There Was Two of Everything

John Prine, Acoustic Guitar, John Prine Guitar Picks

These souvenirs…they always bring me tears.
John Prine guitar picks…black for this day…green for new beginnings.
We will miss you John Prine.
(P. Ferguson, 8 April 2020)

But One of Me…

John Prine was unique…

It was shortly before 3:00 AM when I checked the news. Rosemary and I both know that this is something I shouldn’t do. The light shuts off before 4:30 AM but often returns to light up this corner. It’s 5:30 in the morning…it’s time to rise…words have come…John Prine has left this plain for another rodeo. I am in darkness but light interrupts…the words keep coming.

Its Morning Now

I am not Bruce, Bonnie or Bob…I am just another child that’s grown old…If dreams were lightning thunder were desire this old house would have burnt down a long time ago…Just give me one thing that I can hold on to…Broken toys and faded colours are all that’s left to linger on…Memories they can’t be boughten…all the snow has turned to water.

Cassette, Bowtie and Homburg

The wordsmith’s words came to me on a home-taped John Prine cassette in 1985. Played and replayed, John Prine connected. There was a change in my writing…attempts to be similar…attempts to find humour…compassion…a voice. John Prine is as much part of my acoustic history as I am to the six wires it holds. His voice led me to others…Guy Clarke…Lyle Lovett…a return to Springsteen, a desire to hear Raitt and a return to earlier times,…James Bay (late ‘70s – early 80s) when Eric and I played Bob Dylan, Hank Williams or tunes from The Band and Pink Floyd.

In 2016 John Prine played the Royal Theatre in Victoria and I was there, somewhere above and to the left. It seemed an occasion for the well-dressed, to be a bit off the edge, and unlike my usual jeans and t-shirt apparel worn most days I was there in all auspiciousness…all dark colours save for the red dots of the bowtie and the grey-black Homburg upon my brow. I was not disappointed…and now this day has come…the acoustic has left its case.

Dear Johnny…Dear Johnny

I have sat in my corner…light off…light on…lyrics checked…rechecked…words scribbled…as they come….notepad filled. Somehow the world just got bigger, not in the best sense of the word but because part of its center is a bit off-balance. But, I can be grateful, though saddened by the world’s wobble…John Prine gave me other words this day…ones to string chords too…a voice to be heard while I think of Sam Stone and when all the snow has turned to water. John…if I may…there will be a band in heaven.

My condolences to the John Prine family.
His friends..musicians and fans everywhere.

John Prine
10 October 1946 – 7 April 2020


About The Author

pferguson
Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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