this originally appeared here in september of 2008. john harrelson passed away in june of 2013. don rehkop passed away in march of 2014. may you both rest in peace, my friends.
let’s see…ok. the boys, dfr & jwfh, were over this past evening and i cooked up a nice sorta southern down home meal for my brothers. jwfh says i got the job. dfr as well. sweet. their lips to the food network’s ears. for those that are wondering, the brown eyed girl was busy doing stuff with her nephew.
at any rate, my sorta cooking skills aren’t why i’m here. ah, no. at one point i stuck john’s cd, ‘mojave’ on the cd player. yeah, well. i’ve been down this road before a year or so ago. none the less, ‘mojave’, by john harrelson still kicks ass and those of you that haven’t bothered need to bother because it is that good. trust me. the link will follow.
we are like eating and i’m yammering about this and that music wise on the cd. jwfh is yammering back. i tell him the title track, ‘mojave’, is stellar and i love it when he does it live. like who wouldn’t?
then we got to the tune, “joshua tree ’73”. one of the finest hippy country western tunes ever written. fuck yeah. ” under the influence of loneliness, morphine, and desire “…sweet, jesus. write it and sing it, jwfh. i told jwfh that i needed to hear him do the tune next time he did a live gig. he smiled and said, ‘yeah.’
then he went off into something i hadn’t heard before. turns out writing the song was one of those deals that just comes from beyond type deals. a channeling of sorts according to john. a tune nothing like he’d ever written before. after it it was written he was like, ‘where the hell did this come from?’
then jwfh says, ‘it’s the suicide note gram parsons never got to write.’ whoa. fine. i’m there. the tune is one of those late 60’s early 70’s country western tunes that sings of life on the edge. life, ala charlie bukowski, dressed up in a country western nudie suit. as a veer, google, ‘nudie’ and country western outfits. life ala what country western music means to me. not the sugar coated crapola stuff of today. the old days of hank williams and outlaw country. the old hippy cosmic country. real life angst and despair. angst and despair dealt out from the bottom of the deck. country as i remember it was and should still be.
my point? you should probably, no, you should, go to: http://cdbaby.com/cd/harrelson and buy the cd, ‘mojave’. if you like country western/blues/rock ‘n’ roll by someone who’s lived several lifetimes playing and writing it then this cd is for you. it’s time to jump on the bandwagon before it pulls out and heads west into that morphine induced unwritten note sunset. um, yeah. it’s ok, jwfh. i understand.
‘mojave’, is one of those cd’s you listen to and need to listen to a bunch in order to get it. it just gets better with each listen. my brother, know this. you knew it and did it. i just hope there’s more comin’ down the pike. capice?
i wrote this last night after the boys left. i sat at the computer and listened to “joshua tree ’73” a number of times while i finished off a bottle of sicilian red. it’s early morning and the sun is still around an hour away. i’m sitting at the computer again. this time drinking coffee. the only sound is the keyboard and the lonely night time wail of a freight train echoing north from down in de onta. i’m still haunted by john’s joshua tree tune. haunted by gram parsons. haunted by my youth.
i wish i was out in joshua tree this morning. sitting on a rock someplace and smoking a very large bowl of something or another while waiting for the sun to rise. there’s magic out there and there’s magic in john harrelson’s tune, “joshua tree ’73”.