Tag Archives: My Darling Vivian Johnny Cash

Big Bunch of Stuff On A Rainy Day

In case you’re not among the nearly 70,000 people who already know this, Nick Cave dropped a new “official video” yesterday on YouTube. His cover of T.Rex’s 1968 song “Cosmic Dancer.”

It is really, really lovely. Not only Nick Cave’s singing, but the whole video is lovely — it includes some really uplifting footage of Marc Bolan, both onstage and off. You can watch it at the bottom of this post.

The song is apparently to be included in a  Marc Bolan tribute album coming in September, with a big bunch of other people contributing songs, too. I am not a fan of tribute albums in any way whatsoever — like, not even close. But Nick Cave’s cover of “Cosmic Dancer” is beautiful and so is the video.

And speaking of videos…

Last evening, I watched My Darling Vivian on Amazon. It is streaming free this week, as part of Amazon’s support of the SXSW 2020 Film Festival that was canceled because of the virus — it gives filmmakers a chance to have their films seen despite the cancellation of the festival, so check it out. There are lots of films being shown. Not just documentaries.

That said, though, My Darling Vivian is a documentary about Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian Libretto. And if you like Johnny Cash, you kinda have to make yourself watch this. And try not to sit there with your mouth hanging open. And then you kinda have to ask yourself how on Earth did Vivian manage to survive her marriage to Johnny Cash and go on to live as long as she did without shooting herself?

The documentary is told by Johnny’s 4 daughters — Roseanne, Cindy, Kathy, and Tara. And Johnny does not come off like some sort of true bad guy; he comes off as someone who had a lot of problems with drugs and fame. However, if you liked June Carter Cash (Johnny’s second wife), get ready to not like her so much anymore.

I thought it was just a really well done documentary. I don’t love Johnny Cash any less. But it was still illuminating — what he allowed to happen to his first wife and the mother of 4 of his children. And what the press can do to absolutely crush a defenseless woman and how it can make her utterly disappear when the second wife is someone famous.

On another super cheerful note… Dana Petty announced on Instagram yesterday that her and Tom’s beloved dog, Ryder, died in her arms late Tuesday night. So fucking sad, right? Though Tom adopted Dana’s son, Dylan, from a previous marriage, they didn’t have any biological children between them, but they did have dogs. Plenty of dogs. Tom Petty loved dogs — like, seriously.

When Tom Petty and his first band, Mudcrutch, got their first record deal, he loaded up the station wagon with his gear, his dogs, his new (and newly pregnant) first wife; left Florida and off they all went to LA. The first album bombed, and so, unable to feed a wife and brand new baby, Tom sent them back home to Florida until he could afford to feed them — but he kept the dogs. I mean, how much can dogs eat, right — besides everything in sight??

Anyway. Tom always loved his dogs.  And Ryder was Tom’s final dog before he died, 2 years and 8 months ago.

So now Ryder is at play eternally with Tom in the fields of the Lord, but Dana is going through even more loss right now and it’s just so sad. (And things always feel doubly sad when you read about them in the middle of the night on Instagram, don’t they? And all the photos, too?)

Together again now, forever.

Okay. On the good news front…

I had a really great phone conversation with the director of Tell My Bones yesterday, and the plans for doing the Zoom version of the staged reading continue to move forward and his plans for the production of it are making me really, really happy, gang. I will go over more of the details when it feels appropriate to start blogging about it.

On the virus front…

I was finally feeling pretty good today. My lungs felt reasonably clear. So, for the first time in over a month, I took Flonase for my allergies. I’d been afraid to take it until now because it’s a steroid and I was really wary of what a steroid taken through the nose would do to a bat-borne virus that lives in the nose and lungs.

So far, I’m okay. But when I first took it, man — I thought my lungs were going to explode and I’d have a heart attack or something. And I stood in the kitchen, in front of an open window, trying like crazy to breathe, and I thought, well, today’s as good a day as any to die. But then  it settled down and I was able to breathe again. And so now we’ll just see. The Flonase was probably not a good idea yet, but so far, I haven’t died.

