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Goodbye Mr. Cash
September 12, 2003 3:20 AM   Subscribe

The man in black is no more. Johnny Cash passes away from diabetes complications early this morning.
posted by SuzySmith (80 comments total)

 
Posted while PrinceValium was posting, sorry guys.
posted by SuzySmith at 3:23 AM on September 12, 2003


So much to say... but not right now.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:23 AM on September 12, 2003


...
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:25 AM on September 12, 2003


aw man.

i was lucky enough to see him perform in 1996. glad that i had the opportunity.
posted by maximolly at 3:27 AM on September 12, 2003


while I am sure that people from almost every music genre will be jumping on the Johhny Cash grief bandwagon. That in it's self is testament to how cool he was................ may he rest in peace.
posted by kenaman at 3:29 AM on September 12, 2003


One of these days and it won't be long
I'll rejoin them in a song
I'm gonna join the family circle at the throne ...

No, the circle won't be broken
Bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye ...
Daddy'll sing bass, Mama'll sing tenor
Me and little brother will join right in there
In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

Now I remember after work,
Mama would call in all of us
You could hear us singin' for a country mile
Now little brother has done gone on
But I'll rejoin him in a song
We'll be together again up yonder in a little while.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Cash. Your last album was so good, I couldn't believe you still had it in you. May you join the family circle in the sky.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:36 AM on September 12, 2003


I would like to point out that John Ritter also died today......and ask yourself, ever seen the two of them together?

I blame Bush.
posted by Dagobert at 3:48 AM on September 12, 2003


Go here and scroll down to watch Cash's last music video,"Hurt".

Goodbye, Mr Cash. Godspeed.
posted by konolia at 3:53 AM on September 12, 2003


Watching the Hurt video now, makes me even more sad than it did the first time.

That may be the most amazing music video I've ever seen. Especially when you consider his condition while he was making it.

It also sparked my interest in his music. I realize I may be jumping on the Cash bandwagon really late, but I'm just getting into his music and with every album I listen to, he just gets better.
posted by einarorn at 3:53 AM on September 12, 2003


Dagobert, they always go out in twos.
posted by konolia at 3:54 AM on September 12, 2003


Goodbye, Coyote.
posted by davidmsc at 4:02 AM on September 12, 2003


Dagobert, they always go out in twos.


Like on the love boat.
posted by demannu at 4:21 AM on September 12, 2003


You know, it was about two weeks ago that I listened again to the VH1 Storytellers session with Johhny and Willie Nelson. Man that was good. I kinda got the feeling that some of the details were already starting to elude John. Willie came off much sharper, and it made me once again amazed at the work that Johnny was putting out. The Man Comes Around is brilliant, as far as I am concerned...

So, after listening, I said to my wife, "You know, I would really love to read a good biography of Johnny Cash". And, now, I feel saddened that I didn't get a chance to know him before he passed on....sounds corny, but man do I feel gut-punched reading this news this morning...

Can anyone recommend a good biography? Has anyone read John's own version?
posted by Richat at 4:24 AM on September 12, 2003


I'm in an odd place... I've always loved his music, but I've never bought a CD of his. Yeah, I'll be jumping on the CD buying bandwagon...

Hurt has to be one of the most powerful songs I've heard for a while. Listening to it just now sent tingles up and down my body... *sigh*

I wonder if he ever did build that car... ;)
posted by twine42 at 4:26 AM on September 12, 2003


For the rest of today these johnny cash albums are free to take. Do not download unless you own the original. (Maximum user limit 5)

All I ask is that if you download, give Mr. Cash a moment of silence.


-
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:31 AM on September 12, 2003


"Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

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

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.
"

Godspeed. I hope you and June both have found a brighter place.
posted by Irontom at 4:37 AM on September 12, 2003


...
posted by rusty at 4:42 AM on September 12, 2003


Fuck.
posted by jonmc at 5:01 AM on September 12, 2003


Crap, it's been a bad week for quality music.

Tonight I shall raise a glass for Johnny and Warren.
posted by tommasz at 5:04 AM on September 12, 2003


Johnny's gone, one more round, Johnny's gone.

.
posted by notsnot at 5:16 AM on September 12, 2003


...
posted by scottq at 5:20 AM on September 12, 2003


Can anyone recommend a good biography? Has anyone read John's own version?

