Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hank Williams' Coat

Two days off in Cleveland. The skip loaders are still shoveling the snow away. Drifts four feet high on the sidewalks. Our friend Alec Wightman of Columbus got us into the secret vaults at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, where we saw Hank Williams' coat. In the basement, never on display. Inside, the label said: "Fashioned by Nudie of Hollywood." There was a small nude woman on the label. The coat was probably made in 1950. I remember meeting Nudie at a Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers show in L.A. 1967 or 1968. Nudie drove a cadillac which had an interior covered in silver dollars. Huge set of longhorns on the front hood. The same guy who introduced me to Gram Parsons and Nudie, introduced me to the work of Charles Bukowski, who was writing for a newspaper called "Open City." I was the only person alive who had kept all those Open City columns, and Bukowski needed them one day. That's how we got to know each other. Now I'm looking out the window of a Holiday Inn in Cleveland; see two cops riding by on horses. It's a long way from Hollywood, as Steve Young says. And Hank Williams' coat hangs in a basement of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Blues in every pocket. Leonard Cohen was just voted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, a class act. Once again he recited "The Tower of Song." "I asked Hank Williams how lonely does it get, but Hank Williams hasn't answered yet...."
Yes, Hank's coat is hanging in a basement in Cleveland. And I'm glad I'm still on the road.


BlackJackMama said...

The basement? Blasphemy!

Karamojo said...

Hey, TR — greetings from Sisters, OR.

Who knows, maybe that coat in the basement is holding the whole thing up...

Saddle Tramp said...

Hey Tom . . . as always, I count on you to shed a little light in the dark corners.

" As a boxer Bukowski was a jabber. No dancing and no roundhouse punches. Always outlasted the bell and stayed in the fight to the bitter dregs of it. You follow in that tradition, thank God ". Write that song when your heart bleeds for it. "Hank's Coat Hangs . . . "
Feel free to borrow the title.

-Saddle Tramp

Saddle Tramp said...

TR . . . a haiku inspired by a line fragment from you.
" Blues in every pocket ". Classic TR. Like a good haiku, it is boiled down to it's essence. Great line Tom. That's what keeps me coming back.
( Hank Williams' Lost Highway )
Hank Williams' Coat Hangs
with it's pockets all full Hwy Haiku
of the naked blues. (with title)
Listening to Watermelon Slim singing and harping that he's
Alabama bound and down the road he goes. -ST

Saddle Tramp said...

Sorry Tom . . . I guess the previous post got distorted in transit. I am using an iPhone. It is great technology, but it has it's limits. Better software is coming.
The haiku as it was meant to be ( I hope)

( Hank's Lost Highway Blues )
Hank Williams' coat hangs
with it's pockets all full
of the naked blues
Hwy Haiku ( with title ) - ST