Kris Kristofferson: C/D?

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I picked up a copy of Silver Tongued Devil at a yard sale last weekend and it occurred to me that I really like his music. Can't seem to find anything really on him w/ search. His songs usually sound better by other people, but I do think Loving Her Was Easier is absolutely perfect.

So?

jsk baby (jsk baby), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He was good in Lone Star.

Hi, I am a genius. a big one. (AaronHz), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Anything that I could say about this has basically already been said on the Silver Jews message board by a fella named Expatriate Louisvillian:
Kristofferson's role in the country idiom is directly analagous to Dylan's among pop/rock practitioners. Each steeped himself in the tradition but employed a superior vocabulary to take it further than anyone previously had (or has). The difference is that Dylan remains an anomaly, a freak of nature so singular in his talent that we who would imitate him are revealed as foolish amateurs. Kris, coming from country music, is compelled to make his art accessible, so his songs are ones you can actually learn from craft-wise. Also, by peppering his songs with huge abstractions like "freedom" and "truth" and "dreams" (and managing to pull it off), he has made country music safe for big ideas and explicit profundity as opposed to the kind of savant wisdom that the regionally biased ascribe to Hank and Jimmie Rodgers. You know, folks who "like" country music but think it's quaint or funny, far less "serious" or "artistic" than, say, Sonic Youth. More than any country artist besides Johnny Cash, Kristofferson embodies a combination of all of the things I hold dear about country music: intelligence, plainspoken wisdom, populism, humor, and drop-dead sexy swagger.

"Jesus is a Capricorn" (the song) is not even in my Kristofferson top twenty. My favorite of his albums is "Spooky Lady's Sideshow," a rollicking mid-70's affair featuring Roger McGuinn and Bobby Neuwirth (Kris always had the best bands money could buy). It's not on CD but isn't too hard to find. As far as CD's, you can get "The Silver-Tongued Devil and I" for like nine bucks just about anywhere. It's a great fucking record, as is his debut although I like his singing better after he stopped trying so hard to hit those notes he never will.

And if you wanna see him act, check out "Cisco Pike," "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid," or "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea." All excellent films. "Cisco Pike" (1969-70?), which has never even been on videotape, is Kristofferson's movie debut. He plays a washed up rock star stooped to dealing drugs to Gene Hackman's corrupt cop obsessed with busting him. Best of all, you get to see the Sir Douglas Quintet in the studio and Doug Sahm laying down the most insane cocaine rant I've ever seen on film.

Sorry for the dissertation, but y'all gotta recognize. With Mickey Newbury dead and Dylan out of reach, he's the finest model for songwriting you may ever have. Look up the words to "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)" and tell me that they're not perfect.

The best thing about Kristofferson as a songwriter is that not once in any song he's written can you TELL that he's a Rhodes scholar. He never brandishes his intelligence, just lets it naturally inform everything he says. There may be no greater lesson to the songwriters among you. Few things alienate like cleverness, the self-conscious attempt to impress one's audience. Just ask John Kerry.

Pleasant Plains (Pleasant Plains), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Hi, I am a genius. a big one. (AaronHz), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He's a 24 carat classic.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

avoid everything after the first 3 albums however if i'm correct. . .

and i picked up Silver Tounged Devil and I from a yard sale too, it's supa-classic.

Andrzej B. (Andrzej B.), Saturday, 13 November 2004 01:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Never enjoyed his music, but I privately wept for him when I saw him in Tim Burton's needless butchering of "Planet of the Apes".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 13 November 2004 02:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In my younghood Kris was our greatest movie star. 1984 I saw him in "Convoy", last was real smash in (Soviet!) Estonia, specially among teenagers. A bit later I was going to watch "Flashpoint", this was another smash.
Some years ago I saw "Star is Born" on TV... eh, Kris was really like surviving Jim Morrison in 70`s. Funny.

Margus Kiis, estonian rock critic (Margus Kiis, estonian rock cri), Sunday, 14 November 2004 14:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Then there was Amerika and Heaven's Gate. A strange, strange career that man has had.

Johnny Cash, in that box set of sessions that came out last year, has an anecdote somewhere about how Kristofferson apparently pitched a song to Cash by landing in Cash's yard in his helicopter!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 14 November 2004 14:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That's allegedly how he got Johnny Cash to hear "Sunday Morning Coming Down".

Charlie Rose (Charlie Rose), Sunday, 14 November 2004 14:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Which is one of my favourite songs, country or otherwise. Kristofferson's own recordings are good, but he's a really great songwriter - as well as that, Help Me Make It Through The Night is a real beauty, despite the odd bad version, as is For The Good Times. A good actor too, intermittently. There's a fine Hal Hartley with him, unless I am getting mixed up. What's it called...?

