A couple of months ago, I wrote that I had heard a rumour that my favourite Country star of all time, Kris Kristofferson, was going to play the Legends Slot on the Sunday at Glastonbury.
Although I didn’t say so at the time, I feared for him a little; when I saw him about ten years ago in Bristol, it was just him and an acoustic guitar, and I felt that were he to perform in the same style at Glasto, with no backing band, he would probably be dwarfed by the occasion.
Factor in his memory loss problems, and you can understand where I’m coming from.
His memory loss is interesting, not just because it gives my Dad the opportunity to tell his story about the time he saw Kristofferson play a few years ago, and had to prompt him with one of the lines to “Sunday Morning Coming Down”. (“Someone frying chicken!” he called from the audience, as the Country star faltered).
See, for years, doctors had been telling Kristofferson that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from the boxing, football and rugby of youth.
Then, in 2016, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease; it came back positive. His wife believes he picked it up from a tick as he crawled around the forest floor in Vermont making a movie. He gave up his Alzheimer’s and depression pills and went through three weeks of Lyme-disease treatment and now is, well, he may not be perfectly healthy, but his memory is as good as any 80 year old has the right to expect it to be.
As it turned out, the rumours I had heard were incorrect; he is playing Glastonbury but not the Sunday Legend slot. Instead, he’s appearing on the Pyramid Stage on Friday afternoon, right after First Aid Kit. It’s a good slot for a Country star to play: I saw Willie Nelson play at pretty much the same time back in 2010 and he was incredible.
In case you’re interested, The Sunday Legend slot at Glastonbury this year is being filled by Chic (and for that matter, Barry Gibb is on right before them). That, weather permitting, is going to be one heck of a party.
Anyway, back to Kristofferson. Here’s a couple of tracks from a favourite KK album of mine, 1971’s “The Silver Tongued Devil & I”; one I would think you will all know, and one which, much to the delight of some of my regular readers, includes a gravel-voiced spoken word intro:
Kris Kristofferson – The Pilgrim Chapter 33
Kris Kristofferson – Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)
Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to this old chap:
Like father, like son(s).