I did drive into town yesterday to get the groceries. And the market is right next to a Home Depot, which is where I buy all my flowers every spring. I always wait until Memorial Day to get the flowers because the frost is completely done by then and the flowers are all on sale for the holiday. But yesterday — man was I tempted to get an early start this year! Brighten up my porches!

However, I have to spend a lot of money on the barn over the next few weeks, so I’ll wait until that’s done. But I am so ready for flowers around here, gang! (I’m so ready for a lot of things. Aren’t we all?)

All righty. Well, I guess I’ll close this. then call my dad and get the weather report!! (Honestly. What is it about dads and weather??) I hope you enjoy your Thursday as best you can, wherever you are in the world.

Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with this lovely version of “Cosmic Dancer.” Enjoy, okay? I love you guys. See ya!

Yet Another Most Triumphant Day!!

Okay! So the Amish guys were here, bright (well, rainy) & early! They gave me the estimate and will give me that new roof in about 12 days — weather permitting.

And I am so excited. I’m getting a forest green metal roof, which was what I’d been sort of dreaming of all this time — a dark green roof and a bright white barn. (The paint will come later.) (Oh, and they think they know someone who would want the huge dead oak tree, so we shall see! I’m guessing that, as they begin the work on replacing the roof, they will encounter the annoyance of that huge pile of dead tree at every turn, so they likely won’t forget that I need that tree hauled away.)

And as if that weren’t exciting enough for me!!

My friend Kevin called last evening, out of the blue. Wanted to see how I was doing.  This is the guy who stores his vintage 1965 VW camper van in my barn all summer while he goes off to Montana. I was so excited to tell him that I was finally getting a new roof on the barn. And he said, “Let me know what the estimate is and I’ll help you pay for it.”

Is that, like, indescribably amazing, gang? He’s doing it because I never charge him to store his van all summer! My barn just sits there empty, so it’s no trouble for me to have it parked in there. It would never occur to me to charge him. And now — voila; he wants to help pay for the new roof. I think that’s just so nice.

If you’re new to the blog, this is what his camper van looks like — same color and everything — but this is not his (I love this thing!!):

1965 VW camper van

This past fall, Kevin’s teenage goddaughter was going to a Halloween party with some friends and they were going as hippies (!!), and they asked if Kevin would drive them to the party in the van as part of their “costume.”  I thought that was the cutest thing. And he had a blast. He said that all the kids wanted pictures of the van — they were all about 14 years old. So, to them, a 1965 VW camper is, like, from pre-historic times.  So funny.

I remember when I was about 7 years old, one of my girlfriends who lived across the street had a father who dealt in classic cars. And one day, he brought home a 1918 Rolls Royce. It was amazing. Truly. He took it for a drive around the block and let us ride in the back of it and it was the coolest thing ever. Like being in an old movie. I never forgot that car. It looked similar to this, except it was all black:

Archivo:1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.JPG - Wikipedia, la ...

At that time, the car was about 50 years old. The same age difference between Kevin’s goddaughter and the VW camper van! So I know how excited they probably felt to see that “ancient” van.

When I was growing up in Cleveland, my parents would sometimes take us to the Auto Museum at the Cleveland Historical Center. I used to love that museum. It had tons of really old, classic cars. Now it also has old airplanes but I don’t think they had those back in the 1960s. If they did, they paled in comparison to the old cars because those cars are what I remember most.

At this link here you can see color photos of a lot of the old cars they have in their collection. I just loved those things. Just works of art, really.

So, anyway, I’m happy!!

I’m on my last of the “Suspicions of Mr. Whicher” movies. I have really, really enjoyed those, gang.  Once I’m done with this final one, I’m going to watch the documentary about Johnny Cash’s first wife. And I am still reading Love in the Time of Cholera — it’s a long book — really dense, descriptive storytelling. You can’t really just zip through it. But I am really loving the process of reading it right now, during a pandemic (thankfully not cholera), and also while being in some form of rapturous love that almost totally consumes me  (when I’m not feeling rapturous about my barn, that is!).

