Some play it smart…. I had a ball.
Some of us fly, all of us fall.
“I looked at it,” he tells me, “and I couldn’t tell what it was about.”
For now, Merle Haggard is still flying. Sure, it gets harder to stay aloft. And sure, he can see the ground below, a little clearer and closer each year, patiently waiting for him. But long may it have to wait. Long may we hear the cantankerous flapping of his wings, and the whisper of truth he gives to the wind. And long may it be before even Merle Haggard has to fall in final, glorious protest.
–Chris Heath, Merle Haggard Interview: the Last Outlaw
GQ Magazine, 2005
Doug Springsteen died in 1998, at seventy-three, after years of illness, including a stroke and heart disease. “I was lucky that modern medicine gave him another ten years of life,” Springsteen said. “T-Bone Burnett said that rock and roll is all about ‘Daaaaddy!’ It’s one embarrassing scream of ‘Daaaaddy!’ It’s just fathers and sons, and you’re out there proving something to somebody in the most intense way possible. It’s, like, ‘Hey, I was worth a little more attention than I got! You blew that one, big guy!’ ”
–David Remnick Bruce Springsteen at 62: The New Yorker