Former Cayamoan, Steve Earle, passed through town recently and popped in to BBC Radio 2 for a chat and a couple of songs. There is something wonderful about hearing Steve speak. He is so passionate about what he is saying that he keeps on trying to tell you something whilst he is in the middle of telling you something else. I’ve collected below some of his wisdom from this interview:
[On touring with Allison] I’ve been touring for a long time, and I’ve been married before and I’ve had the other result so we try to tour together as much as we can.
Nashville and I have had enough of each other so I try to, you know … most of my work is in New York.
I get to see major league baseball and great theatre because I live in New York City
[On whether it was difficult to write a book] I’m sure that someone who has been writing books all their lives would find it hard to tell the kind of stories that I tell in 3 minutes.
I start smelling the barn prematurely when I get into long form projects [the Ironbath has absolutely no idea what this means but it sure sounds good!]
[On the naming of his book and record] I’ll never get out of this world alive … the punchline of all that is that it got called the same as the book because I discovered that a lot of the songs were about the same things that the book was about. It was written in the same period and T-Bone and I were sequencing it and we realised hey these are some of the same themes of life and death and mortality and a sense of something we all have to deal with eventually so we decided to name the record the same thing and attempt to capitalise on the confusion.
All singer songwriters in Nashville are haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams
Nashville is not a particularly singer songwriter friendly town. They like songwriters and they like singers but they like them separate.
Suddenly one day all those things that were happening to other addicts that I was different from was happening to me. … I was trying to drive cars upside down down the interstate highway and I very nearly died.
I just suit up and show up now assuming that I must have been spared for something and no longer arrogant enough to think that I’m going to know what it is when I do it. So I just show up for everything now.
I believe that there is a God and it ain’t me.
I think anybody that doesn’t think that music helped change the world in the sixties, and some of that change was permanent, took more drugs than I did.
My son Justin – His version of rebellion was to take up golf. He knew that would irritate me.
You can hear the full interview (regrettably without the live performance) below: