Sunday, November 22, 2009

John Prine

The guy in the picture is John Prine. There's a good chance you've never heard of him. He is arguably the greatest singer, songwriter, guitar picker never to make it into the mainstream. His lyrics are so incredibly true.

Here is a particularly captivating verse from Souvenirs, a song he co wrote with Steve Goodman.

All the snow has turned to water
Christmas days have come and gone
Broken toys and faded colors
Are all that's left to linger on
I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
For they always bring me tears
I can't forgive the way they rob me
Of my childhood souvenirs

By the way, Souvenirs is John Prine's mother's favorite song.

Click on this link if you'd like to see John Prine perform Souvenirs.

Here is the chorus from Sam Stone, a haunting song about a drug addicted Vietnam vet.

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don't stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Johnny Cash covered Sam Stone.

Click on this link if you'd like to see Sam Stone performed.

The ticket you see above is mine. There's a story that goes along with this ticket. Friday afternoon one of the secretary's sent out an email offering six free John Prine tickets for the Friday night show. I raced to the secretary's desk and picked up one of the tickets. The business of seeing John Prine perform wasn't going to be easy. You see I was obligated to accompany a group of students to an academic competition across town. You never know with these competitions; they can end as early as seven o'clock or go on until eleven. The show started at eight but there was a warm up band. It was a proverbial crap shoot. The bus returned to our home school at 9:30. There was still a chance I could see John Prine sing. It would be worth the 45 minute drive to downtown Phoenix just to see him play one song.

As drove toward Phoenix I began to reevaluate the situation. I was pretty darned tired. And I had to get up at 5:30. Since there had been a warm up band, John Prine must have begun his performance at nine at the latest. It was ten o'clock . "The guy's got to be seventy." I thought. "A seventy year-old isn't going to play much longer than an hour." And I was pretty darned tired. I understood I would regret turning around and going home more than I would have regretted losing a little sleep as I pulled off the freeway and headed home.

And so I have this ticket.

Last night I came home, cracked a beer and watched a few John Prine songs on Youtube. It was nice. It had been a good day. I enjoyed being with my students at the competition. It's good to have a job from which I can drive home every day knowing I at least tried to do something good.

I was walking down the road, man
Just looking at my shoes
When God sent me an angel
Just to chase away my blues
Now everything is cool
Everything's okay
Everything is cool
Everything's okay

- Everything is Cool by Jon Prine

Steve McQueen did not see the John Prine show Friday night.


Paul Greci said...

I love John Prine. I have listened to him for years. Haven't seen him live but I'd like to!

#167 Dad said...

So you taught alternative students for 15 years, you write books, and you dig John Prine. What are you, my Alaskan doppelgänger?

Guely of Sweden said...

Good songs, Snyder.Sad and good...

#167 Dad said...

G Man.
You're just the kind of guy I would expect to appreciate John Prine.

Paul Greci said...

Yes, I dig John Prine. And,I really screwed up. If I recall, once I had the chance to see John Prine and Arlo Guthrie in the same concert. Don't remember the circumstances but I ended up not going! Ouch!

kavita said...

Thanks for introducing John Prine ..never heard of him before.I am sorry the ticket was not used ..better luck next time.I loved the concluding lines where you wrote....'good to have a job from which i can drive home every day knowing i at least tried to do something good'...that's pretty cool.

I tried the link but youtube loads very slow at day time...will retry after dinner .

kavita said...

Wonderful....beautiful song .

Rick Rivers said...

Never heard him. Will check hm out. I feel this way about Tom Waits... truth, the truth and nuthin' but the......

#167 Dad said...

Thank you. Glad you liked the song.
I'm a bit surprsed you haven't heard of John Prine. Looking forward to your response.

Rick Rivers said...

Yes, muy Bueno. Reminds me of early Dylan.

kavita said...

Have a great and HAPPY THANKSGIVING with your family,friends and the loved ones.

#167 Dad said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Kavita.

Clif said...

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I finally posted pictures from our Bumble Bee trip. Did you know Bumble Bee was founded by W. W. Snyder?

#167 Dad said...

Yeah, I heard about old W.W. Snyder. You never know, he could be related to W.Z.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Bluesfrau said...

Those darned decisions...

I have never heard of John Prine - and now listening to the YouTube file - wow... beautiful voice and pitch!
Have to check out more by him...

Bluesfrau said...

Wow - Paul Greci has a neat site! I passed both of your sites on to a friend who also likes writing. Bless ya!!

#167 Dad said...


Agreed. I really enjoy Paul's Alaskan wilderness approach to this blogging business.

Thanks for the plug.