Triple Played: Recalling the day I met a great Guy
Guy Clark has been one of my very favorite singer-songwriters since 1978 when I first heard his album “Old No. 1” and Clark’s version of “L.A. Freeway.”
I also bought Clark’s second LP “Texas Cookin’” as soon as I heard “Old No. 1.” They are two of my favorite Guy Clark albums.
But 1995’s “Dublin Blues” is my very favorite album from Clark and one of the most listened to recordings of my life. It contains several of my favorite Guy Clark songs, including the incredible title track sung with Nanci Griffith.
It also includes the songs: “Hank Williams Said it Best,” “Shut Up and Talk to Me,” “The Cape,” “Stuff That Works,” which has a prominent role in the movie “The Rookie” with Dennis Quaid, and the haunting song “The Randall Knife,” a tribute to his father.
I once had the wonderful opportunity to meet Guy and Susanna Clark, along with Townes Van Zandt and Robert Earl and Kathleen Keen in 1991 when the three male artists performed here at the Hilton and at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House.
They were great shows and two of the most enjoyable nights of my life spent mostly listening to those three gentlemen during and after the shows.
It would be a shame for me to try and recall their stories, but there was a lot of laughing and some good-natured ribbing that I remember well.
The three of them were very easy to talk to and work with. Townes’ career and his life were both winding down at that time. He tragically passed away in his early 50s. Robert Earl Keen had just released his second album so his career was just getting started.
Guy Clark was still at the top of his game and had several great albums from 1992 to 2011 still in him, including “Boats To Build”, “Dublin Blues”, “Cold Dog Soup”, “Workbench Songs” and “Somedays the Song Writes You.”
On July 23, Guy Clark will release “My Favorite Picture of You,” his 23rd recording, and his first recording without his beloved wife Susanna, who died in 2012 after Guy turned 70.
On the album’s cover art, Guy is holding his favorite picture of Susanna. The title track is about her.
Now 71, Clark was recently interviewed for this month’s “American Songwriter” magazine by Marissa R Moss. In the magazine, he told Moss that the picture “was always my favorite picture of Susanna because she was so pissed off at me and Townes [Van Zandt]. We were just being drunk (expletives), and she’d had enough. ... From the minute I saw it I said, ‘Yep, that’s Susanna.’ She was livid. It’s probably 30 years old.”
I have listened to some of the album “My Favorite Picture of You,” and it reminds me of his last two studio recordings, which makes me impatient to hear the rest.