Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Prine, Or, How I Am the Best Daughter EVER

When I was growing up, my dad used to drive around this ancient, black Ford Bronco. I think it was an ’84 (like me), and he drove it from the time I was 10 until around my first year of high school. I feel like the air conditioner in it must not have worked because what I remember most about it was how stale it was in there, no matter the season. In the summer it was hot and stale, like stepping into a wood shed; in winter it was cold and stale, like stepping into an attic. Another key element of this vehicle, though, was that it only had a tape deck, AND, for whatever reason, my dad owned approximately three tapes during this period: Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersInto the Great Wide Open , Melissa Etheridge’s Your Little Secret (?), and John Prine’s Greatest Days: A John Prine Anthology, all of which were rotated on an endless loop.

This song brings me back to that Bronco every time.
But back to the post, my dad LOVES John Prine. Even back then, he would tell me to stop my preteen jibba jabbin’ and really listen to Prine’s words. Prine is a country/folk guy along the lines (if not the fame) of Bob Dylan, and he’s always been known for his clever wordplay. It cracked my dad up that he could come up with lyrics like:

Last time I checked my bankroll,/
It was gettin' thin/
Sometimes it seems like the bottom/
Is the only place I've been/
I chased a rainbow down a one-way street... dead end/
And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen.

That “insurance salesmen” line is a throwaway, but it in an AMAZING/amazingly apt analogy.
Now my dad writes songs himself, and you can tell that Prine truly inspired him:
Stomped into our trailer/
With the 12-gauge from his truck/
Passed several mounds of deer heads/
Like a choir of singing bucks.

So when I discovered that John Prine was paying one-night-only show at the Fox in Atlanta, I knew I had to get my dad tickets. And it was SO GREAT when I gave them to him Christmas morning; he is notoriously stoic when it comes to receiving gifts, but when he pulled the tickets from their envelope and read that the headliner was his all-time favorite, John Prine, his face broke into a wide grin.  

WHICH IS WHY I am the best daughter EVER and why we are going together to that concert tomorrow night!
SO, in honor of Music Thursday, I present to you a classic from JP himself:

1 comment:

  1. Super adorable :) I got my dad tickets to see KISS once. Not quite the same, but it was no doubt a bonding experience.