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 14 November 2004 15:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Sunday Morning Coming Down" is my pick for saddest song ever.
I actually can't listen to it. Don't even recall the lyrics at this point, but JC's voice just sounds so hopeless and thoroughly beat.
Quite intense. Also, I hadn't realized it was a Kristofferson tune.

m0stly clean (m0stly clean), Sunday, 14 November 2004 16:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Weird, I almost started a thread on "Sunday Morning Coming Down" the other day. That song is so great, the bits of description -- "no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," the sights and sounds and smells -- it's like a Raymond Carver story in just two verses and a chorus.

I only have a live album and the first KK album, which is mostly great. "Blame It On the Stones" is funny, "Best of All Possible Worlds," "For the Good Times," "The Law is for Protection of the People," and obv. "Bobby McGee." And "To Beat the Devil" -- I love that song. Classic, for sure.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Sunday, 14 November 2004 17:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love the line 'the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, so I had one more for dessert'.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 14 November 2004 17:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Well I woke up next mornin' feelin' like my head was gone/and like my thick ol' tongue was lickin' somethin' sick and wrong"

I've been loving that album lately.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 15 November 2004 04:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"The best thing about Kristofferson as a songwriter is that not once in any song he's written can you TELL that he's a Rhodes scholar. He never brandishes his intelligence, just lets it naturally inform everything he says. There may be no greater lesson to the songwriters among you."

I only half-agree with this. There are occasional moments on the first album (admittedly, the only one I know really well) where I hear the 'actor' come out (I didn't actually know he was a rhodes scholar) -- moments when his country-isms sound just a little too perfect. I particularly feel this way about "Beat the Devil," a song I find realtively unconvincing compared to the rest of the album (especially in the intro, i.e. when he says "a great and wasted friend of mine")

I don't mean to say that it matters to me whether he actually is a rhodes scholar or an alcoholic drifter, I'm just talking delivery here. But for the most part, Kristofferson is a great *storyteller* -- almost a Garrison Keilor type whose combination of folksy charm and rapier wit seem to exist outside of any class or regional specifics.

When he's at his best, I care no more about Kristofferson's background than I care that Bob Dylan was a midwestern suburban middle class Jew when he sings ballads of poor black southerners. And more often than not, this is the case.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 15 November 2004 04:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Keep the change, Bob"

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 15 November 2004 04:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

By the way, my misplaced phrase "more often than not, this was the case" was meant to refer to Kris Kristofferson coming across well, not to Dylan singing about poor black southerners.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 15 November 2004 04:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Revive! I've been listening to the 2CD "Essential" comp, and it's pretty great stuff all the way through. I like the schmaltzy country-pop ("Jody & The Kid", "Loving Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again"), the big weirdo epics ("The Pilgrim: Chapter 33", "Casey's Last Ride", "Billy Dee"), the straightforward Honky-Tonk stuff ("Come Sundown", "The Best Of All Possible Worlds")...

Probably one of the best (or maybe *the* best?) bedroom singers, outside of Soul/R&B ("I'd Rather Be Sorry", "Help Me Make It Through The Night".) "For The Good Times" has been mentioned on the rolling Country thread, that sorta fits in as well.

"Highwayman" tho, wtf were they on about on that one. I own three versions of that song (this, Willie Nelson best-of, Cash box.)

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Thursday, 2 February 2006 21:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"If You Don't Like Hank Williams" makes me think of ILM random googlers:

I dig Bobby Dylan and I dig Johnny Cash
And I think Waylon Jennings is a table thumpin' smash
And hearin' Joni Mitchell feels as good as smokin' grass
And if you don't like Hank Williams, honey, you can kiss my ass

Chorus:
'Cause I think what they've done is well worth doin'
And they're doin' it the best way that they can
You're the only one that you are screwin'
When you put down what you don't understand

I said, I dig Roger Miller, Merle Haggard; George Jones
Shotgun Willie Nelson and them rockin' Rollin' Stones
And Jerry Lee's still gotta be the coolest in the class
And if you don't like Hank Williams, honey, you can kiss my ass.

Chorus:
'Cause I think what they've done is well worth doin'
And they're doin' it the best way that they can
You're the only one that you are screwin'
When you put down what you don't understand

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Thursday, 2 February 2006 21:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

ooh this sounds awesome:
Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos 1968-72
Over 5 years in the making, and with the attention to detail and elaborate packaging the label is known for, LITA 050 is none other than the never-before-released 1968-1972 demos of Texas-born Renaissance man and maverick songwriting pioneer, Kris Kristofferson. With the outlaw Highwayman's full blessing, Light In The Attic is proud and honored to present Kristofferson s honest and upfront formative takes on the tunes that would eventually become part of the great American songbook.

