Tuesday, 11 October 2016

October #7 - Guy Clark

7. Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway

Amid all the more high profile musical losses we've felt this year, it's worth sparing a moment to mourn Guy Clark who died in May at the age of 74. I'll hold my hand up and say I didn't really know him until it was too late; it was only when I heard Bob Harris paying eulogy to him that my interest was piqued, leading me to purchase a compilation of his first two albums, Ol' No.1 and Texas Cookin' from the mid-70s. I've been listening to it on and off ever since...

My favourite track is LA Freeway: it's just one of those songs that makes my heart a little lighter. It's a "gotta get out of this town" song, recorded in the same year as Born To Run. Clark never really broke the big time as a performer: damned if I know why from listening to these records. At least his songs were appreciated by other artists - he's been covered by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Bobby Bare and Brad Paisley, among many others. You can pick up these two discs (in one) NEW for under three quid at certain online retailers, and I'd heartily recommend you do so if you like a bit of classy country storytelling...
Pack up all your dishes.
Make note of all good wishes.
Say goodbye to the landlord for me.
That son of a bitch has always bored me.

Throw out them LA papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers.
Adios to all this concrete.
Gonna get me some dirt road back street

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought...


  1. My favourite from those the Ol'No 1 album has to be "Desperados Waiting for the Train" - but I guess "LA Freeway" would be a close second. Guy Clark was a great singer/songwriter and as well as the early releases, his 1995 album "Dublin Blues" shows his great talent

    1. I'll look out for that one. I knew Desperados before I got the album because of the Johnny Cash / Highwaymen version.

  2. Beautiful stuff and another sad loss in 2016.


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