Johnny Cash – The original conflicted badass and friend to all.

This song has been hounding me all week—I have seen it performed live a couple times (both great!). It sneaked on a Pandora feed when I picked Coldplay to start. (Hey, Coldplay is great to matt and frame to-you need to be in a zen state while slicing those boards to perfection!)

I have this on-and-off-fling-thing going with country music. I love the passion and the traditional “common man struggling against the odds” mixed with the drinking and facing down trouble. It cuts right to the heart of the American dream.

Maybe it’s all the time at the county fair this week—I’ll just say it—The Washing County Fair in Greenwich N.Y. — Full of bad food, rides, and….of course…cows, pigs and people of all shapes, sizes and attitudes.

It brings you back to earth.

I need to be brought back to earth.

To get out among the huddled masses and connect because I am they and they are me. I can think I am whatever I want..… but in reality –I am just a guy struggling to get by, just like lots of others here in the great Upstate agricultural land of New York.

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Which brings me to Johnny Cash. I don’t care how famous or rich he got-I don’t care about the awards and all the other trapping of his historic rise to the top of the music world.

This guy is genuine and down to earth. Accessible to prisoners, punks, senior citizens and [put another group in here-they all work] at the same time.

If he walked by you at the fair-you would think of him as a long lost friend. You would think of him as one of you.

This is a rare and beautiful thing to have.

The ability to connect with everyone.

Who does not love this guy and his music?

Respect from the cave.

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Seven Wonders of Rock n’ Roll-complete with helpful map.

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Seven Wonders of Rock (or my personal Rock n’ Roll bucket list)

This is my best seven. I will attempt to defend my selections. Defend them like an angry dog guarding a shoe-you better bring some treats and a deft touch if you want to pry them away from me!

My goal is to do this whole list. Complete with lots of pictures and insightful writing to share with you all.

1. The Robert Johnson Crossroads, Clarksdale, Mississippi

https://caveoffame.com/2013/05/19/the-seven-wonders-of-rock-n-roll-1-the-crossroads/

The legend of the man who sells his soul in order to play guitar like the devil-this is the genesis of Rock Music. It does not matter if it is true; only that this changed everything.

2.Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee

https://caveoffame.com/2013/05/21/the-seven-wonders-of-rock-2-and-3-the-studios/

Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee and Carl Perkins– And that just scratches the surface of the greats that scratched history in vinyl right here.

3. Abbey Road Studios, London

https://caveoffame.com/2013/05/21/the-seven-wonders-of-rock-2-and-3-the-studios/

The iconic Album cover of the Beatles walking on that zebra crossing is burned into the consciousness of every true rock fan in the world. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon being recorded here is enough of a kicker to get this in.

4.Jim Morrison Grave, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

https://caveoffame.com/2013/05/25/the-lizard-king-rests-wonder-4/

Has become a pilgrimage for rock music fans. There is a special mystique that summons us here. If you make it to Paris, you have to answer this call.

5. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

https://caveoffame.com/2013/06/06/cleveland-rocks-alan-freed-ian-hunter-me-frozen-like-a-chipmunk/

Yes-this city wanted it more than all the other sexier cities that toyed with the idea. Cleveland made it a reality and made it fit. They also made it work…people care if their favorite band gets in or not. And thankfully unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame-they don’t keep you out for drug use.

6.Woodstock Festival Site, Bethel, N.Y

https://caveoffame.com/2013/07/02/thank-a-hippie-today/

Here is one that I have checked off the list-If you mention this event, everyone knows what you are talking about- Peace, Love and Music. A simple triple threat of power for the soul. This is a great visit with a fine museum and performing arts center on site. And always a few original hippies hanging around (some never left).

7. Red Rocks, Morrison, CO

https://caveoffame.com/2013/07/14/wonder-7-my-band-is-playing-__________-o-k-we-are-something-now/

A true natural wonder set in a mystical place of beauty. The Beatles played here and it did not sell out.  Jimi Hendrix played here. It is somewhere that great rock music happens right now! It is where every big name band wants to leave a mark (and maybe record a DVD). I want to go here at least one time a see a show! Yes…bucket worthy.

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I created a little map to help me on my quest-

5 good covers…#1…Johnny Cash “Hurt “

The other cover versions on my quick list are all good. This one I have no problem calling “great” and stand ready to defend it.  You can say Johnny Cash is a country music star if you want to limit him to just that…you would be wrong, but you could do that. Johnny Cash chooses a Nine Inch Nails song and makes it his own video epitaph on his way out of a long music career and life on this earth. The song was already dark and brooding and about hopeless self reflection but the Man in Black makes it personal. So personal that it is almost difficult to experience. Like all the best…he brings you along with him on this journey…you will feel what he feels.