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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » My Favorite Country Singer (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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When famous song writers get together they tell stories about Townes Van Zandt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rtNH9ZuTPA
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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When Willie Nelson, Bruce Springstein, and Bob Dylan get together they tell Townes Van Zandt stories, because all three men sing his songs. He is and was the ultimate song writers song writer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zprRZ2wFQD4
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Slide
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I knew Townes. In fact he was the one who invited me to come to Austin. one of the craziest guys I ever met, and one of the best songwriters. Tragic figure.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Slide
Do you have any Townes stories. I know Steve Earl can tell you Townes Van Zandt stories all night long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhp7ArGqy0c
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
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Slide
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I have my share.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Slide
OK for you then.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Slide
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Patience Al. Smile

My time knowing Townes was early 80's, around 1981. At the time I was living in central Pa and one of my roomates had been a DJ in Austin, and he became my introduction into that music. A lot of the Austin musicans knew him and when they were on tour in the north east, they would crash at our house. And that is how I met Townes, and his lead guitarist, Mickey White. Mickey is the one who really encouraged me to come to Austin and 6 months later I did.

My favorite Townes story took place at a bar called EmmaJoes. You'll appreciate Al, that it was named for Emma Goldberg and Joe Hill. One night I went to hear Mickey's wife play and, as was usual with her at the time, she was a no show so Townes, Butch Hancock, Blaze Foley, and Mickey played unannounced. I was in the back of the club sitting with Lucinda Williams, whose roomate I was seeing clandestinly.

Blaze Foley was a local character in Austin and the person Lucinda wrote Broken Angel about. His life was literally held together by duck tape. His guitar was covered in the stuff.

By this time Townes had been drinking "from the neck." on a bottle of vodka under the table and his wife had already walked out on him, with Townes screaming after her: "Glad you could make it to the gig!" . He was plastered.

He then started heckling Blaze who was on stage doing a quiet ballad. Townes started making fun of his haircut.

Right then, Blaze stopped in the middle of the song and shouted out: "Townes, if you think you're god, you should start acting like it. "

Then he picked up his guitar and threw it as hard as he could against the wall, smashing it into pieces.

Everyone stormed out except me and Lucinda.

it was a typical Austin night.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Thanks
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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It is funny that most of the wild stories told about Hank Williams are double true about Townes Van Zandt, and only hard core folkies know anything about him. He was an idol to the greatest song writers of my generation.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Slide
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Townes is a great example of "never meet your heros". I remember sitting with him in a bar and at a certain point, after x amount of drinks, he would completely change in front of your eyes and in an instant would change from a shy quiet guy to a paranoid maniac. I once picked him up to drive him to a gig and going over to the apartment he was crashing in to wake him up. He'd start every morning by picking up a bottle of vodka "by the neck" and just downing it, first thing in the morning. He would go through 2 5ths of vodka a day when he was on the road.

I will never forget him performing though. All those great songs and all those horrible jokes between songs. If you know the Live at the Old Quarter, that is pretty much how he normally sounded.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Yet if Bob Dylan, Bruce Springstein, Willy Nelson, John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Steve Earl, Joe Ely, Guy Clark, and Buch Hancock all got together for a party by the end of the night they would all have told at least one Townes Van Zandt story.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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