"i've read books. Love in the time of Cholera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. And there about girls, right? But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography, Cash by Johnny Cash."
--Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

Cash's autobiography is pretty good. His perspective is interesting and his love of June will break your heart.
posted by jodic at 5:22 AM on September 12, 2003


Johnny Cash's music video "Hurt" was produced before his wifes death. If you've seen it that may come as some shock to you.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:23 AM on September 12, 2003


The Simpson's episode where Homer freaks out on Chief Wiggum's peyote chili was on last night in Japan (I'm way freakin' behind you), and my wife was surprised when I blurted out "That's Johnny Cash!" as soon as the coyote opened his mouth. Hard to mistake that voice.

Scene at the gate: "I'm Johnny Cash." (tips hat, passes, Peter nods)

It seems right that he go like this, shortly after his wife, dignified.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:24 AM on September 12, 2003


We'll meet again, don't know where, but I know we'll meet again one sunny day... From the last album, a cover from the soundtrack of Dr. Strangelove: Sniff.
posted by moonbird at 5:30 AM on September 12, 2003


We'll meet again... (The last song on his last album, in Real Audio) courtesy of VPRO broadcasting, The Netherlands.
posted by prolific at 5:37 AM on September 12, 2003


Sad news. Sorry to see him go. RIP Johnny.
Many a late night closed out at the bars in NY to Ring of Fire.
posted by a3matrix at 5:48 AM on September 12, 2003


This was the first thing I heard when I got in my car this morning. I got to see him live twice, once in Seattle at the King Street Theater and once in Laconia, New Hamphshire. Both times he put on good shows, very long 3 hour sets (with a break in the middle for June to perform). I remember the shows being very spirited except for him really mailing in "A Boy Named Sue".

Well I hit him hard right between the eyes,
he went down, but to my surprise,
he come up and bite off a piece of my ear."


Love you Johnny, thanks for the music.
posted by vito90 at 5:56 AM on September 12, 2003


i hear that whistle blowing
as the train comes round the bend
i ain't seen the sunshine
since i don't know when

he was doing good shit long before the NIN covers (and Hurt is damn fine, and I own it).

i come home pissed after a night out with bad shit, and now this.

alav haShalom.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:05 AM on September 12, 2003


.
posted by ashbury at 6:10 AM on September 12, 2003


I'll second the recommendation about his autobiography. Very good.

I'm definitely too young to claim to be one of his original fans, but I felt a close bond. This makes me sadder than when Kurt Cobain died.
posted by jmevius at 6:17 AM on September 12, 2003


Moments like this I really hope that there's some kind of afterlife, so maybe he can be with June again.
posted by jonmc at 6:19 AM on September 12, 2003


Listening to Live at Madison Square Garden right now, and "I Still Miss Someone" just finished.
posted by maurice at 6:20 AM on September 12, 2003


It is unfortunate that Living Legends do not remain living forever.

How many 10's of thousands no 100's of thousands of people have strapped on a guitar and pretended they were the Man in Black?

I was lucky enough to have seen him live probably 6 times over the course of my life. I realize the vast majority of people have never seen him, even if they were fans.

I blame the networks. Ignore all the corporate yadda yadda for a while and realize that our elder musicians are not able to play 25 cities, but they could probably do one show for a network broadcast. I would have rather seen an NBC special of Johnny rather than nothing. They do it for Britney Spears, the Dixie Chicks, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, etc etc etc.

Which network would like to be the "Living Legends" network? I assume the answer is "none of them".
posted by Ynoxas at 6:29 AM on September 12, 2003


jodic,

you're right, the autobiography is a beautiful, heartbreaking book. especially the part about his childhood in the cotton fields, and the death of his brother, and the dreams Cash had for the rest of his life about him

here's a link to the transcript of last year's appearence on (lame, I know, I know) Larry King Live

CASH: "The Man Comes Around" is a song that I wrote, it's my song of the apocalypse, and I got the idea from a dream that I had -- I dreamed I saw Queen Elizabeth. I dreamed I went in to Buckingham Palace, and there she sat on the floor.
And she looked up at me and said, Johnny Cash, you're like a thorn tree in a whirlwind. And I woke up, of course, and I thought, what could a dream like this mean? Thorn tree in a whirlwind? Well, I forgot about it for two or three years, but it kept haunting me, this dream. I kept thinking about it, how vivid it was, and then I thought, Maybe it's biblical. So I found it. Something about whirlwinds and thorn trees in the Bible. So from that, my song started and...


