Holiday Christmas Wishes 4 -- 2005
From the desk of
Henry J. Rifle
It appears we are rapidly running out of days on the calendar to draw thick black X’s through, so that can only mean it must be time for old Henry J. to put fingertips to keys and tap his way back into the fibrous chambers of your hearts. Don’t worry, it will only sting for a minute and I promise you won’t feel a thing.
Now before I get too far down the happy path, I should tell you I just got back from a Holiday party and I’m pretty sure someone spiked the egg nog with something hinky. Did I stop drinking it, you ask? The answer, of course, is no, I did not. So why don’t we just let’s see what happens?
Well, it was quite a year, as you can well imagine. As some of you know, I was bumped off earlier this year, rubbed out like a 2nd rate soap opera star*. It’s alright, though. It’s given me time to catch up on my reading. And I’ve seen a movie or two. Yep, I saw Walk The Line recently. Not too bad, not too bad at all. If you like Johnny Cash, you’ll be happy to know the movie has a happy ending. In fact, it ends (spoiler alert) with Johnny’s landmark performance in Folsom Prison, a performance which was later turned into the equally landmarctic album, ‘Johnny Cash, Live From Folsom Prison.’ Yes, after listening to that album, it’s obvious nothing coaxes a better performance out of a performer than the knowledge he’ll be torn to pieces by hardened cons if he sucks.
Luckily for all of us, and most especially Mr. Cash, he did NOT suck. And the album? It went gold! Or platinum…I never remember what the difference is. Anyway, this business of artists performing in prisons caught on very briefly. It led, regrettably – and nearly fatally – to the legendary lost recording titled, ‘Perry Como, Live From Alcatraz!’ I’m sure that seemed like a real good idea at the time, and big points to Perry for trying, but apparently he didn’t quite have the all-important ‘street cred’ old Johnny Cash did. But that’s how you learn, am I right?
Oh, sure, everyone and their great-aunt thinks they can pull on a sweater, pick up a guitar and entertain a bunch of felons. The bottom line is, though, we can’t. There’s only one performer (two if you count Merle Haggard) who was mean and crazy enough and had the chops to do that. And now…he’s no longer with us.
Anyways, Happy Holidays!
All the best to you and yours,
Henry J. Rifle
* In the beyond-indie film Henry Rifle is Dead