In June 1975, country legend Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter, performed a run of four dates at Toronto's O'Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts). In the middle of the run, Cash stopped by CBC's Elwood Glover's Luncheon Date to chat with the host about his career.
The duo spoke for almost 20 minutes about the old days, songwriting, the Carter family, Cash's faith and struggles with pills, and you can watch the complete interview below.
Here are a few highlights:
On his appeal as a musician: "I know who I am. If there's appeal there, it's through sincerity and honesty. I love my work, and the people can sense that. If you don’t enjoy your singing, or making your records ... the people will throw it rich back atcha."
On songwriting: "I wrote a lot of songs about life as I knew it as a child, on the farm in Arkansas. Songs about cotton farming, about a flood I was in when I was five years old. I wrote it from memory. Songs come different ways. Some come real fast, but some you have to bite the pencil and wring the mind to make them come."
On drugs: "On some of the first long tours we had, someone introduced me to amphetamines and said, 'If you're tired, this will make you feel good.' And he was right. It did…. And I took them for a while, I'd take them before every show. I'd search my conscience. There was a demon called deception that made me believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me.... So I kept it up, and I'd argue with anyone with anybody who'd try to tell me they were bad for me … so I got hooked on them … then the depression set in when I realized they had control."
On recovery: "I'd had all these series of arrests and car wrecks … until finally in '67 I realized that this was it. I was down to 154 pounds — and I'm six-foot two. I knew I was dying. There was that warm, still presence of God there behind me telling me if I didn't [quit] I was gone. So with the help of June Carter and some other good friends … living with me at my house, I overcame my drug habit."
On his marriage with June: "Never have an argument. We have differences of opinion, you know. We separate sometimes to keep from having words occasionally then we come back together whenever she's ready to see it my way [laughs]…. No, we never have arguments though."
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on Oct 11, 2012