Since penning these numbers (many of which were written during the mid-to-late 60s while working as a janitor for Columbia Records in Nashville), over 500 artists including patron saint Johnny Cash, one-time lover Janis Joplin, and co-actor Bob Dylan (to name but three), have covered Kristofferson's material. While we shouldn't forget his vast commercial accomplishments as an award-winning recording artist and actor, it's these soul-stirring demos that laid the groundwork for his rough and tumble creative journey. Drop the needle and be transported into the intimate candle lit studio session like a fly on the wall.

Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends: The Demos 1968-72 features comprehensive liner notes by Michael Simmons (MOJO, LA Weekly), including interviews with Kristofferson, the musicians, and other related-folks from these landmark sessions. Plus, dig into a handful of testimonials from friends Dennis Hopper and Merle Haggard. Includes full lyrics housed in a massive 60 page full color booklet featuring unseen photos and archival material, plus a gloriously mastered audio soundtrack.

http://www.amazon.com/Please-Dont-Tell-Story-Ends/dp/B0036ZKL9G

tylerw, Sunday, 18 April 2010 16:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

I will be picking this up.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 18 April 2010 18:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

Just picked up Border Lord (which I used to own and seem to have mislaid) and Jesus was Capricorn. Nobody Wins is today's saddest song ever....

sonofstan, Thursday, 22 April 2010 13:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Listened to that new collection last night, it's a winner.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 April 2010 13:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

Streaiming on NPR now .... sounds very good: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126169194

tylerw, Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

So this demos collection... is awesome. That is all. Really nice liner notes too.

ian, Thursday, 3 June 2010 23:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

just searched this thread to post exactly that ian. listened to thing in loud cars for a month or so but the first go through at home is just killing it.

bear, bear, bear, Saturday, 25 September 2010 10:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

from tracks 4 to 5 alone you get pretty much most of what makes this dude mostly all time, but fuck it, whole thing is ace

bear, bear, bear, Saturday, 25 September 2010 10:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

oh man, amazing random roles q&a with kris: www.avclub.com/articles/kris-kristofferson,46544/

tylerw, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 18:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

tonight is a kris greatest hits night imo

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

My deeply alcoholic friend blames this guy's self-titled album for his problem.

Publicidad de Sexo (Abbbottt), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

don't blame it on the .... country?

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

blame it on the stones is one of the few kris songs i'm really not down with.. it's just got that goofy production and vibe to it.

one dis leads to another (ian), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

My deeply alcoholic friend blames this guy's self-titled album for his problem.

If I had any inclination to drink alone, I could see this as a pretty encouraging soundtrack.

Uteruses Before Duderuses (Johnny Fever), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

ah yeah, but music to drink to isn't necessarily music that makes you drink.

in fact, i'm going to go & get a drink.

the salmon of procrastination (darraghmac), Sunday, 3 April 2011 01:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

hey, kris has a new one out today -- Feeling Mortal. sounding pretty good. voice just getting more grizzled, but in a mostly good way.

tylerw, Tuesday, 29 January 2013 16:49 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://search.mog.com/v2/albums/29523585/image.jpeg?size=800
underrated

tylerw, Friday, 8 March 2013 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink

never heard that one, but i'd like to.
<3 kris.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 8 March 2013 18:50 (five years ago) Permalink

he's the emcee of the Johnny Cash TV show DVDs I've been watching. (Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" from the show was released as a single and won awards.)

Didn't really start his music career til he was nearly 30, after being a Rhodes scholar, and a presumed Army lifer.

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Friday, 8 March 2013 18:51 (five years ago) Permalink

a texas friend quoted KK saying "Garth Brooks did for country music what pantyhose did for finger fuckin'."

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Friday, 8 March 2013 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

haha

Johnny Fever, Friday, 8 March 2013 18:52 (five years ago) Permalink

lol

tylerw, Friday, 8 March 2013 18:54 (five years ago) Permalink

great line in the sabre and the rose "when stagger lee had drunk his fill of moonlight / he turned his burning eyes upon my soul"

tylerw, Friday, 8 March 2013 18:56 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

http://youtu.be/HaalvZ5S4Aw

Heez, Friday, 24 May 2013 22:10 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

this weird thing happened last night
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1174611_10201727473052288_1320997475_n.jpg
l-r: kris, me, lyle lovett

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:50 (four years ago) Permalink

okay wow!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:51 (four years ago) Permalink

Details!

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:52 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm kind of distantly related to kris and he and his wife were ridiculously nice/accommodating. lyle was dropping in to discuss their duet during his set. lyle seems like mayyyybe the nicest dude in the world.

