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John Prine and the ramblings from his webmistress

Prine show diary:

#46prine arrow04/28/2018- Champaign, IL

#45prine arrow
11/11/2016 - Davenport, IA

#44prine arrow03/12/2016 Nashville, TN

#43prine arrow03/11/2016 Nashville, TN

#42prine arrow11/01/2014 Milwaukee, WI

#41prine arrow09/14/2013 Cedar Rapids, IA

#40prine arrow12/18/2012 Nashville, TN

#39prine arrow04/13/2012 Champaign, IL

06/17/2011 Davenport, IA

#37 09/17/2010 Madison, WI

#36John Prine Chat House 05/13/2010 Maywood, IL

#35John Prine Chat House
09/12/09 Kansas City, MO

#34John Prine Chat House02/27/09 St Louis, MO

John Prine Chat House02/09/08 Whitewater, WI
#32John Prine Chat House03/10/07 Davenport, IA
#31John Prine Chat House08/26/06 Des Moines, IA
#30John Prine Chat House05/10/06 Madison WI
#29John Prine Chat House05/08/06 Wausau WI
#28John Prine Chat House01/28/06 St Louis, MO
#27John Prine Chat House10/01/05 Nashville, TN
#26, 25John Prine concert in GA and AL04/14-16/05 Atlanta, GA & Birmingham, AL
#24John Prine Chat House10/06/04 Des Moines, IA
#23John Prine Chat House04/23/04 Des Moines, IA
#22, 21John Prine Chat House03/26-27/04 Madison & Milwaukee WI
#20John Prine Chat House09/05/03 Champaign, IL
#19John Prine Chat House04/19/03 Cedar Rapids, IA
#18John Prine Chat House04/18/03 Peoria, IL
#17John Prine Chat House09/13/02  Kalamazoo, MI
#16John Prine Chat House05/19/02 Green Bay, WI
#15John Prine Chat House05/18/02 Rockford, IL
#14John Prine Chat House09/28/01 Lincoln NE
#11, 12, 13John Prine Chat House4/4--7/01 Oshkosh, Milwaukee & Madison WI
#10John Prine Chat House09/29/00 Ames IA
# 9John Prine Chat House02/26/00  Maywood, IL
# 8John Prine Chat House11/20/99  Chicago, IL
# 7John Prine Chat House11/13/99  Nashville, TN
# 6, 5, 4John Prine Chat House06/07-10/99 Crushfest  Madison, LaCrosse & Milwaukee, WI
# 3John Prine Chat House08/16/97 Wogstock  Indianapolis, IN
# 2John Prine Chat House03/22/97 Peoria, IL
# 1John Prine Chat House1995 My Prine Story & start of the Prine Shrine


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"It's great to be back at the Old Town School of Folk on Steve Goodman Way"

chicago99333.jpg (76695 bytes)
©1999 Reeda Buresh aka John Prine's webmistress
(as usual, I got longwinded, and drug a little story into a saga)

Terry and I arrived in Chicago at rush hour.  I was afraid that the way the people drove in that area was an indication of how they all acted.  It was was like being in a Wal Mart parking lot in New Jersey...everyone has blinders on and go where they need to go regardless of who or what was in the way. A two lane street miraculously becomes a 5 lane nightmare, who cares about lights and there is even a suicide lane for those suicidals that want to attempt to turn...all made up by those who live there.

Anyway, I am please to say that I am wrong about the people.  In the few hours that we had before the show we walked the streets and everyone was friendly.  The food was terrific....I would love to go back and just eat my way through Chicago.

Before the show I was able to see my favorite guitar and sound guys - Eric, Eric, and "Crash" errrr sorry, I meant, Greg.  They were calm and ready for show number 3 there and it was a beautiful day at dusk.  I can't imagine what life would be like to be on the road so much - eating take out and living in hotels ...these guys are the best....their mothers raised them to be perfect gentlemen (or maybe John requires them to be perfect gentlemen) in any case, I do have a lot of respect and admiration for what they do.

The show started with an introduction of give me an "I", gimme and "R", gimme an "I", gimme an "S", and Iris did her show.  I'm still unfamiliar with her songs...but am to the point where I can recognize them.  My husband says she is an acquired taste...and that he found her tasty.  Iris can do more with her voice than an entire chorus of people could attempt.  I would love to hear her yodel...because I know she can....she has to be able to... Iris mentioned that she "mainly toured with John because he knew all the great places to eat."   (We all promised not to tell him that)

There was a short break and another announcer came out and and talked of Bel Aire Station Wagons (my husband's first car) and how this was an honor to be at the Old Town School of Folk on the anniversary of JFK's death seeing "our old pal" John Prine. 

