Random Seattle punk rockers share their thoughts on Johnny Cash. Those crazy kids are quite sweet.
At the age of 18, being “punk-as-fuck” and thinking country music was only for old people, I was shopping at my favorite local underground music store when I first heard American Recordings. “Delia” came on the loudspeakers, and I hadn't heard such a sad, evil and dangerously exciting song since the first time I heard Black Flag’s Damaged. I had to know who this was.
The guy at the counter told me matter-of-factly, ‘It’s Johnny Cash!’ like I’d been living under a rock for my entire life. Up to this point I had only heard 'Ring of Fire' or 'I Walk the Line' which to me were the exact over the top commercialized 'I'm a cowboy, Hear me roar!' crap that I hated about country music. But by the time the disc got down to track 6, “Thirteen,” originally penned by one of my favorite front men in punk rock, Glen Danzig, I lost it.... This stuff was amazing!
From there, I could never look at music the same. Soon enough my record collection was taken over by the likes of Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson...all the “crap” my mother had introduced me to during my childhood. To this day, nothing makes me as simultaneously happy and sad as when I put on any of Johnny’s records and listen to the love and pain he puts into every song he sings.