I love the music of Johnny Cash. Before I started listening to him, I thought most country music was twangy, cornball stuff. And a lot of it is. But Cash introduced me Outlaw Country, which has darker tones and more realism in the lyrics.
But what appealed Cash to me was his stark music and his voice. He always wore black. He recorded live albums from prisons. He wrote a song where he sings “I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die.” He was punk rock decades before punk rock even existed.
Johnny Cash wrote one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read. “Cash by Johnny Cash” is a humorous and at times haunting reflection on quite the roller-coaster life Cash had lived. His deep faith constantly were at odds with his own demons and addictions.
And in the 90s, when people saw him as a washed up country dinosaur, he came back with the incredible “American Recordings.” Produced by Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Slayer, Public Enemy, Danzig) his comeback lasted about a decade with some of his strongest material since his early Sun Records material. Especially his take on Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”
I am a Cash fanatic. I own a lot of his albums (everything he put out on American Records, all his Sun Records stuff, ect.) I have found his music and attitude inspiring.
Anyway, here’s a picture of Johnny Cash eating a cake in some bushes.