Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 30 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Van Zandt, Townes
|So, about that Steve Earle quote...
"Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on ________ coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that."
Whose coffee table is Steve planning to get bootmarks all over?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Bob Dylan's. Steve Earle, Guy Clark, and Townes played a benefit at the Bluebird cafe in Nashville in September, 1995. Susanna Clark had put the show together to raise money for the Interfaith Dental Clinic, and I wish I'd have been there. On the CD "...Together at the Bluebird", you'll hear songs like Clark's "Randall Knife", Earle's "Copperhead Road", and "Tecumseh Valley".
Townes Van Zandt died of a heart attack on January 1, 1997. He was 52 years old.
|"Mr. Gator he's a-slidin' down the bayou
Mr. Buzzard he's a-glidin' through the air
Mr. Turtle he's a-hittin' the highway
But I ain't goin' nowhere"
In which song can you hear these lyrics?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Ain't Leavin' your Love. "I ain't leavin your love
Ain't leavin your love
Not for heaven above babe
I ain't leavin your love
The rich man's got him an airplane
Cruising through the traffic jam
A poor man's got him a Chevrolet
I'm stayin' right where I am"
|"Sunrise comes and I don't know why
living loves and the day does fly
soon the moon and baby and I
will be lyin' side by side
If I have to go I won't be long
maybe we'll move to Tennessee
leave these Texas blues behind
Who will they be going to see, in Tennessee? ||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Susanna and Guy. From "Pueblo Waltz".
Susanna and Guy Clark were close friends of Townes' - "Every single morning at 8:30 for years Townes called me for our 'morning call'. Guy would usually bring me a cup of coffee, because he knew we'd be on the phone for at least an hour....We talked about the language and words and poetry and songs. More often than not he'd read me his new poem of the day. Songs always had to work as a poem on paper first. Townes' rule." (Susanna Clark, from "Song Builder - the Life and Music of Guy Clark" by Nick Evans and Jeff Horne)
Guy Clark is a prolific and well respected songwriter himself, with songs such as "LA Freeway", "Heavy Metal (don't mean rock and roll to me)", and "Home Grown Tomatoes".
|"Fella 'cross town said he's lookin' for a man
to move some old cars around
maybe me and _______ could find a burned-out
van and do a little settlin' down
Aw, but I'm just dreamin', I ain't got no ride
and the junkyard's a pretty good ways
that job's about a half week old besides
it'd be gone now anyway"
This has to be one of the saddest songs I've ever heard - who is it about?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Marie. A heartbreaking song of homelessness, poverty, and despair.
On the San Marcos Fire Station recordings, released on the CD "Texas Rain", Willie Nelson joins Townes on this song. This is also the song that Willie performs on "Poet", the tribute CD from 2001.
"The Pocono's down but the Chesapeake's runnin'
two freights everyday
if it was just me I'd be headed south
but Marie can't catch no train
She's got some pain and she thinks it's a baby,
says we gotta wait and see
in my heart I know it's a little boy
hope he don't end up like me"
"Marie she didn't wake up this morning
she didn't even try
she just rolled over and went to heaven
my little boy safe inside
I laid them in the sun where somebody'd find them
caught a Chesapeake on the fly
Marie will know I'm headed south
so's to meet me by and by"
|"...she's a barroom girl
wears them sevens on her sleeve
Dances like a diamond shines
Tell me lies I love to believe
Her age is always 22
Her laughing eyes a hazel hue
Spends my money like water falls
Loves me like I want her to"
Who is this song about?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Loretta. From the song "Loretta", first released on 1978's "Flyin' Shoes".
"Oh, Loretta, won't you say to me
Darling, put your guitar on
have a little shot of booze
play a blue and wailing song
My guitar rings a melody
My guitar sings, Loretta's fine
Long and lazy, blonde and free
and I can have her any time"
|"A friend said he knew where some easy money was
We robbed a man and brother did we fly
The posse caught up with me, drug me back to Muskogee"
"Now I'm out of prison, I got me a friend at last
He don't steal or cheat or drink or lie
His name's codeine, he's the nicest thing I've seen"
What song are these lyrics from?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Waitin' 'Round to Die. "Sometimes I don't know where this dirty road is taking me
Sometimes I can't even see the reason why
I guess I keep on gamblin', lots of booze and lots of ramblin'
It's easier than just a-waitin' 'round to die"
|"Living is dancing
dying does nothing at all
baby and I are laying here
watching the evening fall
hard luck and good times
fast lines and low rhymes
ain't much to say
feel low and lazy
feel grey and hazy
feel far away"
What song are these lyrics from?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
At my Window. The title song from 1987's "At my Window", the first he was to record for Sugar Hill Records.
|"When the wind don't blow in Amarillo
and the moon along the Gunnison don't rise
shall I cast my dreams upon your love, babe
and lie beneath the laughter of your eyes
It's snowin' on ________
come morning I'll be through them hills and gone"
Where is the snow falling?||The Songs of Townes Van Zandt
Raton. "Mother thinks the road is long and lonely
little brother thinks the road is straight and fine
little darling thinks the road is soft and lovely
I'm thankful that old road is a friend of mine"
from "Snowin' on Raton".
