Thursday, September 02, 2010

Waylon Jennings and John Lennon Were Cool - Together!

Everyone should be listening to Fresh Air's "Country Music Week" this week on NPR, even if you think "Oh, not me, I don't like country music" or some other such foolish thought. First of all, there's the fact that Fresh Air is one of the best interview shows and best radio shows ever and (much like a Charlie Rose) Terry Gross does awesome interviews that are interesting whether you take some silly stand against the career of the interview subject or not. I don't listen to (much) rap but I would listen to an interview of a rapper on Fresh Air in a heartbeat. Secondly, these are bona fide for real country peoples, not Nashville pop stars, with archived interviews from people like Willie and Waylon, Merle Haggard and George Jones, and the daughters of Charlie Haden singing three-part harmony, and the like. Third, you might learn something - it's good for you!

For example, I learned one of the coolest things ever. I learned that Waylon Jennings and John Lennon were hanging out together "cutting up," as Waylon put it, at the Grammys one year. (I think it was the Grammy Awards. Some music award event like that.) As if that in itself is not awesome enough, Waylon then told John Lennon, "Hey, you're funny! I didn't know you were funny. Thought you were all serious and stuff." Which, admit it, isn't that the same thing you were thinking when you read the line about them "cutting up" together? And John tells Waylon that he didn't know Waylon was so cool either, since everyone in England thought he was just an Outlaw running around shooting people in the studio (based on a legend in which he - jokingly? - brought a shotgun after threatening to shoot the next musician who played pick-up notes. Apparently Waylon hates the pick-up notes.)

Waylon Jennings and John Lennon hanging out together in a mutual admiration society, probably doing shots and just blathering on about life. HOW AWESOME IS THIS TO IMAGINE?! And I never would have known, but for Country Music Week on Fresh Air. Even Waylon told Terry at the end, and you could almost hear the surprise in his voice after a lifetime of repetitive interviews that all asked the same thing, that he had really enjoyed the interview, because she asks "some good questions!" Damn right.

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