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.