And it's a terrible loss for American culture, too
Goodnight, mr. Cash
posted by matteo at 6:35 AM on September 12, 2003


So sad. What a week.
posted by biscotti at 6:43 AM on September 12, 2003


Godspeed, Johnny.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:59 AM on September 12, 2003


from a friend of mine in Nashville:

--
I knew the day would come when I'd listen to "We'll Meet Again" from "The Man Comes Around" without John in this world anymore. I mentioned that to him last fall, and he gave me a whole new perspective on the song.

"Hmmm. Well you know, that song is kind of funny to me. It's a funny song, 'We'll Meet Again.' Maybe it's because I saw the Dr. Strangelove movie where it was planted in. Slim Pickens rode the A-bomb down, then the choir started singing 'We'll Meet Again' as the mushroom cloud [rises].

"It's kind of a black humor thing. That's why I see the humor in it."

I just listened to the song, figuring I might as well get it over with, and danged if it didn't make me laugh.

Marty Stuart told me that in the last few months, two vultures had taken up residence on the Cash property, and they would sit outside the window ofJohn's office and stare at him. And John would stare back at them.

Marty said, "It takes a guy pretty secure in his position in the world to befriend vultures.
posted by notsnot at 7:04 AM on September 12, 2003


Johnny spent months recording this song after being visited by Queen Victoria in a dream and being told that he was like a "whirlwind in a thorn tree"

When the Man Comes Around

There's a man goin' round takin' names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won't be treated all the same
There'll be a golden ladder reaching down
When the Man comes around
The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in his sip and in his sup
Will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potters' ground
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big cattle drum
Voices calling voices crying
Some are born and some of dying
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdome come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorntree
And the virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorntree
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks

'Till armageddon no shalam no shalome
Then the father-hen will call his chickens home
The wise men will bow down before the throne
And at his feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When the Man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the Man comes around

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to the big cattle drum
Voices calling voices crying
Some are born and some of dying
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdome come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorntree
And the virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorntree
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks

In measured hundredweight and pennypound
When the Man comes around.

"And I heard a voice amidst of the four beasts,
and I looked and behold a pale horse and his name
that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him."
posted by Pinwheel at 7:16 AM on September 12, 2003


Oh, I know I am weak
Oh, I know, I am vain
Take this weight from me
Let my spirit be
Unchained

posted by Fenriss at 7:18 AM on September 12, 2003


Live at folsom prison is the greatest live album ever recorded. Ever. It is an emotional experience that is even more special when you know what Johnny had to go through to do it.


...and I still miss someone.
posted by jmgorman at 7:19 AM on September 12, 2003


Very sad. It seems to happen often that someone will pass away shortly after thier spouse does.
posted by transient at 7:30 AM on September 12, 2003


Well notsnot I didn't think I would even smile today, but that Marty quote made me laugh. Ynoxas, Johnny had a variety series in the late '60's and early '70's (58 in all and probably way before your time) on ABC called, what else, The Johnny Cash Show. (warning some links there contain midis)

When I was a kid and heard Cash playing from the Hi-Fi, I knew either mom or dad or both were drunk or getting there.
Peace in the Valley my old friend...
posted by Cedric at 7:30 AM on September 12, 2003


.
posted by DragonBoy at 7:39 AM on September 12, 2003


Definitely a voice from my childhood ... Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson. Then I went through the phase where I was too cool for that country music. Then I grew up and appreciated all of them even moreso.

The Storytellers with Johnny & Willie is a fun good-old-boy listen.

The ad he took out when he won the 1998 Grammy is classic (and my favorite IM icon).

I was actually making a Cash mix for my sister this week. And now the whole playlist is out the window and we start from scratch. And my kids will be listening to Johnny Cash tonight like I did so many years ago.
posted by jmackin at 7:48 AM on September 12, 2003


I was listening to June Carter Cash's Press On last night, and when the Johnny and June duet "Standing on the Far Side Banks of Jordan" came on, I heard his unsteady voice and wondered how much longer he'd be around. I had figured that he wouldn't be long following her.

