Don’t forget, CRAZY HEART isn’t just a film but a really, really cracking good novel by Thomas Cobb. I have written about this already in a previous post. So if you love the movie or not, or you are just a Jeff Bridges fan or you like country music or whatever, please read this interview with Thomas Cobb in Village Voice by writer Mike Hoinski. There are many reasons to love this film and guess what, I am not even a big country music fan, as many of you know, but this is all great stuff.

As some of you may know, I had Stage 4 throat cancer 11 years ago and when Stephen Bruton was diagnosed with it, he came to me and asked me about it. He was scared as shit but determined to kick cancer’s ass. Stephen is gone now, sadly, but he left a damn good legacy of songs and music and memories. He wrote a lot of the music in the film, working with his longtime pal and collaborator, T-Bone Burnett.

Jon Dee Graham & Stephen Bruton

I got to know Stephen, ironically, when John “Mambo” Traynor was diagnosed with this same cancer. Mambo was the drummer for the Resentments. We played together a little and I felt blessed to know Mambo before he, too, succumbed to this crazy stuff. My best pal, Jon Dee Graham, was in the Resentments back then. Anyway, it’s all a weird circle of friends and tragedies. Some of us are still standing, plugging away. Life is funny and then you die.

Jon Dee Graham & Jesse Sublett, musical conspirators since 1978

I couldn’t find a page devoted to Mambo but I’ll bet there is one. I did find this blog about him.

By the way, people tend to seek me out because I have written about my cancer survival — I had about 4 percent chance of survival — but Dr. Melba Lewis here in Austin saved my life. So did my wife, my cats, and rock n’ roll, but Dr. Lewis gets the credit here and she deserves it. Dr. Lewis is a super cool, wonderful person, and I am privileged to know her, over and above the fact that she saved my crazy life and pulled me back from the brink of the boneyard. I have written about this experience in Texas Monthly and my memoir, NEVER THE SAME AGAIN: A ROCK N ROLL GOTHIC. It was a helluva experience and I got a good book out of it, but as I say, the research was hell.

Anyway, read the Thomas Cobb interview, read the book, and best of luck to Jeff Bridges at the Academy Awards. That’s my plug for now.

Oh, plus, check out my latest art blog here.

another girl with a sledge hammer

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