Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing

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jsalk

Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« on: 14 Apr 2020, 01:48 pm »
In 1969, I found myself in a sticky situation. I was in the infantry and on my first two-day mission in the jungles of Vietnam. Someone had told me that if I made it past that first mission, I was on borrowed time.  It turned out I didn't need to take out a loan. On the second night out, we were attacked and a hand grenade went off three feet away. About ten feet on the other side of the blast, my best friend layed dead. A medic came to help, but was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.  It was the second time I was hit.

Since it was the middle of the night, no medical helicopter was being sent.  I knew I couldn't survive until morning and that my time on this earth was coming to a close.  But then a helicopter gunship ran out of ammunition and, although he didn't have to, the pilot volunteered to pick me up.  I don't know who he was, but his bravery saved my life.

I spent the next eight months in an Army hospital in Denver and had to learn to walk all over again.

Returning vets were not treated with the same respect as they are today.  Walking down Aurora Avenue, cars would honk and people would point and laugh. They would call you a baby killer and would assume you were some kind of drug addict. It was quite depressing.

A few years later, in 1971, I heard an album by a new songwriter named John Prine. On that album was a song called Sam Stone.  The first time I heard it, I cried.  This man knew.  He really knew.

Even today when I hear that song, I get choked up.  I've loved music all my life, but that singular song communicated to me in a way no other song ever had, or ever will.

John Prine was a national treasure. I'm glad to see he is getting the recognition he so rightfully earned.  I was sorry to hear of his passing, but he'll always have a special place in my heart.

Rest in peace John Prine.

- Jim
« Last Edit: 14 Apr 2020, 05:38 pm by jsalk »

Wind Chaser

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #1 on: 14 Apr 2020, 01:59 pm »
Wow, I haven't heard the song but those lyrics speak volumes. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Peter J

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #2 on: 14 Apr 2020, 03:09 pm »
Here I am welling up reading your story, Jim. I'm glad you're here to tell it.

John Prine was eloquent in a very special and unique way.

JDoyle

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #3 on: 14 Apr 2020, 03:28 pm »
Wow. And I thought you were an incredible person based on my experience with you before I read this.
Thank you for your service!

John

dB Cooper

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #4 on: 14 Apr 2020, 03:32 pm »
Thanks for sharing your personal remembrance, Jim. Glad you didn't turn into Sam Stone. I've met you at CAF (I'm sure I stand out among the other 5130 people you've met there LOL) and you're a great guy who makes a great product that brings great joy to people.

I have a friend who is a John Prine fanatic. You name the song and he can recite the lyrics from start to finish. A few years ago, he called me up with an extra Prine ticket. I knew who JP was, and a few of his songs, but not like my friend does. I have discovered him in a much deeper way since. I'm so glad I saw him in concert.

Bob Dylan- BOB DYLAN- said "Nobody writes like Prine."

"Never regret growing old; it is a privilege denied to many." Not a Prine quote; but on my mind in these times, especially when I hear stories like the one you shared.
'

« Last Edit: 14 Apr 2020, 09:39 pm by dB Cooper »

jaywills

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #5 on: 14 Apr 2020, 04:31 pm »
After I learned he had passed last week, I spent two days sitting outside staring into the sun, drinking beer and listening to his albums.  Still sunburned and sad.

LesterSleepsIn

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #6 on: 14 Apr 2020, 09:09 pm »
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go.

thebrieze

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #7 on: 14 Apr 2020, 09:25 pm »
That’s an incredible and truly inspiring story, Jim. So glad you chose to share. Listening to Sam Stone now, and will be doing some more listening to John Prine on my Salk speakers tonight!

dB Cooper

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #8 on: 14 Apr 2020, 09:46 pm »
All you people who have been touched by 'Sam Stone', you might want to check out 'Let Them In' by John Gorka; a very different song but... Well, check it out, it seems to be on all the streaming services.

Thanks again Jim.

PDR

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #9 on: 14 Apr 2020, 10:29 pm »


Woke up this morning, put on my slippers, walked in the kitchen and died......

I was a fan......heard him first in late 70s.......l always wondered why more
people didnt know who he was.

Dear Abby, dear Abby........

timind

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #10 on: 14 Apr 2020, 10:48 pm »
Thanks for sharing your story Jim.

I bought John Prine's debut shortly after it was released. Probably because of the opening track, 'Illegal Smile,' although it could also have been 'Sam Stone.' It was my junior year of high school and even though it wasn't the type of music my peers were listening to, this album was a special one for me. A special talent for sure.

MiamiAngler

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #11 on: 14 Apr 2020, 11:20 pm »
Jim thank you for your service!