John came out full of piss and vinegar playing Spanish Pipedream....along with David Jacques and Jason Wilber.  The crowd cheered and clapped in awe and excitement.

"It's great to be back at the Old Town School of Folk on Steve Goodman Way" he said with a grin, and followed it up with 'Spend the Night with Me' (and we did)

"It was back in 1962 and I was 14 when I first came to Old Town. I learned my first 3 chords and thought that was good enough" and played his dedicated song, 'Souvenirs' to his old pal Steve Goodman

He told the story of his beating Throat Cancer and how the MD Anderson Medical Center saved him... followed it with the fitting "Fish and Whistle"

He spoke of his Grandad Prine, who died when John was 7 years old and how he took John everywhere.  He first sang his 'Grandpa was a Carpenter'  at a Labor Day family reunion in Simple City, Kentucky and his aunts pulled him aside reminded him that "Grandpa didn't smoke Camels...he smoke Kools."

John reminded us that "People write songs for 2 reasons: 1- To remember someone.....and 2: For revenge."

Far From Me
Picture Show
All the Best
Angel From Montgomery

Jesus the Missing Years (he added the lines "people with little towels on their heads singing Tammy Wynette's part")

Dear Abby

A woman in the balcony started a conversation with John and wanted him to play Sam Stone.   He seemed to acknowledge her...and that was enough fuel to keep her going. 

John  replied with "I gotta play the songs in alphabetical order so I can remember the words" he smiled and looked up at her.

This was about the time he started to get real raspy talking about Peter Case and Pineapples on the kitchen wallpaper- and how they had this idea for a song about sending monkeys into space and what would happen if they didn't come back and we forgot about them and then they came back and .... he sang Space Monkey  without that "dry" sound.

"I just write 'em down and go out and sing 'em and someday there will be a big reward"

Sam Stone (at this point he looked up at his balcony babbler as if to say, this one is for you, just like you asked) meanwhile the band who had left, joined John for the end.  Iris quietly slipped back on stage and they broke into.....
Milwaukee Here I come
  "George Jones and Brenda Carter who was fourteen at the time, that was their only song...I guess because he couldn't take her across the border."
John talked about his new album and how he had a huge list of his favorite women singers....and for those of you who have written me wondering why he didn't ask Bonnie Raitt to be on this new was because they had already done a duet together, he explained that he called Bonnie and told her this.

Jet Set
In Spite of Ourselves
Bear Creek
Hurtin' Nobody

(this is where the sound system went a little whacko.  No one but the sound guys and Mitch seemed to mind that much.  They said it was their worst nightmare.  John just keeps on singing......) hmmmm "Sounds like we caught a buzz"

Lake Marie
Hello In There
Unwed Fathers -
(Iris is so perfect for this song with John.....sooooo perfect)

He spoke of the earlier years as he tuned his guitar, "I only had 5 songs with I started and I tuned the rest of the hour"

Paradise - there seemed to be a private joke going on on stage with Jason and John.  Jason plays his solo during this and he and John kept exchanging glances then they both give each other this "haha I have a secret look"  (wish I knew what they were doing)

One more note.....this was the most different crowd I had been in.  They were there to see John Prine....not to party it up or get drunk and wild.  It was if they were checking to make sure that the hometown boy had done right by them.  No one got up or sat down during a song, no one but the balcony babbler and one other person shouted out requests.  Everyone sat quietly in their seats during the songs and stories, they sat, not only in awe but with some sense of pride.  It was so different. It was so nice.  Every song was welcomed with long applause and standin O's... It was a sight, It was something that everyone should be a part of at least once.

And then we waited. Terry and I talked with the diehards who had hoped to get an autograph after the show.  We spoke and smoked with the Oh Boys and watched the light rain fall on Eric's beautiful maroon Harley.  It was then that I figured since I was bouncing checks all over town that I had wanted say goodbye to John - I didn't think I would be following him to Florida or Ireland.  My ever patient husband didn't grimace or whine...even when he knew that we had a 3-4 hour drive back to Davenport.  (aw shucks.....he loves me...or is it Prine)  You know that if you check the statistics in our Shrine survey that there are a whole lot more men who love Prine then there are women..........almost 5 ti 1

By that time it was 11:30PM and most everyone with any sense at all had gone home.. John and his crew were still there along with some leftover party goers for the "Free Street" programs... and 3 Prine diehards with their shirts and albums were still quietly waiting by the elevator door.  I wandered the lobby and swore that there was a picture in the lobby that shows John sitting in the school window.  We went back to the area by the elevator and watched people who were "somebodies" go in and out of the elevator...often coming out with some signed souvenir and a glow.

