Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday morning coming down

Good morning, it's Sunday, January 25.

If the beer I'm having for breakfast this morning tastes good, should I have one more for dessert?

I had the opportunity to interview Kris Kristofferson in 2007 and this question was inevitable: How long has it been since you had a beer for breakfast? He was talking by phone from his home in Hawaii where he was preparing for a limited world tour that would bring him to the Van Wezel in Sarasota.

Kristofferson is one of America's great songwriters and "Sunday Morning Coming Down'' might be the grittiest and grandest in his catalog. There have been hangover mornings when I've stumbled to face the day and thought of that song, and it has always helped to believe that no matter how bad I was feeling, man, I couldn't be hurting as bad as the dude in that song.

Anyway, he laughed a rough, hearty laugh before replying. "It's been a looong, looong time.''

I mention this not only because it's one of those Sunday mornings, but also because Kristofferson performed the song on a recent episode of Elvis Costello's new television series "Spectacle.'' If you missed the show you can see it again at 2 p.m. today and 1:30 a.m. Tuesday on Sundance. This episode, one of the strongest to date, also features Rosanne Cash, John Mellencamp and Norah Jones in an old-fashioned "guitar pull.'' You can check out the "Spectacle'' schedule and a synopsis of the episodes at

(Costello still has the singing and playing chops -- his voice really is incomparable -- and he'll trot out some vintage guitars on the show that will make you drool. He also generates insightful conversations, putting artists at ease with an interview style -- clipboard and all -- that would make David Frost proud.)

But this morning is dedicated to a pilot and Rhodes scholar who bagged a military career to write songs in Nashville, who once landed a helicopter on Johnny Cash's lawn just to deliver a song. We should all have the balls to do something like that.

You wanna show me something brave? Grab a Sunday morning beer with me and toast an Americana legend. Then sit down and try to write a kick-ass song.


  1. Well, I had some beers this Sunday morning -- at 1 and 2 a.m.

    I've seen the Costello show, too, and am amazed this is the same guy whom I saw as an opening act for Nick Lowe's band at the Tampa Jai-Alai fronton. Costello zipped through a 50-minute set without so much as pausing for a breath, spit at the foot of the stage and said, "There better be more of you fuckers here when I return."

    While much of his material has been forgettable, his various explorations and range of interest have been impressive. And that first album stands up as a classic. Thanks for the heads-up on the Kristofferson show.

  2. Sunday Morning Trying to Hum Vaseline Machine Gun in the Shower
    Strange how cold mornings can have opposite affects here on the north coast. No beers and not that Kristofferson kind of feel in the air. The feel in the air is minus 30 windchill and the shower tiles are cold if you lose your balance. For some reason, it was more of Kottke morning and I spend enough time "down" that Kris is still on vinyl and rarely gets on the turntable. Plus I wanted to hear Kottke play Embryonic Journey; reminiscing the old days will do that. Half awake, living in a flight path, and the 6 a.m. from hell comes over low. Sounded like a Lambeau field flyover (also over our house)and Jefferson Airplane comes to mind. Not down this morning, up with Leo to warm up the blood because the air outside won't.