The Raton Pass is in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, between Colorado and New Mexico. All the incorrect choices are passes in the Canadian Rockies.
He fell and cracked his hip. While on a tour of Europe late in 1996, Van Zandt fell in a bathtub and cracked his hip, but did not realise it at the time. He later fell out of bed and exacerbated the injury. He was taken to hospital and operated on, but discharged himself against medical advice on New Year's Day 1997. Later that day he died at the home of his third wife, Jeanine, after mistakenly taking tablets he thought were paracetamol, but were antihistamines that conflicted with prescribed medication he was given in hospital.
His early death at the age of 52 was one that Van Zandt had always predicted and many believed that his lifestyle made inevitable.
One of the main sources for this quiz was John Kruth's authorised biography "To Live's To Fly" The Ballad of the Late Great Townes Van Zandt". (Da Capo Press, 2007). See also "Be Here To Love Me", a Rakefilms DVD produced by Sam Brumbaugh and Margaret Brown and directed by Margaret Brown.
|The Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt died on January 1, 1997. That day was the anniversary of the death of one of the giants of Country music. Which one?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Hank Williams. Williams had been a hero of Van Zandt's. He died on new Year's Day 1953.
Van Gogh. Townes Van Zandt's second son, by his third wife Jeanene, was named Will Vincent. Van Zandt and Jeanene also had a daughter, Katie Belle. He had another son, J.T., with his first wife, Fran. With the royalties he received from Emmylou Harris's version of "If I Needed You", Van Zandt bought a sailboat that he named 'The Vincent'.
|The Texan songwriter Townes Van Zandt was a frequent tourer and, like many musicians, saw his share of hotel rooms. What did he like to 'collect' from the rooms he stayed in?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Gideons' Bibles. As John Kruth, the authorized biographer noted: "If the cover was odd or unusual in any way or a different color from the standard black, he'd snap it up for his collection. Townes would point out 'you're supposed to take them.'" Van Zandt's younger song, Will, remarked that although not especially religious, his father would often sit reading a Bible.
Heroin. There were few substances that Townes Van Zandt did not take. Codeine was a favourite - and he drank copious amounts of alcohol. His first wife, Fran, told John Kruth: "I knew that Townes was into something and that's when he overdosed on heroin and was pronounced dead on arrival at Bentaub Hospital in Houston...They had knocked his front teeth put to put the tubes down his throat. It was a terrible mess. But the amazing thing was he came back without any brain cell loss. His constitution was amazing." The next Van Zandt album, the sixth, was ironically named 'The Late Great Townes Van Zandt'
|After years of traveling and playing small clubs and bars, the legendary Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt seemed to hit the big time when he played one of the USA's top concert venues. Which one was it?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Carnegie Hall. In November 1969, Poppy Records put on a showcase of its three leading talents, Townes Van Zandt, Dick Gregory and Mandrake Memorial. In 2002, 'A Gentle Evening With Townes Van Zandt' was released featuring his nine-song set.
|Joe Ely, once dubbed "the heir to Buddy Holly's mantle" received a gift from the Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt at their first meeting. What was it?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
A copy of his second album. That meeting took place when Ely gave Van Zandt a lift in his car in Lubbock, Texas, in 1971. At their destination, Van Zandt opened his backpack and gave Ely a copy of the record. The backpack contained about 25 copies of the record. Van Zandt was known for his generosity, frequently giving possessions and money away.
For The Sake Of The Song. To say that Townes Van Zandt had few smash hit records would be an overstatement. During his life, none probably sold more than 20,000 copies. Some friends believe that Van Zandt was poorly managed, though he never openly criticized his management. Certainly, 'For The Sake Of the Song' was vastly overproduced and Van Zandt Later said "I wasn't too happy with what they did on the album". Overproduction, according to his friend Guy Clark, was to ruin many more Townes Van Zandt albums. To be fair, Van Zandt often gave the impression of not really caring about what happened at recording sessions. He seemed to believe that all he had to do was to write and sing the songs.
|One of the most surreal songs by the Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt was the tale of two poker players. What were their names?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Mr Gold and Mr Mudd. This was a song that stunned many contemporary songwriters into silence, but inspired others to stretch the envelope of their ability. Van Zandt often maintained that he had no idea where his songs came from, he just wrote them down. He claimed to have written 'If I Needed You' in his sleep. The song was a big hit for Emmylou Harris and Don Williams, reaching number three in the country charts.
