from a movie Johnny Cash produced, it makes sense to have it in this video, along with all the other things he's fixin' to leave behind.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:57 PM on January 19, 2003


I hear he's taking on Tool next.
posted by kevspace at 10:41 PM on January 19, 2003


The man takes another's song, and makes it his own. That, in my book, isn't just a cover.

Rowboat, written by Beck, done by Cash, opened my eyes.

And the christian imagery in this video of a song written by trent is just too ironic.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:15 AM on January 20, 2003


Not a huge fan of his music, but his voice is amazing. Natch, his coyote was quite enjoyable for me..."Find your soulmate, Homer.."
posted by davidmsc at 11:10 AM on January 20, 2003


[cash ├╝ber alles]
posted by donkeysuck at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2003


I like some of his other covers/re-makes, but unfortunately not this one.

As with other posters in this thread, I got into Cash heavily because of his One/U2 cover, about a year ago.

I've been purchasing earlier albums ever since.(accounted for nearly 80% of my music purchases in the last year)

Cash, like Cohen writes much of his work, and the early stuff was actually pretty "edgy" for the time.
posted by jkaczor at 5:29 AM on January 21, 2003


Thanks for the NPR link!
posted by sparky at 12:27 PM on January 22, 2003


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