“San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell. May your walls fall and may I live to tell. May all the world forget you ever stood. And may all the world regret you did no good.”
– Johnny Cash
“He had the right attitude. He chewed gum, looked arrogant and flipped the bird to the guards—he did everything the prisoners wanted to do. He was a mean mother from the South who was there because he loved us. When he walked away, everyone in that place had become a Johnny Cash fan.”
– Merle Haggard (prisoner at San Quentin at the time)
Two days before Johnny Cash’s 37th birthday he played the legendary San Quentin concert, and it was recorded AND it was filmed! There are several releases and a documentary available, today we are celebrating the 45 year anniversary of this superb show.
When I was little boy I was very interested in music, the radio and records. My father had a small but very good record collection. Among the treasures in his collection was this album, Johnny Cash – Live at San Quentin. My father told me the story of the album, and I remember that the Norwegian broadcast company (yes there were only one channel at the time, early 70s) showed the actual concert. It was very late at night but my father woke me and I got to see this legendary show.
It marked me for life.
Johnny Cash at San Quentin (full documentary, with songs):
The interviews with the prisoners and the guards are incredibly touching and harrowing, the “whole deal” with Cash’s songs and the documentary footage makes this a must see, and one of the best music films ever made.
Continue reading Johnny Cash the San Quentin concert: 45 year anniversary