The first verse of 'Mr Gold and Mr Mudd' was:
"The wicked king of clubs awoke
it was to his queen turned
his lips were laughing as they spoke
his eyes like bullets burned
the sun's upon a gambling day
his queen smiled low and blissfully
let's make some wretched fool to play
plain it was she did agree"
|Townes Van Zandt was part of the burgeoning folk scene in Houston, Texas, where he was befriended by a New York-born blow-in who joined him for some concerts. Who was that New Yorker?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Jerry Jeff Walker. At that time, Jerry Jeff had written more songs that Van Zandt. Their first concert was in January 1966. Van Zandt wrote 'Close Your Eyes, I'll Be Here In The morning' for that concert - a delicate love ballad much in contrast to some of his darker, bleaker songs. Incidentally, if Van Zandt was to become a hard-drinking, substance abusing hellraiser, Walker was not far behind - until he cleaned himself up.
|What was the name of the folk club the Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt played at during his time at University of Colorado?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Barefoot Charlie's. Initially Van Zandt sang traditional folk tunes and covers of Dylan songs.
Incidentally, my comment in the introduction that Van Zandt left behind "a legacy ranging from the beautifully heartbreaking, to the darkest of places" is acknowledged as a precis from the authorised biography.
|What was the initial major taken by the Texan songwriter Townes Van Zandt when he enrolled at University of Colorado, in Boulder, in 1962?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Economics. Van Zandt's father had been employed in the oil industry as vice-president of a corporation. The family probably hoped that Townes was putting his wild youth behind him and would become 'normal'.
Robert Frost. In the authorized biography 'To Live's To Fly: The Ballad Of The Late Great Townes Van Zandt', John Kruth noted "Discovering Frost's 'My December Girl' was one of the most significant experiences Van Zandt gleaned from his time at Shattruck Academy. That influence can be seen in songs such as 'She Came And She Touched Me'" Van Zandt was later to remark: "Robert Frost once said ' worry about the phonetics and the meaning will take care of itself'"
Van Zandt's lyrics:
"She came and she touched me
With hands made of heaven
Reflections sent spinnin'
Through a face laced in mist
Now I stand where she left me
Buried deep 'neath her shadow
And the mirror pleads sadly
Has it all come to this?
And I wonder: will she call my name?
Where the wind careens madly
Through wide windows paneless
In a room full of shade
The peons pick partners
And waltz 'cross the ceilings
But the violins whisper
That I've been betrayed
Tryin' not to look ashamed
Well the drunkards drink deeply
From cups full of nothingness
Ghost lovers laugh
At the games that they play
While the moments do somersaults
Cling to their coattails
And beg them to stay
Saying I got nothing to hide..."
|At the age of 16, the Texan singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt was sent to Shattruck Academy, a military school, in Minnesota. Which sport did he particularly excel in?||The Late Great Townes Van Zandt
Wrestling. Townes Van Zandt was something of a misfit, and although never openly disrespectful, he had his quirks, never shining shoes and wearing his hat at a rakish angle, for example. He was a good athlete, playing football and baseball, but excelling in wrestling. His intoxicating effect on the females of the species dated from this time - and so did his drinking. (Another famous graduate of the academy was Marlon Brando.)
Elvis Presley. Townes Van Zandt was, at a young age, fond of singers like Williams, Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell and Ray Acuff. He recalled though: "It definitely started with Elvis. That just flipped me out."
Manic depression. After a nervous breakdown at university, Townes Van Zandt was diagnosed as a manic depressive with schizophrenic tendencies. He received electric and insulin shock "treatment". This left him with memory losses. "I had a nice childhood...I don't remember it, but that's what I've been told," he later said.
John Townes Van Zandt. John Townes Van Zandt was born on March 7 1944 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was a fourth generation Texan. The family arrived in America from Holland and settled in Pennsylvania shortly before the Revolution. Succeeding generations made huge contributions to the history of the state. Isaac Van Zandt was charge d'affaire to the USA when Texas was still a Republic. Van Zandt County was named after the family.
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. "Livin' on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
And your breath's as hard as kerosene"
"Pancho and Lefty" - note the correct spelling of the first of those names - topped the country charts for Nelson and Haggard in 1983. Others to cover Van Zandt songs included Norah Jones, Hoyt Axton, Doc Watson, Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, Arlo Guthrie and Don Williams.