One of our favorite Americana songwriters, Guy Clark, passed away on May 17, 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Martin Anderson got a chance to talk with him in his Nashville home in 2013, when his final album My Favorite Picture of You had recently been released.
It still feels unreal that I got to interview Guy Clark in his home once. It was 2013, during the Americana Music Association conference, and I was invited to visit him to talk about his new record My Favorite Picture of You and such. It may not have been said aloud, but most of us knew it would be his last. Cancer, joint problems, and the loss of his life partner Susanna the previous year had taken their toll on him.
I'd been told he could be a bit cranky at times, as one might expect, but also that he was kind and warm. He was much more the latter throughout my time there, from the few minutes spent sharing coffee and other stuff first, through the interview and the wrap-up. The new album and its picture, Shawn Camp, painting, photography, the couch -- a gift from neighbor John Lomax -- on the lawn that was having 30 years' worth of smoke removed... a variety of topics were covered, and I did my best to take in every bit. Too bad my recorder maybe wasn't ideal for interviews, and it was my first time using it.
As we left, I noticed he had resumed the same demeanor he had as we arrived: sitting alone in his sunroom, with a faraway presence about him. Like he had retreated off to somewhere distant, reflecting, waiting...
RIP, Guy Clark. "He did not know he could not fly, so he did." --("The Cape")