John Kruth, the book's author, mentions how Townes' studio recordings were often mauled by bad production as well as sub-par studio players. The problem, according to John (as well as accounts from Kevin Eggars and Guy Clark, among others), was that his labels were unsure of how to market Townes' albums - so they mucked 'em up in order to fit them better into a genre. It's a square block in a round hole trying to genre-fy Townes. He was, after all, a live performer who liked life on the road and always managed to wreck some part of his life as soon as one place got too permanent.
That's why The Green Album - as it's often called - remains one the true-est momentos of The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. Not only is his guitar work sharp as ever, but Townes was talkative and charming on this night. [By the way - if you've only heard a few TVZ songs here and there, you may be under the impression that, albeit an amazing poet, he was a lazy guitar player. Not the case - like i said, his hard-livin' began to take a toll on him later in his life, but in the first decade of Townes' career, he was admired as much for his intricate finger-picking (he carried a set of metal finger picks around in a purple-velvet Crown Royal bag) as he was his songwriting.]
Here's just one of the jokes Townes tells during song breaks:
"There was this drunk walkin' down the street. He walks up
to this cop and he says 'Man, somebody stole my car.'
The cop says 'Well, where was it?'
And he says 'It was right on the end of this key.'
The cop says 'Why don't you go down to the precinct and file a report?'
Guy says 'Okay' and he starts to walk off.
The cop says, 'Before you go downtown, you better zip up your fly.....'
The drunk says 'Aw, man. They got my girl, too.'"
If you're already a Townes Van Zandt fan - you MUST have this record....
If you're new to Townes - this is as good a place as ever to start......
[eMusic] Free 14-day trial with 35 mp3 downloads - FREE!
[Amazon] $23.98 hard copy/$11.49 mp3
mp3: Townes Van Zandt - Two Girls
mp3: Townes Van Zandt - Lungs
i'll probably be inspired to write another TVZ post when i finish up the book.