Mitch came flying by (as Mitch often does....he is the right hand man, the index finger of John on these tours) You don't try to break his concentration until everything is over....because he is the one who makes sure that it all runs smoothly.  He has been dubbed "The hardest working man in the music business"  I think they are all hard working.....but Mitch is the most intense when he is working.....and a really nice (and witty) guy when he is not.  Anyway, he looked at me and asked if we wanted to see John...and promptly escorted the 5 of us down to John's dressing room, where we waited in little puddles of excitement for the door to open.

Finally we were in and (this is the exciting part) he waved back at me with a smile and said "Hi Reeda"  (okay, so now I get nervous and feel important at the same time)  With my bad bad Lyle Lovett hairdo he recognized me and called me by name.   I waited for the others to finish so Terry and I could have him alone...(Terry was prompted to grab the camera "and keep clicking")
I hugged him and he thanked me (he smelled so good and is still as soft as a babies butt).....He's always thanking people...and it's genuine...the man is thankful that he has all these fans. I don't think he "gets it"...or he doesn't let it go to his head.  If he would realize how much he meant...those silly little songs that he whips out ... if he only would understand how it touches people to tears and laughter on a daily basis.  Such a humble man. I don't know too many people like him.   His mama ought to run some sort of boarding school for politeness. Again....I am armed with a sheet full of questions from you all...important questions that those re-run interviewers haven't asked.  He looks a little tired, the pizza in the room is spent, and he is "hosting" us.   "Would you like something to drink.....or eat?"  

I whip out my anthology cover which holds all the liner notes to all his cd's ... I see him sigh, and his shoulders drop ...because I think he thinks I want him to autograph everything. John PRine Pulling out the Anthology booklet I had a chance to ask him about the "Pryne" spelling on the banner in the back of the book.  He grins a little and says "this girl had come to see me 4 times at the Fifth Peg and she just really liked my music.  She had never seen mys name in print and made me the banner.  The song "Donald and Lydia" really meant something to her." With a sheepish grin he said "I still have that banner somewhere in the house"  So there you have it all you inquiring minds.
I had him sign my Prine Shrine hat...John Prine and without asking how to spell my name...he spelled it correctly.  (I looked - there weren't any crib notes written on his arm or anyone whispering things in his ear)  In fact any time I have mentioned someone from his past to him.....he remembers them....and where he last saw them.  It is amazing, since I can't even remember my children's names.
chicago992.jpg (368960 bytes)THEN...he apologized for saying in that October Tower Records Pulse magazine that I was that "girl from Peoria"   he said that he had meant to to say that "he met me in Peoria"  and that he knew I was from "Cary Grant Town"  (Cary Grant died here in Davenport IA).  He and Mitch began to talk about cockroaches and hotels and I sort of got the impression that he didn't have truly wonderful memories of playing in Davenport.  Dang.....he is such a personable man.

After stealing a few more hugs and kisses....we headed for the door....One more time he offered us something to drink and opened his cooler......and there they were among the juices and cokes and radishes........Orange Crush!  I took one and was tickled, came home and sat on the front porch and drank it......blushing. (yeah, I saved the damn can.....and don't want to hear anything more about being a fanatic)  Every once in awhile I get caught up in all the excitement of actually meeting a "star" and having him treat me like a neighbor.  I really try to be cool...but blow it every time!

One thing I regret....I had heard that Fiona had performed on the weekend shows in a drop dead red halter and black leather jeans...and was terrific.  Since I suspect that the Ryman was her first time in front of a Prine crowd, I wished I could have seen her in her "seasoned" self.  Fiona...that term "big brass balls" that your husband uses in his song...will always make me think of you!  If you think about it folks...this woman has been through a lot too, and deserves a standing O herself!

So that is my story - it just keeps getting better.  I do wish him the best....and he deserves this wonderful time that he is enjoying in his life.  I would think that he is thinking that he is one of the luckiest men alive.


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