tisdag, mars 02, 2010

"Johnny Cash was a friend of mine"

Over the course of an acquaintance spanning several decades a Swedish fan, who went by the name Lars, had been a life friend of Johnny Cash until the Man in Black passed away in 2003. Years ago, out of his own personal collection Lars organized a small memorial show here at a Hard Rock cafe in Stockholm, where a large number of documentary photographs, clothing, accessories, personal items were on display.

Following the wood stairs I walked up to the second floor of Hard Rock. Fortunately I was the only visitor that day so the host had the chance to stay a bit chatty with me while presenting his exhibition. Though he appeared to me a bit reserved at first, but once he started talking, he really seemed to be a nice decent guy who knew well Cash and his family in the US. It was very interesting indeed to hear Lars narrate many of his stories and anecdotes - how he got to know one of the most influential musicians of last century and how the quintessential "father and son" relationship lasted throughout the years.

Something that just caught my eye, among the exhibited stuffs, was a hand drawing by Johnny Cash in his late life while he was terminally ill. Lars told me that it was a gift from Cash deeply cherished. Kind of surprising for me to see this artistic side of Johnny Cash. The creation itself didn't look overtly sophisticated, and yet, upon closer examination, you could feel unmistakeably a certain tension of the frailty as opposed to the strength for each stroke, as if in a perennial conflict between sorrow and redemption within the confines of human psyche.

"As sure as night is dark and day is light."