Sadly, though,  I am still spending most of my time in bed!! I do think that the sunnier, milder weather helps my breathing, because yesterday, which was a gorgeous day, I felt almost completely normal. Today — cooler, with lots of rain — and my lungs feel a little heavy again. But still not like it was. So I am definitely getting better.

I did maybe two whole minutes of editing yesterday and then gave up. So who knows what today will be like. As much as I would like to sit at my desk and be productive again, I guess I’ll just take it as it comes, right?

I think that, today, maybe I will sew some new face masks. That is definitely something I can do in bed.

All right, gang. I’m going to close this and finish up some laundry. I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! I’m still listening to the aria from Offenbach’s opera,  Tales of Hoffman, that I posted yesterday. (Btw, the video I posted yesterday is only the music, not the actual aria — I do play both, depending on my mood. Normally, I prefer just the music, but it kind of depends on who the singers are.) So I leave you with nothing today! But thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

A Triumphant and Most Excellent Day!

Well, after having an all-out coughing fit late last night and then sleeping for 10 hours, I appear to be 99.9% over this fucking virus, finally!

I sure hope so. It has been over 3 weeks already. I am not at 100% yet but the difference in my breathing between today and all the other days that came before it is huge. So I’m hoping I don’t regress again.

The past two days, I started doing yoga again — but only 15 minutes each time, and only stretches that focused on my posture, my abs, my rib cage; trying to get some strength around my lungs and it seems to have helped a lot.

The Amish roofing guy called this morning to confirm that he’s coming by bright & early tomorrow morning to discuss the new roof for my barn!! I’m so excited, gang. It’s really happening. (And knowing the Amish and their amazing craftsmanship with wood, I’m hoping against hope that he might know someone who will want to come haul away the dead oak tree for not too high a fee. We shall see!)

For those of you who are Johnny Cash fans, I made a mistake yesterday regarding the new documentary about his first wife, My Darling Vivian. It actually starts streaming today on Amazon, not tomorrow, and then streams for the next week.

It is a truly gorgeous morning here, gang. I feel really optimistic again about everything. Plus, I also started streaming the “Suspicions of Mr. Whicher” movies last evening (BBC 2011- 2014). They’d been in my queue  for a few years already and I’d forgotten all about them. Wow, I love them! They are so fun.  I don’t want them to end. (Do you even remember what it was like in the years before we were able to binge-watch stuff? How it would take us months, if not an entire year, to get through a series? I regret that I can go through a series at breakneck speed now and then, suddenly, it’s over and there’s nothing left to watch… But I still love being able to do it. Especially in lockdown.)

Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do today. I want to try to take it really easy even though I feel worlds better, because I don’t want to go into reverse again. So we’ll see how the day plays out.

Meanwhile, I will get going here. I hope you have a really good Monday, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with my listening music from last night, as I was falling to sleep. It is Jacques Offenbach’s “Barcarolle,” from his opera The Tales of Hoffman. It is probably my favorite opera. I’m not a huge opera fan, but I love this one. And the aria, “Barcarolle” — if you aren’t familiar with it at all — is just stunningly lovely and it underscores an orgy in the beginning of Act 3, “Barcarolle” is also known as “Beautiful Night, O Night of Love”. (I saw it staged by the Met in NYC and it was probably the most eloquent and moving orgy I’d ever seen….)

Anyway. It’s beautiful, and I drifted off to dreamland last night while listening to it over & over. Enjoy. And thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya!

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour
Ô,belle nuit d’amour!
Le temps fuit et sans retour
Emporte nos tendresses
Loin de cet heureux séjour
Le temps fuit sans retour
Zéphyrs embrasés
Versez-nous vos caresses
Zéphyrs embrasés
Donnez-nous vos baisers!
Vos baisers! Vos baisers! Ah!
Belle nuit, ô, nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
Ô, belle nuit d’amour!
Ah! souris à nos ivresses!
Nuit d’amour, ô, nuit d’amour!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!
©  approx. 1864 -Jacques Offenbach

Just Sewing Some Buttons Today…

(Who knew sewing could be so sexy? It might even make this coronavirus look sexy…maybe we’ll find out — I’ve got some buttons around here that need re-attaching!!)

