June 30, 2006


I am listening to the new Johnny Cash album, American V: A Hundred Highways. You can hear it too - take a look at his myspace page, where the entire album is streaming. Like the previous four American recordings (and according to Wikipedia, there's a VI on the way too), it's produced by the versatile Rick Rubin. The songs are taken from Cash's final 2003 recording sessions, and include a couple of originals, a dark traditional number 'Gonna Cut You Down', and the usual swag of covers, one of which is Gordon Lightfoot's 'If You Could Read My Mind'. Unexpected, and it works!

I just finished his autobiography, 'Cash'. It was a good read, and I found it interesting the way he disposed of any convention as far as chronology or structure goes. He just seemed to pick up his pen (or fire up the laptop.. do you think? I can't quite picture it) and write about what ever came to mind.

When he'd tied up his entire childhood within just a few pages I wondered what the rest of the book could be about, but it turns out Mr Cash certainly had enough stories to tell. One that stays with me is a pretty gruesome tale from amidst his drug addiction. He'd been hospitalised with a large stomach wound (from an ostrich, no less!) and being a drug addict, was the master of concealing his stash. He hid a 50-dose card of Valium amongst the dressing of his wound. When he slept for several days and couldn't wake up for more than a couple of minutes, alarm bells rang, and he somehow managed to indicate to his doctor to change the dressing. The doctor discovered that about half of the Valium had dissolved directly into his wound. The punchline is that Cash soon after checked into Betty Ford Clinic, where he had to look after the four inch-wide wound himself!

Now I'm reading Douglas Coupland's latest, 'jPod'. It's great so far; 'Microserfs' was always a favourite of mine and 'jPod' is supposedly an updated version. I'll save that discussion for another day.


Blogger Barry said...

Did you buy or borrow JPod? I took a look at it last night and, while I will be reading it, I won't be buying it in a hurry - what with all the pages of numerals just so a couple of the characters can play some sort of "spot the error" game with each other and other page using gimmicks.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

I borrowed it. I don't buy books much nowadays, and the library has this great request system which suits me just fine. That said I recently acquired some book vouchers, and yesterday took my first exploratory scoping mission. Almost bought the Penguin History Of NZ, 'Norwegian Wood' by Haruki Murakami, and 'Hell's Angels' by Hunter S. Thompson, but being inescapably noncommittal with finite resources, I walked out empty-handed - this time! Perhaps I'll get a nice atlas with which to plot my future :)

11:11 PM  

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