Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Marshall Grant - I Was There When It Happened: My Life with Johnny Cash
I’m reading Marshall Grant’s book, I Was There When It Happened: My Life with Johnny Cash, at the moment. Published by Cumberland House in 2006, I must own up to borrowing it from Phil, but having got half way through I recommend it to anyone with an interest in JC, Sun Records or country music in general.
Marshall Grant was with Johnny Cash from the very beginning, being a founder member of the Tennessee Two with Luther Perkins. What I love about the book is the stories of life on the road and the pranks they pulled to alleviate the boredom.
He tells of a time in West Texas when JC and the T2 where touring with Elvis and Warren Smith. At a truck stop in Amarillo in the early hours of the morning, Grant put a pile of shaving cream onto a pumpkin pie, leaving Elvis and Johnny doubled up with laughter. They waited in vain for ages for someone to order the pie. In the end they had to leave but Elvis stayed another couple of hours just waiting, dying to see the face of some unsuspecting trucker order the pie. I just love the thought of these two future icons of America, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, sat in this truck stop, two young guys, howling at such a childish prank. The innocence of youth.
Get the book and enjoy other fun stories, but beware. The picture he paints of the pill-popping papa isn't so golden. Depending on whether he was strungout or straight, JC was too very different men.