Alas, though, I actually got dressed here this morning. For a change, I am not in my chemise. I am in real clothes. For now, anyway.

It was one of those mornings where I woke up and felt like I was finally totally fine. But once I was actually out of bed and walking around… How long is this fucking breathing problem going to last? This virus just doesn’t quit.

Okay. Well. Happy Sunday!

It’s rainy here today but still really mild, so some windows are open and the cats are happy, so that means I’m happy, too!

So, yes, I got dressed and I’m planning to work at my desk for a while today. At least do some editing if not some actual writing. We’ll see how it goes. I really just want to be back to normal around here. It’s so frustrating.

However, there was more good news regarding the upcoming staged (taped) reading for Tell My Bones. I can’t really go into it on the blog yet, but I spoke with the director again yesterday and the call made me just unbelievably happy. I’m really just so blessed, gang.

And even amid this whole lockdown COVID 19 thing, I was able to get those updated Life Rights contracts signed by everyone and returned to me and options got paid and everything is moving ahead smoothly regarding the play. Just weird, right? Things still got done, even though I was basically in bed for 3 weeks straight.

Oh, and yesterday, more new luggage arrived! This was a 3-piece set. Heavy duty luggage this time. The kind with the hard outer shell and large enough that you could go away for a couple of weeks.

If you are new to the blog, back before I bought this current house, I rented a friend’s house for almost 2 years. And had to put most of my life into storage. When I was cleaning out the old house, I was in a very bad mental state, and a lot of things I wanted to put into storage accidentally went off to Goodwill instead.

Once I got settled down into this house and had to start traveling again, I discovered that I had absolutely no luggage. None. At all. It had been given away to charity by mistake.  I had one small flight bag to my name. So, little by little, I’ve been replacing stuff. Overhead carry-ons, under-seat carry-ons, and now actual luggage. So I’m set.

It was pretty exciting when the stuff arrived yesterday because it made me feel as though, one of these days, I actually won’t have the virus any longer, and the theater stuff will be happening in NYC again and not on Zoom, and the film stuff will be moving ahead again in LA, and I will be traveling again. Yay.

Here’s some more exciting news — a new documentary about Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian, will be streaming free on Amazon for one week, beginning this Tuesday, April 28th. The film, My Darling Vivian, told by their 4 daughters, has gotten incredibly terrific reviews. I can’t wait to see it!

My Darling Vivian - Cleveland International Film Festival :: April ...
Johnny and Vivian Cash at home with 2 of their daughters

She’s another one of those first wives whose reputation in the minds of the public has been seriously tarnished by the PR machine. Apparently, this documentary undoes all that damage. I can only imagine, you know — during that whole first marriage, while he was getting famous and traveling constantly, he also did just an enormous amount of drugs & drinking. Just off the charts. That first marriage must have been just unbelievably difficult.( I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.)

(He had his demons, for sure, though — if you’ve read any of his memoirs. For one thing, he had an older brother whom he idolized, who got killed early on in a horrible accident at a saw mill– basically got cut in half.)

When Johnny married June Carter, later in his career, he sobered up and found Jesus. (Which was great, because a lot of us were looking for Jesus and didn’t know where he was — but Johnny found him. It turned out, he was right where we’d last left him– in that top drawer in the kitchen, right next to the stove!) (Okay. Just kidding.)

All righty. I’m gonna scoot. I really, really hope to get some actual work done here today. Even if it’s just a little tiny bit of editing. It would feel so good!

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday, wherever you are in the world! As far as music goes, I’ve still been just watching Bad Seeds TeeVee around here.  And since I tend to prefer listening to audio tracks and not watching “official videos,” there are a ton of Bad Seeds videos out there that I’d never seen. It’s been very fun.  There was even one in clay-mation with 3 Barbie doll/mermaids that was just too cool!! Just unbelievable stuff. However, I will leave you with a very early Johnny Cash televised performance from 1958 here this morning.  Enjoy, gang! Stay well!! I love you guys. See ya!