I started the blog post below just a little over a year ago. I was never able to actually go back to it and finish it or edit it or post it and then this year, I read Amanda Shires’ post and it just wrecked me all over again and I decided that I should post this.
I don’t know how many times I did see Justin Townes Earle; it was a lot. There were also times where I swore I wouldn’t see him again, but then I would. He had such style, such sartorial flair despite the fact that I often felt that he looked like he needed to be fed.
It makes me sad to know that I won’t see him again and that I really don’t think there is anyone quite like him.
August 21, 2020
Yesterday was a very sad day. I’m not sure why JTE is different than any other performer who met his demise too soon (and it’s always too soon).
I did not go to Dublin to see him, but I *did* change my planned dates of my trip to Dublin to accommodate seeing him at Whelan’s. Though the first time that Teri and I saw him at the Great American in February 2010 will always be the ‘best’ time that I saw him, Whelan’s was high up there in enjoyment factor and memorableness. Is that a word?
I watched him charm audiences. I watched him berate audiences. I saw him when he was on fire and I also saw him when he bored me so badly that I almost fell asleep and ended up leaving the show early due to boredom. One of the last times (possibly the last time) I saw him, at SXSW I actually got to talk to him after his performance and I mentioned that show at Whelan’s and he shared his story about that night from his perspective and after the show details. He was so charming and so funny and pretty dramatic too, and my friend Andee caught this picture of us while we were talking. Wasn’t he adorable?
You would not believe how many of my friends have texted me in the past 24 hours to express their own grief and their sympathy for my loss. And it *is* a loss, but it’s not mine alone. This is a loss for all of us. His lyrics. His style of playing the guitar. His entertaining ways, even when they were cantankerous.
Back to present day, I saw Amanda Shires’s post and a friend forwarded the post to me. It made me sad all over again. I can’t believe I won’t see him again and am glad that I did go to see him as many times as I do. Just another reminder to ‘always go to the show’!
RIP Justin Townes Earle
You really will be missed!