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 16:01 (four years ago) Permalink

omg!! wow.

are you meeting in a mine shaft or

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 16:58 (four years ago) Permalink

ha, that's just the subterranean backstage of red rocks (http://redrocksonline.com)

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 17:01 (four years ago) Permalink

everything about that is awesome, lucky you!!

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 17:01 (four years ago) Permalink

such a great pic.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 17:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Too bad they hadn't been sharing stories about the women in their lives at that particular moment.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 17:14 (four years ago) Permalink

that rules!

Brad C., Tuesday, 20 August 2013 17:23 (four years ago) Permalink

best part was kris telling me about being a helicopter pilot in the gulf of mexico

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:05 (four years ago) Permalink

i may or may not have offered to help him write his memoirs. he said he hasn't done it yet because he sits down to start writing, but then decides he would rather be watching a football game.

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:06 (four years ago) Permalink

Kris otm

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Kris Kristofferson...pilot...Gulf of Mexico...what was he transporting?

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:09 (four years ago) Permalink

i think he was flying people back and forth out to oil rigs. he was also a pilot in the air force for a while. and was a rhodes scholar. dude had kind of an interesting life even before he became famous, really.

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:11 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah that helicopter pilot/military stuff has cropped up in interviews I've read with him

amazing pic btw!!

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:16 (four years ago) Permalink

also got to talk to him a bit about mickey newbury!

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:18 (four years ago) Permalink

oooh, what he say about mickey?

Heez, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:23 (four years ago) Permalink

"lyle seems like mayyyybe the nicest dude in the world"

lyle love it

nostormo, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:26 (four years ago) Permalink

(Kristofferson) achieved some success as a performer himself, following Johnny Cash's introduction of Kristofferson at the Newport Folk Festival. Kristofferson had previously grabbed Cash's attention when he landed his helicopter in Cash's yard without prior arrangement and gave him some tapes

only dogg forgives (Eazy), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 18:32 (four years ago) Permalink

oooh, what he say about mickey?
he seemed super excited -- said that he was his best friend, mentor and pretty much "the guy I wanted to be." when kris got fired from his pilot job, mickey was like "great! come back to nashville and pitch songs to the johnny cash show." so they hung out in one of the local hotels where guests for the show stayed and just played songs for whoever. kris also said he thought mickey could've been huge if he just went out and played live but for whatever reason he never liked it. said that his favorite thing was to "play a song and then pass the guitar to someone else." i mentioned "she even woke me up to say goodbye" as one of my favorites and KK pretty much shouted "SHE EVEN WOKE ME UP TO SAY GOODBYE! Can you believe that title!?"

tylerw, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:08 (four years ago) Permalink

ha! awesome.

Heez, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:12 (four years ago) Permalink

she even woke me up to say goodbye, the bitch

nostormo, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:14 (four years ago) Permalink

If I could have been anybody during the '70s, I think I might have chosen him. (I mean, except for myself, of course.) He was definitively a 1970-71 guy, and he got to stay a 1970-71 guy for the whole decade and become more successful and more famous along the way.

I just noticed his RS cover with Rita Coolidge has an American version (with beard) and a British version without:

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t427/sayhey1/kris-1_zpsa65a2de1.jpg http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t427/sayhey1/kris-2_zps41ca728c.jpg

The headline changes on the Sex Pistols, too.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:16 (four years ago) Permalink

my first association with him will always be:

http://www.moviespad.com/photos/kris-kristofferson-convoy-0cef0.jpg

nostormo, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:20 (four years ago) Permalink

well that's pretty amazin'

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:23 (four years ago) Permalink

it's unbelievable

nostormo, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 19:25 (four years ago) Permalink

Awesome

dmacation problem (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 August 2013 20:12 (four years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Sad, but he seems to be taking it in stride, and can still perform:

http://www.showbiz411.com/2014/01/26/kris-kristoffersons-memory-loss-worsens-but-his-sense-of-humor-is-great

That's So (Eazy), Saturday, 19 April 2014 21:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Sorry to hear.

He frequently pops up in bios of the prior generation of musicians- Arthur Alexander, Charlie Louvin, Johnny Cash- and I am always touched by the respect he accorded these guys. The epitome of a gentleman and a scholar.

When I Get To The Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 April 2014 22:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Also, wow at those RS covers.

When I Get To The Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 April 2014 22:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Jerrod Niemann sings on his newest album that he, himself, is “no Shakespeare or Kris Kristofferson.”

curmudgeon, Monday, 21 April 2014 13:54 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

The half assed hanging on to the words on the exhalations on "nobody wins" my god

Alderweireld Horses (darraghmac), Friday, 9 February 2018 09:50 (three months ago) Permalink

<3

ian, Saturday, 10 February 2018 20:03 (three months ago) Permalink

yea he's a pro

marcos, Saturday, 10 February 2018 20:58 (three months ago) Permalink


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