I believe my steps are growing wearier each day
Still I've got a journey on my mind.
The hurts of this old world have ceased to make me want to stay
But my one regret is leaving you behind.

If it proves to be His will that I am first to go
And somehow I've a feeling it will be.
When it comes your time to travel, likewise don't feel lost
For I will be the first one that you see.

And I'll be waiting on the far side banks of Jordan.
I'll be waiting drawing pictures in the sand.
And when I see you coming, I will rise up with a shout
And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand.

posted by anapestic at 7:59 AM on September 12, 2003


It's been strange for me to think about Johnny Cash for the past year or so, knowing that he'll die soon but not really being able to picture what it would be like for him to be dead. He just seemed like the kind of guy who'd stick around forever. I wish I could have seen him perform, though.
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:18 AM on September 12, 2003


This really sucks. Definitely one of a kind.
posted by btwillig at 8:18 AM on September 12, 2003


jmackin, your link doesn't work for me...Can you repost it?
posted by vito90 at 10:18 AM on September 12, 2003


Hmm..here's the article that included the picture I tried linking to directly.

And another.
posted by jmackin at 10:53 AM on September 12, 2003



posted by cinderful at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2003


try this one instead: http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/Audio/cash-ad.php
posted by Irontom at 10:56 AM on September 12, 2003


Was it this picture?
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:59 AM on September 12, 2003


Crap.

It is amazing how many people remember him from their parents playing his music. For me its Dad getting drunk after work on Friday and playing 16 Hits or something or Mom putting one of his more religious outings on a Sunday morning. And always, always Folsom Prison 8track on every summer vacation drive.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 11:01 AM on September 12, 2003


Re-reading his Grammy-winning liner notes for Dylan's country album "Nashville Skyline" today makes them more poignant than ever.
posted by momus at 11:31 AM on September 12, 2003


I hope this isn't taken the wrong way, but I've found considerable solace in what I've seen and heard of Johnny Cash these last few years. I can't think of anyone (with the exception of my own grandfather) who confronted and accepted his own mortality in a more dignified and graceful way than Johnny Cash has.

Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still, indeed.

R.I.P.
posted by gompa at 11:49 AM on September 12, 2003


Now that I have had time to think about it...the thing that most impressed me about Johnny Cash was that he was real. He was what he was and who he was. Not molded by the celebrity machine, not "created" by handlers-he was real, and he sang his songs from his gut. He sang "Hurt" as very truth.

And yes, I believe he is with his beloved June, and with his beloved Lord.
posted by konolia at 12:01 PM on September 12, 2003


Definitely a voice from my childhood ... Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson. Then I went through the phase where I was too cool for that country music. Then I grew up and appreciated all of them even moreso.

Exactly the same for me. I always associate Johnny (and Waylon & Willie too) with all the time I spent with my grandparents as a kid in Wyoming, bouncing around in the back of a jeep through the mountains, singing "Ring of Fire" at the top of my lungs or watching "Austin City Limits" with four feet of snow outside while a fire crackles in the background. Then I discovered punk rock and way way too freakin' cool for all of that for several years... then thank god I came to my goddamn senses in college and realized what mythic storytellers they were, and how almost primally beautiful their music really is. Righteous indeed.

Godspeed, Man in Black.
posted by scody at 12:03 PM on September 12, 2003


Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry,
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky.
And the tears that I cried for that woman are gonna flood you Big River.
Then I'm gonna sit right here until I die.

posted by mad at 12:05 PM on September 12, 2003


Random, loud, Johnny Cash playing through the ipod here, and my 2 year old is galloping round the room with her hands in the air to Folsom Prison Blues. For a moment even her 11 year old sister joined in before her inbuilt uncool warning went off. Just maybe their kids will still be listening to the man one day.
posted by Raindog at 12:19 PM on September 12, 2003


He deserves every iota of praise we'll be seeing about him for the next few weeks.

I am proud to have shared a planet with him for as long as I did, and I'm glad he recorded as much as he did.

Our great-grandkids will be listening to him. Which is only right and fair and good.
posted by chicobangs at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2003


.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2003


Then I discovered punk rock and way way too freakin' cool for all of that for several years...

