For this morning’s dose of Country tuneage, we’re returning to the man who wrote the song this thread is named after: Kris Kristofferson.
A few years ago, when I was living in Cardiff, I saw that he was coming over to the UK to do a few dates, and the nearest one was over in Bristol. Now, Kristofferson is no spring chicken, so I figured I’d better go see him whilst I still could, so I bought me a ticket, planning to catch the last train back to Cardiff after the gig, which, having caught it before with my old mate Johnny Mac (and having a heated discussion about what the first rap record was while we waited for it), I knew to be around midnight, .
In the months in between me purchasing my ticket and the actual gig, however, I got offered a job in Cheltenham, and so I upped sticks and moved to the posh Georgian spa town. The day of the gig arrived, and off I travelled to Bristol, it never occurring to me that, since Cheltenham was nearer to Bristol than Cardiff, there wouldn’t be a late train back there as well.
Bad move. When I got to Bristol I found that the last train was at 10:00pm – an hour after Kristofferson was due to take the stage. I checked my bank balance to see if I had enough money to pay for a night in a Travelodge, but no dice: it was the day before payday, and I was broke.
There was nothing else for it, I’d have to do the unthinkable – leave a gig early.
To cap it all, he came on stage a little late, meaning I got to see about twenty minutes, maybe half an hour, of the great man. Luckily he played a couple of the songs I wanted to hear early: “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, “Me and Bobby McGee” and this one, a favourite of mine for it’s story-telling, a quality that I don’t think Kristofferson gets enough credit for:
By the way, that’s the album sleeve as my Dad owned it. The album subsequently got re-released under the name “Kristofferson”, originally rejected by the record company because nobody would know who he was.
As a little bonus, here’s a cover of that, performed by The Little Willies (stop smirking a the back there!). The Little Willies are essentially a country super-group, although the only member I’ve heard of is daughter of Indian sitar player, composer and friend of some chaps called The Beatles Ravi Shankar, Norah Jones. They mostly perform covers of classic country songs and I assume they’re named after their desire to be miniature versions of Mr Willie Nelson rather than as a reference to any shortcomings in the trouser department of the male, erm, members of the band, but you never know.
Anyway, this, from their debut eponymous album, is their version: