ARTISTS AND INDUSTRY FRIENDS REFLECT ON PASSING OF JOHN PRINE
"John Prine broke the mold and was definitely a mid-western and every-man poet. He was a wonderful writer/performer. The immediate things that come to my mind were his brilliance, sensitivity, and humor; as someone recently said - he was the MarkTwain of modern songwriting - definitely one of a kind!"
Marlon Hargis added, "I sat with him for a couple of hrs at a bar in Austin, Tx in 1986, just after we (Exile) and John had performed at Farm Aid II, earlier that afternoon. I remember how friendly, accessible, funny, and down-to-earth he was; a very nice guy. I was slightly on awe of hangin' out with such a cool,brilliant songwriter."
–Exile (Sonny LeMaire, JP Pennington, Marlon Hargis, Les Taylor and Steve Goetzman)
"My first ever live concert at the esteemed ‘mother church’ The Ryman Auditorium was John Prine...and I sat there like a school kid waiting for the spring break bell, I was so excited...he did all his greatest hits, but at that time (around 1995)...he was especially pushing his newest body of work, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings.
I believe I had a spiritual awakening when I heard him and his full band do Lake Marie for the first time, in THAT venue. I mean, my soul shook. Funny thing is, I still feel that way EVERY time I hear it now, long after....just like I do when I hear Ain’t Hurtin Nobody. All the Way with You. We Are the Lonely. I Love you So Much It Hurts and This Love is Real. There’s not a weak song on the whole damn record, but then....that was John. He was one of those lyrical untouchables, but every word, every single word, reached out and touched you. He was the epitome of real. All those great songs, all those great records, such a lovely man...such a gentle soul. Good God!!!
We cried in our kitchen tonight when we found out he’d passed away. Matt and I both realized we’d only met him once each, but both experiences equally important enough to remember for life. John remembered your name. He made such tender-hearted eye contact, he shook your hand and made you feel like you were a long lost family. He wasn’t a show-boater or a grand-stander and he didn’t seem like he had much use for those that were.
He wrote simple songs with fairly simple chords about real life things, but NOBODY could do it like he could. You could tell he had a mind that was deep as the deepest well and that’s why writing simple songs is so complex. It’s flat out hard to say the same ol’ thing and make it sound new, fresh, genuine, and poetic. John Prine was one of my all time favorite poets. The world will be one less honorable and talented man going forward. One less legend. Selfishly, I’d just wished I’d have gotten to sit and share lunch with him at his favorite meat and three where we met once, and visit a spell....or sing a duet with him....and watch him do his thing from a few feet away, I’ll always be a little extra sad about that. I wish love and support to his wife Fiona and his family during this confusing time in our universe. Bless you all.
One of the all time favorite quotes from the movie Daddy and Them was a line John so perfectly and timely delivered. “Don’t never let it be too late...”
John Prine, you were right on time, and you touched the hearts of every set of ears that got to hear you. Until we meet again, I look forward to that lunch."