Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning

Richard Hawley’s interview with Lee Hazlewood in today's Observer Music Monthly is the saddest but most life-affirming thing I have read in a magazine for a long time. The magazine industry is an incredibly shallow one, with editorial copy existing largely to fill the gaps between the adverts. But the interview with Lee had me holding back the tears as I read it in my local café. I first discovered the music of Nancy and Lee when I was 12 and lolling on an obscure Greek island… that was 16 years ago, and I have spent all of those 16 years devotedly collecting and listening to Lee’s music, and recording it to give to other people. I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing Lee perform live twice (both times at the Royal Festival Hall), and I can easily say that both concerts rank in my top five ever.

I had not known Lee is dying of terminal cancer and I am so sad to read that. But the pull-quote OMM used (“I’ve had 77 years of fun; cancer doesn’t bother me”) is such a positive statement in the face of inevitable death. I can only hope I will feel in a position to say such a brave thing when my time comes. Lee has led an extraordinary life and anyone who needs further proof should read his 2002 book “The Pope’s Daughter” about his experiences with the Sinatras.

But whatever way you look at it, 77 is no age in 2006. I’m listening to a live version of “My Autumn’s Done Come” as I write this, and at the end he simply says, “I’m old enough now”. I’d beg to differ.

No comments: