Saturday, December 15, 2018

John Prine Conjures Up The Queen of Country Swing

December 15, 2018
   When I created Honkytonk Sue back in 1977, I pictured her as a pretty blond who looks a bit, like, well, you know:

Kathy Sue, I mean, Honkytonk Sue

And, to be honest, there were some striking physical similarities.

Kathy posed for this in front of our
fireplace at 707 West MacKenzie in Phoenix, before kids, before passwords. And, yes,
those are my hometown Hualapais
in the background.

   Last night I took my Kathy Sue to see John Prine at the Celebrity Theater. It was actually my birthday present from her, and even though it was a late start for two old people (the show started at eight and we got home at midnight!) we made the long drive down into the Beast after a stop at Carolina's, in Paradise Valley, for Mexican food.

   It's been many years since anyone has stopped me on the street to lay praise on the Queen of Country Swing, but last night, I swear, at least four different people walked by me as we were queue-ing towards the side door of the Celebrity Theater, and said, "Hey Boze, thanks for Honkytonk Sue." 

   Now, what the hell prompted that?! And, what the hell does it mean? Does it mean that John Prine fans in Phoenix are more familiar with obscure comic book characters that ran in New Times Weekly forty years ago?

Yes, probably.

Broken hearts and dirty windows
Make life difficult to see
That's why last night and this mornin'
Always look the same to me

Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day. Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say,
“Hello in there, hello.”

Sixty-Six Sue

"Don't stop to count the years. Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios."
—John Prine, "Sam Stone"

That night she fell asleep humming the tune to 'Louie Lou-aye', we've gotta go now. . ."
—John Prine, "Lake Marie"

   Prine and his wonderful band closed the show with this song—"Lake Marie"—which, I confess, I had never heard before. It is now my favorite song of all time. 

“Nobody but Prine could write like that” 
– Bob Dylan, who counts "Lake Marie" as his favorite Prine tune

1 comment:

  1. I was sitting around yesterday listening to JP - The Other Side of Town; Souvenirs; That's The Way The World Goes Round; Your Flag Decal; and the heartbreaker Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness. They're gonna play Please Don't Bury Me at my funeral.


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