To me...it seems that the songs of love, sadness and unhappy endings may have equally applied to Townes life, up to his death in 1997
I am so bored with all of the pop music out there - I'm not impressed by anyone at the moment - the music seems so rehearsed, generic and just plain flat - it's so BLAH!!!
With that in mind, I've been trying to find some really good song writing - songs that I can easily play a guitar to, hum and really just enjoy the true poetry of the artist. Very few songwriters convey this feeling to me - most notably Bob Dylan and John Lennon are the two foremost that come to mind.
But now, I'm adding Townes Van Zandt. Having read his story it makes for a good movie - he was born of a wealthy Texas-oil family, but lived in a trailer for most of his life, up until his time of death.
He was one of the best song-writers in America at the time of Dylan and the 60's but yet he had no major charting success or hits.
He was a talented singer and musician, and yet he never played a concert - he performed for mere pittances, at local bars and small gatherings.
Despite being one of America's top songwriters (Bob Dylan wanted to collaborate with him to write music, but he refused Bob on several occasions), he was hugely popular in Europe - in fact when his fan club was opened in the US it was surprising how much letters came in from fans from Europe.
At an early age, he was a heavy drinker and substance abuser - one of his mother's regrets was the insulin shock treatment they gave him, which erased his long term memory.
I first came unto Townes from the Cowboy Junkies (one of my fave bands of all time), when they did a couple of covers of his. In fact the Cowboys were such massive fans of Townes that he toured with them in the US and as a result, the Junkies opened up the man and his music to a whole new generation - way to go for a Canadian folk-country rock band.
Townes was also a major influence on Emmylou Harris - she covered a few of his songs.
If you do get a chance to listen to Townes - just sit back and listen to "If I Needed You", "Tescumeh Valley", and "For the Sake of the Song" - they're on iTunes.
Anyways peeps - TTYL!