Monday, April 09, 2007

Be Here, Love Me

Is a documentary about Townes Van Zandt. I was approached by them when they were making it and I declined to participate, be filmed or quoted.

I told them, Townes defied categorization when he was alive, he couldn't explain himself. The only time he was really alive and worthwhile was when he was singing on stage or off by himself writing another song. Toward the end the songs and the singing weren't even that great anymore. If your movie is anything but Townes singing, or talking about singing and writing, then all you are doing is proving how fucking little you know about him. I said they could fucking quote that. They didn't.

This is Townes as I knew him. It's not even my favorite song of his. But it's beautiful. And it's the Townes that I knew, the Townes that I miss every day.


Why does she sing her sad songs for me, I'm not the one
To tenderly bring her soft sympathy, I've just begun
To see my way clear and it's plain if I stop I will fall
I can lay down a tear for her pain, just a tear and that's all
What does she want me to do
She says that she knows that moments are rare
I suppose that it's true
Then on she goes to say I don't care and she knows that I do
Maybe she just has to sing for the sake of the song
Who do I think that I am to decide that she's wrong

She'd like to think that I'm cruel but she knows that's a lie for I would be
No more than a tool if I allowed her to cry all over me
My sorrow is real even though I can't change my plans
If she could see how I feel then I know that she'd understand
Does she actually think I'm to blame
Does she really believe that some word of mine
Could relieve all her pain
Can't she see that she grieves just because she's been blindly deceived
By her shame
Maybe she just has to sing for the sake of the song
Who do I think that I am to decide that she's wrong

Nothin's what it seems, maybe she'll start someday to realize
If she abandons her dreams then all the words she can say are only lies
When will she see that to gain is only to lose
All that she offers me are her chains, I got to refuse
It's only to herself that she's lied
She likes to pretend there's something that she should defend with her pride
I don't intend to stand here and be the friend from whom she must hide
Maybe she just has to sing for the sake of the song
Who do I think that I am to decide that she's wrong

Catch the flick on The Sundance Channel if you want to, I can't figure out how they could produce a movie about one of the finer singer songwriters of our generation and not show him playing one complete song. Better than the movie is to grab a few hours of his music, because that's where he dwelled when he was alive, and it's where he still lives.


Anonymous horsedooty said...

Townes was a sometime friend of mine. Townes stayed at my apt in Boston for a week one time. Drank all my booze and smoked all my pot and then he was gone. I miss him like you do. I miss his voice and the poetry he wrote. I have not seen this movie either. My wife saw it and said it was pretty good.

the last time I saw him was in Austin, Tx when he was playing at the Cactus Cafe on the campus of University of Texas. He looked and sounded great that night and we had a nice talk about the world. Not too long after he was gone.

yo soy Horsedooty!

8:17 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

townes was a sometime friend to everybody. the last time i saw him was when i was still living just north of hollywood. he showed up in the middle of the night, drunk, no luggage, and asked if he could borrow a guitar and a tape recorder. i let him in, gave him a guitar, set up the tape recorder and went back to bed. he was passed out when i got up, and i knew, since i was about three years sober at the time there wasn't any booze in the house. so i went out and brought back a couple half gallons of brandy. i knew he would be sick when he came to. he stayed about a week, i kept buying booze for him. once, when there was some dope offered at a gig i had them give it to townes instead of me. he looked like fifteen miles of bad dirt road after twenty minutes of rain the whole time. he left without a word. one day, he just wasn't around anymore. a little more than a year after that he was dead. despite all his selfishness, despite all his neediness, despite his never respecting any boundries i tried to establish at any time, i loved him. i have rarely been around somebody like that. my reserve and boundries are pretty much the stuff of legend in the industry. townes never respected them, hell, he didn't even know they were there. i let him. because i loved him. i miss him a little bit every goddamned day.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

those words ache.

very nice. i've never heard it.

2:37 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Sherry, you need to hear it in Townes' own voice. It's really heartbreaking then, he could put more sadness and loneliness into his voice than pretty much anybody else I've ever heard.

The actual title of the movie is "Be Here To Love Me". I love Townes van Zandt's music and am gathering as much of it as I can over time, but I have not decided yet whether to actually watch the movie. In particular, I really don't want to see his children sadly talk about the impact of van Zandt's obsessions and lifestyle upon their own lives, which I understand happens at some point during this movie. That hits a little too close to home and too close to the reason why I've never seriously considered having children (as a nomadic soul, the notion of me providing the stability and support for children to grow up safe and sane is somewhat laughable).

So for now, I, too, stick with the movie. The DVD is still on the bottom shelf of my CD/DVD rack, still sealed in its plastic wrap. One day I may play it. Or perhaps not.


5:31 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i did hear it. it is beautiful. i love music, but the lyrics, ah, the lyrics!

as to children, no matter the situation, no matter what one does, at least in my case, i tried the best that i could and a few years ago, i did, appologise to my daughter for any mistakes i might have made. we have always had a good relationship, but i know that there were some hard emotional times, a lot of baggage was mine that i dragged along as i raised her.
we spoke of things that i had been thru that she had no idea about and afterward i think she understood the whys of it all.

everyone has their path to walk.
badtux, love is the most important thing, sanity, well, love and trust is better. : )

5:46 PM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

I have seen the movie. a friend showed in on a bed sheet in her back yard in central Austin. I never got to meet Townes but I have a lot of friends who knew him. The movie was pretty raw. I don't think they tried to sugar coat anything or make a monster out of him either.

I have heard his sone JT in concert. In the darkened Cactus Cafe, he looked a lot like his dad. It was almost spooky.

9:35 PM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

Yeah, on a bed sheet in a back yard is probably the best way to see it. I think it goes pretty deep into who he was. There is concert footage around but that is not really what this was about. That might have distracted from the story and made it just another concert flick, which it isn't and I think that was part of teh film makers point. Anyone could piece together some concert footage and call it a movie. You would have to see it to know what I mean.

4:34 PM  

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