Saturday, March 27, 2010

'Till Things Are Brighter, I'm The MAN IN BLACK

I’m always looking for vinyl when I’m on tour. I went to Prague with Rollins Band and searched every record shop for a rare LP by the great Johnny Cash entitled “In Prague Live” or “Koncert V Praze” that was recorded in 1978 and never distributed outside of the former Czechoslovakia. I FOUND A MINT ONE!!

Recorded at Prague Sporting Hall April 11, 1978.
LIMITED PRESSED BACK IN 1983 BY SUPRAPHON records, Czechoslovakia.

Track listing:

Side 1:
Ring Of Fire
Folsom Prison Blues
I Still Miss Someone
Big River
I Ride An Old Paint/Streets of Laredo
Sunday Morning Coming Down
I Walk The Line

Side 2:
Last Date
City of New Orleans
Hey Porter/ Wreck of the Old ‘97/ Casey Jones/ Orange Blossom Special
Wabash Cannonball

Johnny Cash – guitar, vocal (1-7),(9-11)
Marshall Grant - bass
W.S. “Fluke” Holland - drums
Bob Wooten - guitar
Jerry Hensley – guitar
Earl Ball -piano solo
The Carter Family/Jan Howard-chorus

I’ve been a Johnny Cash fan my whole life and remember my Uncle letting me borrow one of his Sun LPs when I was about 5 or 6. He told me to “be careful with it.” Before I got out the front door, the record slipped out of the cover and smashed in to a million pieces on the floor. He didn’t get mad at all but I think I cried.

I'm lucky because I got to meet Johnny Cash TWICE. Once was in the early 90’s when he did an in-store autograph session promoting a children’s book that he wrote (who can forget “The Good, The Bad, And The Two Cookie Kid”) at the Beverly Center. I stood in the line and when I finally turned the corner to enter the shop, there was the man in black. I was in complete awe but he also seemed as familiar as a relative. I will never forget the moment I heard him speak. I managed to shake his hand, take a picture and like a dork, even gave him a tape of some country songs that I wrote.

A few years later I got to see Johnny in concert at the Pantages and it was incredible. A star studded event, I remember seeing Tom Petty, Donovan, Joe Strummer, Sheryl Crow and I even ran into Rollins backstage. Johnny AND June Carter Cash walked around after the show, talking to everyone and I smuggled my CD box set booklet in to get signed by both of them.

I know that a lot of people like these Rick Rubin produced albums that keep coming out as often as new 2Pac releases, but be sure not to overlook his great Columbia catalog and of course the Sun recordings too. Here's to those who think WALK HARD is a better movie than WALK THE LINE. When I hear the American albums it makes me sad because Johnny sounds old and fragile. I like my Cash the way I like my coffee, strong and black.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I just wanted to say I am with you on this. I love Cash. But I have a real hard time, listening to the American recordings, for me he sounds broken. He still sounds more powerful than most singers, but give me the recordings from 1968-70, my favourite period and you will hear a man that no one would want to cross. Dark and Strong! Amen!