George Jones was one of the first musicians I was introduced to as a kid having a mother and step father who loved his music. My mom worked as a bartender most of my childhood and there were many nights she would have to bring me along because she couldn’t afford someone to look after me. From what I’ve been told I became quite the pool player. I even carried my own cue stick in its own little bag with me at one point. Being older I can see a dive bar is no place for any kid but being so young and not knowing better, I have good memories from that age. The patrons were always kind and excited to see me. They spoke highly of my mom and I’m sure let me win at pool often giving me a buck or two so I could buy potato chips. They’d keep me entertained and made me feel loved. ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ would play regularly on the jukebox and that song has stamped memories of those days firmly in my mind. Hardly does a day go by where I dont listen to one of George’s songs but for some reason, in the moment of learning George’s death it felt like that part of my childhood was gone too. It doesn’t make sense and I dont want to overstate anything but for an instant it really felt that way. I dont have anything new to add here about death and mortality or even George’s music. And I dont mean to sound like his songs meant anything more to me than they did to the next person. It just hurts and a moment of reflection and acknowledgement is what this is.
The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important
Someday when were united as a planet protecting it from space aliens were gonna be like “can you believe we fought over who gets to call themselves ‘married’?! Haha hey can you hand me my ray gun.”
From the Paris Review
Interviewed by George Plimpton
Could you say how much thought-out effort went into the evolvement of your distinctive style?
That is a long-term tiring question and if you spent a couple of days answering it you would be so self-conscious that you could not write. I might say that what amateurs call a style is usually only the unavoidable awkwardnesses in first trying to make something that has not heretofore been made. Almost no new classics resemble other previous classics. At first people can see only the awkwardness. Then they are not so perceptible. When they show so very awkwardly people think these awkwardnesses are the style and many copy them. This is regrettable.