GOOD IDEA –
Taking a minute to lay on your living room floor surrounded by your old albums, or cds, or even casettes. Yesterday Merle Haggard died. He was a country singer from years gone by. Way back in the 60’s. Everyone goes nuts about Johnny Cash, but people seem to forget that Johnny Cash was just one outlaw among many.
The guy spent most of his youth in one jail or another, and it was actually a fluke of the prison system that led to him becoming a professional musician. He was in the process of planning an escape when he was tossed into solitary confinement. While there he befriended a guy on death row, and realized where his life was headed. When he got out he rededicated his life to music eventually achieving his first hit with skid row in 1962.
I know all this from reading liner notes in records during the spring of 2002. I’d just been fired from my third radio station in four years. I would lay on my apartment floor drinking booze all day listening to records. I had that idiotic sense of righteousness that everyone in the early twenties does where you assume every decision you make is the right one. It was a really dark phase of my existence.
And yesterday when I heard Merle Haggard had died all I could do was throw on that scratched up copy of the greatest hits record I bought at the combination wine making slash used records store in town fifteen years ago and listen to it on repeat. It’s weird how that music is the same, but my whole life has changed.
It’s weird man. And it’s sad that it can take a death of a stranger for you to take stock of your life.