From The Desk Of Cowboy Junkies: Some Song About Somebody Going Somewhere

When Margo Timmins strolled up to the microphone in her low-cut black cocktail dress, wrapped in a scarlet shawl, with a rusty shock of hair draped over one eye a la Veronica Lake, even if you’d never seen Cowboy Junkies before, there was no mistaking her star power at the Villa Montalvo’s Garden Theatre in the summer of ’09. Timmins and two of her brothers, Michael on guitar and Peter on drums, along with bassist Alan Anton, have been doing the slow boil as Cowboy Junkies since 1985. As its name implies, the Toronto-based quartet specializes in quiet, ultra-slow tunes that might sound comforting to strung-out cowpokes hunkered down around a campfire after a long day rounding up stray dogies. Cowboy Junkies will be guest editing all week. Read our new Q&A with Margo.

Alan Anton: That’s what this guy who was celebrating his 70th birthday said, trying to remember his favorite Bob Dylan tune. “You know, he goes to New Orleans, works on the fishing boats.” “What’s the chorus?” his buddies ask. But he can’t come up with it. “It’s ‘Tangled Up In Blue,” I say from the next table. He slaps his forehead like he can’t believe he forgot that while his buds say stuff like, “You’re so old, and it’s all downhill from here.” I mention that Dylan just turned 69 and the usual he’s so amazing and how does he remember all those words. This is followed by a hushed contemplation of mortality. “It’s gonna be sad when he goes to sleep,” birthday boy says. “It’s gonna be sadder when we go cause who’s gonna listen to his music,” says his buddy. “It’ll disappear.” He asks me, “How old are you?” “Fifty.” “Well another 30 years and Dylan will be the stuff peoples’ great grandparents used to listen to.” These guys were bumming me out now, so I said happy birthday and drove home. I dialed up Dylan on the iPod and sang along with “Tangled Up In Blue” five times in a row, until I memorized all the words.

Video after the jump.

One reply on “From The Desk Of Cowboy Junkies: Some Song About Somebody Going Somewhere”

Hi Alan,
Yeah, Bob’s a part of our DNA essentially. No self-respecting person doesn’t have any of his Bardness’ music in their collection. He’ll last long after we’re gone. Hell, I was defiant to my old High School classmates at my 30th Reunion this past July. I put on my Dylan t-shirt of him from The Rolling Thunder Era/Desire album period and I looked people in the eye saying that you can’t forget where you come from. Dylan taught us not to be complacent-if anything. I had to throw it back at them.

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