Stub Heaven: The Review And The Stub To Prove It, Johnny And June Carter Cash

Written by | September 13, 2017 15:47 pm | No Comments


I moved apartments eight years ago and thought I’d lost all my ticket stubs dating back to the early 1990s. spring cleaning the other day I rediscovered the lot. Ticket stubs are something like the Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall of formal proof. The story goes that if everybody who claims they saw Pistols first gig in Manchester (I didn’t), actually had done, it would take the Royal Albert Hall to fill every seat. There is no way to prove it but an old ticket stub proves you were where you claim you were. And when you get to my age it gets worse. I can’t remember what I saw last week, let alone twenty years ago. It is, to put it mildly, a bit of a blur.So, between memory loss, and exaggeration, and the literally thousands upon thousands of concerts I’ve been to, finding all these ticket subs  is a thing of joy!. Nothing from the 70s, but the 70s were all stamps on the hand from CBs, Max’s, Hurrah, Mudd Club etc. Nothing from the 80s because I didn’t keep em. Nothing in the modern age because I consider the reviews the same as ticket stubs. So , yeah, the 90s and I think some 00s.

I will be writing up my memories of ticket stubs past as an occasional column, and Johnny Cash is first. The 94 Carnegie Hall gig was a goodie and a family affair, I remember June carter and John Jr. being there, and I remember spirits being somewhat high that night. But this setlist appears to be missing the highlight of the evening, Rosanne and Johnny dueting to “I Still Miss Someone”. I snuck into the orchestra (exceedingly difficult) and watched it close. below is the setlist. Grade: A

1. Folsom Prison Blues
2. Get Rhythm
3. Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
4. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky
5. Cowboy’s Prayer / Oh Bury Me Not
6. Drive On
7. Ring of Fire
8. I Walk the Line
9. Wanted Man
10. Orange Blossom Special
11. Dirty Old Egg-Suckin’ Dog
12. The Beast in Me
13. Tennessee Stud
14. Bird on the Wire
15. Down There by the Train
16. The Man Who Couldn’t Cry
17. Redemption
18. Big River
19. I Still Miss Someone
20. Jackson
(with June Carter Cash)
21. If I Were a Carpenter
(with June Carter Cash)
22. It Ain’t Me, Babe
(with June Carter Cash)
23. Will the Circle Be Unbroken?
(with June Carter Cash)
24. Far Side Banks of Jordan
(with June Carter Cash)
25. The Next Time I’m in Town
26. Man in Black
27. The Ballad of Ira Hayes
28. Flesh and Blood

Next, the TNT special. I got my boss to invite me with him to the Johnny Cash Special. According to the New York Times “Until the last minute it was an open question whether Mr. Cash himself would perform. In 1997 Shy-Drager syndrome, a neurological disorder related to Parkinson’s disease, was diagnosed, and Mr. Cash, 67, has been absent from stages for 19 months.” The 1999 tribute concert was enormously impressive and went on forever. Quite a bit of it was filmed in advance by the like of U2, Bruce, Dylan, etc. But the missus was there, and Kris Kristofferson. And Johnny himself – Grade: B+

Finally, June Carter Cash’s solo performance in 1999, with John Jr as band leader, and John Sr in the wings. I arrived at the Bottom Line early and was rewarded with not just a sighting of the cashes arriving, but also FRONT ROW.  June Carter had the terrific Press On just released and she was sooooo good. Just gorgeous and funny, telling about what a good country boy Elvis Presley was, closing down Disneyworld to take her on a date. Stories about studying acting with Marlon Brando (who she also dated…). About her Granddaughter, Nick Lowe and Carlene carter’s daughter, about a career and about songs. A terrific evening, Grade: A


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