Billy Joe Shaver calmly stated 'As far as I was concerned, he was the best songwriter that ever lived. And that's it'. Lucinda Williams called him 'Too Cool to be Forgotten'. And Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris have had #1 hits with his songs.
BE HERE TO LOVE ME: A FILM ABUT TOWNES VAN ZANDT provides an intimate portrait of the legendary artist's haunting music and life. Although a native Texan, Van Zandt always viewed himself as a traveller. His father, a wealthy oil man, moved the family constantly Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, among other places which accounted for Townes ongoing sense of restlessness. But a more tragic influence on Towne's music came later in his life. Van Zandt, labelled as a problem child from the get-go, was given shock therapy in his early 20's after he fell backward from a four-story window just to see what it felt like. This treatment burned out all of his memories of childhood and made it difficult for him to connect to those around him for any length of time. Arguably it was this disconnection from the sources of his most deeply-held emotions that gave his songs their melancholy, redemptive power.
Despite his warm, dusty-sweet voice, as a singer Van Zandt never had anything resembling a hit in his nearly 30-year recording career, he had a hard enough time simply keeping his records in print. But since Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard had a #1 country hit with 'Pancho & Lefty' he has become widely-respected and admired as one of the greatest country and folk artists of his generation. The long list of contemporary singers who've covered his songs includes Mudhoney, Counting Crows, Evan Dando, Gillian Welch, Cowboy Junkies and Norah Jones. And the effect of his songwriting can be felt in the work of other contemporary artists from The White Stripes to Beck. Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth says about Townes, 'He's not really a country singer, you wouldn't call him a blues artist, he's not quite a folk singer, he doesn't exactly write pop songs, so what is he? He does not fit neatly into a category and to me, that is what sets him apart as a great artist.'
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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