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Johnny Cash's "Hurt"


John Simkin
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Mark Romanek was so deeply affected by Johnny Cash's cover of Trent Reznor's "Hurt", he offered (and begged) to shoot the video for free. Upon doing so, he sent the video to Trent Reznor. Reznor was in session with Zach de la Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine fame) at the time, and they were reportedly so awestruck emotionally that they had to leave the room and recuperate, Reznor himself being moved to tears. The video itself features footage of a decrepit Cash at the flood-ravaged House of Cash Museum interspersed with footage from Cash's personal collection of himself in his youth.

Has any other member seen this masterpiece of a video?

Mark Romanek is the director of the very good film, One Hour Photo.

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Haven't seen it. would very much like to.

This performance is also very moving. A remarkable man.

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,

Why you never see bright colors on my back,

And why does my appearance always have a somber tone.

Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,

Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,

And I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,

But still is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,

Or listened to the words that Jesus said,

About the road to happiness through love and charity,

Why, you'd think He's talking straight to youse and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,

In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,

But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,

Up front there ought'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,

For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,

I wear the black in mourning for the lives that could have been,

Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And yes I wear it for the thousands who have died,

Believen' that the Lord was on their side,

and to wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,

Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,

And things need changin' everywhere you go,

But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,

You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,

To tell the world that everything's OK,

But maybe I can carry off a little darkness on my back,

'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

John R.Cash - 1971

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  • 5 months later...

Thank you, John Simkin.

____________________

Johnny Cash was, like many other singers, a bridge between races and cultures.

The movie 'Walk the line' presents a slice of his life with many moments of insight. A struggle with drugs, love and fidelity, a definition of what a christian was (eg. in his arguments with his record producers about his wish to sing to prisoners). A man who accompanied a generation through many troubled times that many can identify with. At the same time we have the swiveling hips of Elvis who also brought the black culture to the white segregationist, the poetry of Bob Dylan, the outspoken John Lennon, who all in some way broke down barriers. With music in those days, often black musicians pioneered styles which were then made acceptable by white's adopting/adapting the same.

It seems to me that the current generation is denied some of this process by the Commercialisation of the music industry where popular bands are politically bland. The 'rap' culture is a subject for debate among some recognising it as a negative stereoptyping that provides an avenue to money, but does little to raise consciousness. French rap, seems different, but not as commercially viable. Then where is the relatively brief period of punk and reggae. The great reggae artists, like Marley, suffered assassination attempts and also died young(brain tumour). Ziggy is there still, but 'managed'. Bono and others have a global respectability. But today where are the Cash's, Dylans, and Lennons?

Johnny Cash -

Hey, Get rhythm when you get the blues

Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues

Get a rock 'n' roll feelin' in your bones

Put taps on your toes and get gone

Get rhythm when you get the blues

A little shoeshine boy, he never gets low down

But he's got the dirtiest job in town

Bendin' low at the peoples' feet

On a windy corner of a dirty street

Well, I asked him while he shined my shoes

How'd he keep from gettin' the blues

He grinned as he raised his little head

Popped a shoeshine rag and then he said

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues

A jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine

It'll shake all the trouble from your worried mind

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues

Get a rock 'n' roll feelin' in your bones

Put taps on your toes and get gone

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Well, I sat down to listen to the shoeshine boy

And I thought I was gonna jump for joy

Slapped on the shoe polish left and right

He took a shoeshine rag and he held it tight

He stopped once to wipe the sweat away

I said you're a mighty little boy to be-a workin' that way

He said I like it with a big wide grin

Kept on a poppin' and he said again

Get rhythm when you get the blues

Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues

It only costs a dime, just a nickel a shoe

Does a million dollars worth of good for you

Get rhythm when you get the blues

::::::::::::::::::::

I'm by no means foolish enough to be suggesting this as 'ultimate solutions' but it is (IMO) part of the process of circumventing the influence of dominant dogmas.

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Bono and others have a global respectability. But today where are the Cash's, Dylans, and Lennons?

Bono is a tax exile and is a dubious spokesman for ethical living. Dylan is still alive but rejected long ago they idea of a "political songwriter". I am fairly impressed with Rufus Wainwright's latest single:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_AnEuv-950

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Headsup to OZ viewers:

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

National multicultural broadcaster.

www.sbs.com.au

after RockWiz on saturday nights has a varied series on Music, tonight focusing on 'Punk'. It's not just performances but also discussion of ideology and various concurrent issues, newsfootage etc that seems to aim give a balanced understanding.

In this instance that the Punk 'movement', as originating/manufactured in Britain, was largely progressive or left oriented as opposed to superficially visually a neo-nazi phenomena. This corresponds to my memories of that era as an initially repelled, or perhaps skeptic of a disaffected and disorganised 'flash in the pan', but later a 'follower' in the late 1970's. The Sex Pistols raft performance down the river Thames was particularly inspiring.

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