You know, I think he was pretty PR in his own right. Hell, he was most certainly gothic, and far more sincerely worthy of the word that most artists who choose to apply it to themselves.
posted by Fenriss at 12:47 PM on September 12, 2003


I guess losing that MTV award to that little twerp Timberlake was more than the poor old fella could take.

Sad day.
posted by Optamystic at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2003


...
posted by litlnemo at 1:25 PM on September 12, 2003


Fenriss, I had the same song going through my head all day at the office.
posted by revbrian at 1:27 PM on September 12, 2003


re: the pic of Cash giving the finger to the camera
it's been shot by a true maestro of music photography, Jim Marshall

these last few years, I've had another Marshall image of Johnny Cash, taken during the same session, hanging over my bed. and yes, it sometimes gives me interesting dreams

posted by matteo at 3:39 PM on September 12, 2003


til things are brighter...
posted by jann at 4:42 PM on September 12, 2003


Man, this has been a big blow. Johnny Cash was so great because his voice and his music transcended genre and classification - his songs contained a wisdom and a kindness and a knowledge that only comes once in a lifetime. His dream and his art offered something to everyone who would listen...and his passing leaves a void that cannot and will never be replaced.
I knew this day was coming and yes, I am quite sad even though the impact and the breadth of this occasion has not quite hit me as I'm sure it soon will, when tonight, I put on some of Sun LP's and think about how integral his music and his legacy was to my life... I'm just so glad I've got the memories, from the albums of my childhood ('Songs About Trains', 'Folsom Prison', 'Meaner than Hell') to the great, great American recordings of the past decade ('Man in Black', 'Cash', 'Man Comes Around'). Man, what a career, and what a genuinely true individual. There will be only one Johnny Cash. May you rest in peace, good sir.
posted by tiger yang at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2003


Did anyone ever meet him? Any stories, if so?
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:02 PM on September 12, 2003


another dead hero.
posted by whoshotwho at 5:09 PM on September 12, 2003


...

It's a bad day to be a John. I think I'll take a bottle of whisky and go hide from death for a little while.
posted by IndigoSkye at 6:15 PM on September 12, 2003


"I don't like it but I guess things happen that way."

I believe Emmylou Harris called him "The Voice of God."
How appropriate. NPR offers ample opportunity to hear Johnny's unmistakable voice.
Here's a story from a previous MeFi thread.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:34 PM on September 12, 2003


How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:54 PM on September 12, 2003


A local radio station is playing JC tonight and it's a lot of music that I've never heard. Work with Dylan, early Sun stuff and even a collaboration with U2. Then, We Got Married in a Fever followed by Ring of Fire came on... my favorite country songs, ever.

RIP badass Johnny.
posted by jabo at 10:14 PM on September 12, 2003


It's not much, but I wore a black shirt in his honor today. RIP :(
posted by mabelcolby at 11:54 PM on September 12, 2003


? it was my understanding that the hurt video was recorded a couple of weeks *after* june's death. that video is incredibly moving, as is the song. when he closes the piano keyboard and gently runs his hands over it, it's as if it's for the last time. after his wife's death, with his age and medical conditions, it would have not been difficult, either consciously or subconsciously to let himself go.
posted by centrs at 9:37 AM on September 13, 2003


I was lucky enough to grow up listening to Johnny Cash. Even after I realized at age 7, that it wasn't "cool" to love country music, I still loved Johnny. When I rediscoved country music in my 20s, I loved him even more.

I wish I had gotten a chance to see him play live. My mom saw him at a nightclub in San Francisco in the early 60s. I wish I could have been there too.

Thanks Johnny, for being one of the musicians I imprinted on in my early years. You laid the groundwork for so many of the musicians I love today.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2003


The "Hurt" video wasn't recorded after her death, centrs. (Unless there's been some new re-edited version I haven't seen yet...) She is in it, for one thing, and the MeFi thread about the video substantially predates the MeFi thread about her death.

That doesn't make it any less moving, though.
posted by litlnemo at 3:01 PM on September 13, 2003


very good cover story in Time magazine

...says singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, who was a janitor at a Nashville recording studio in 1965 when he first met Cash... "People love him because of everything he represents: freedom, justice for his fellow man... He's crossed over all age boundaries, all political boundaries. I like to think of him as Abraham Lincoln with a wild side."

posted by matteo at 2:43 AM on September 17, 2003


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