I was telling someone the other day that I’ve heard Bill Wither’s “Use Me” covered more than any other song. Then I was asked what was the second most covered song I’ve heard live, and it’s easily “Angel From Montgomery” by John Prine.
The truth is – I was personally never a fan. Sometimes we just miss things in life, and so it is with music as well. My earliest memory of the artist was sometime in 1990 or 1991 when I had started working at JR’s Light Bulb Club in Fayetteville, AR. The owner of the place would put Prine on after closing when we were all hustling to clean up the bar and get off the clock. In those early grungey days we were likely to move faster if it meant escaping that which we preferred not to hear.
Of course my respect grew through the years even if I didn’t take the time to give it much of a listen. I’ve had the closest of friends swear by him, and that’s good enough for me. Maybe it’s time to give a more thoughtful listen now?
Prior to opening Stickyz Rock’n’Roll Chicken Shack in 2000 we hung some lyrics to his classic over the front door. If you’ve ever come into the Chicken Shack in Little Rock, chances are you walked right under the lines “If dreams were thunder, lightning were desire, this old house would’ve burned down a long time ago”.
Peace to the friends and fam and fans of John Prine (and Bill Withers).