Brad

Gyosa

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #12 on: 15 Apr 2020, 09:31 pm »
Jim ,
Thank you for your service .....
I was an air force pilot in desert storm ... I sorta know what you felt ....
When I initially deployed over there I believed my chances of survival were small ....

You had it much rougher than me , however ....
I have the utmost respect for the “grunts” on the ground ..

Thanks for your service !

Bk

DEP14

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #13 on: 15 Apr 2020, 09:37 pm »
Touching thoughts Jim.  Thank you for your service!

Beatlebum

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #14 on: 3 May 2020, 01:36 pm »
Jim,

Thank you very much for your service and for sharing that very personal story. Be well and stay safe everyone.

Tim


brother love

Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #16 on: 3 May 2020, 03:41 pm »
Sweet article:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/john-prine-last-days-beautiful-life-tribute-family-friends-bonnie-raitt-981646/

Thanks syzgy. That was an excellent, touching article that I had missed about John Prine's recent passing. 

The video at the end of the article has some Prine song performances. I particularly liked the 2nd song, Ashley Mcbride singing "Fish & Whistle". You could tell Prine meant something to her. I did a search & found this interesting article where she performed at a Prine family reunion! :  http://www.cmt.com/news/1803074/ashley-mcbryde-talks-enviable-first-john-prine-concert/

Jim Salk, thank you for your service & sharing your heartfelt thoughts about John Prine. Vivid memories about that 1st album & Sam Stone. His lyrics grabbed me by the throat & never let go. I can quote so many lyrics from his songs, indelible imprints that have never left me. Fortunate to have seen him in concert a couple times.

JDoyle

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Re: Personal thoughts on John Prine's passing
« Reply #17 on: 3 May 2020, 10:58 pm »
This was a “My View” column that was in the Bflo News on 4/17, I wanted to post it then, but I didn’t.
So better late than never, it does say a lot about the man...  :D

JD

MY VIEW column, written by Dan Schwartz, Buffalo News, 4/17/20

Prine shared warmth with Buffalo folks
John Prine was special to us.
When he passed, I added a Facebook comment about how my friend George Torok and I spent a lot of time in the tunnels under Cassety Hall at SUNY Buffalo State in the early 1970s. We’d memorized every cut from Prine’s first three albums. The acoustics, or lack thereof, made us sound a lot better than we really were.
For the next few days additional stories relating to Prine kept coming back to me unbidden.
There was the time a small group of us went to see Prine and Steve Goodman at Artpark.
Our friend Shelly Reback had a lot of courage in those days. Artpark was one of those half openair, half indoor concert halls. Without warning, Shelly was under the red rope and making a dash down to a position near the stage where Prine and Goodman were doing a sound check.
With visions of being run out of the stadium by security, her then-boyfriend Ricky Teibel and I followed her in hot pursuit.
Before we could get to Shelly, she called out, “Hello, Mr. Prine!”
Prine resounded, “Hello out there.”
“I’m Shelly! Today’s my birthday!”
“Happy Birthday, Shelly.”
“Would you please play a request for me for my birthday?!”
“What would you like to hear, Shelly?”
“I’d like to hear you and Mr. Goodman play “Frying Pan!”
“Frying Pan” was one of the short songs Prine wrote when he was a teenager. It begins with, “I come home from working this morning/There was a note in the frying pan/It said, fix your own supper, babe/ I run off with the Fuller Brush man.”
There was a pause, then Goodman whispered something to Prine. Prine mumbled something to Goodman, and they were off, playing a spirited rendition of the tune, just as security was catching up to us.
Once they began playing, the security guys did something unexpected. They stopped dead in their tracks and listened
to the whole song.
When it was over, Shelly yelled out, “Thank you Mr. Prine! Thank you, Mr. Goodman!”
Prine said, “You’re welcome, Shelly.”
Goodman laughed, “Happy Birthday, Shelly.”
I had visions of it being a onesong concert. I was expecting security to throw us out of there, but the security guys smiled and said the theater wasn’t open yet, and we’d have to wait outside until they started seating for the real show.
At another show, Prine was slated to be the headliner at Harvey and Corky’s Century Theater, a former movie palace.
The show was way late in getting started. People began clapping rhythmically and stomping their feet. Eventually, Prine took the stage first.
When David Bromberg’s “Folk Orchestra” finally arrived, Bromberg explained his band had been stuck in a snowstorm in Rochester. He thanked Prine profusely, and explained not many performers would have done what Prine had just done.
Years later, when Torok and I were working on our dissertations, I bet George a case of beer I could quote and cite Prine in my dissertation.
I won.
The committee never even questioned it.