08 August 2007
thank god for kids that love obscure things
"i may be small but i know i'm right for you
no big cowboy can do the little things i do"
lee hazlewood died on saturday. i didn't know about it until monday though. i guess i was kind of expecting him to die because he'd been ill for a few years, but it's still sad. and it made me think about him. he's one of my favourite songwriters ever. he seemed to be able to write pop songs about absolutely anything. his songs always seemed to be as dark and sorrowful as they were ridiculous and silly and romantic. and i guess that always appealed to me. and he wrote about death a lot, and i like songs about death because they usually end up being more about life. i guess you understand one better by thinking about the other.
i discovered lee hazlewood by accident one sunday when i was at a car boot sale, which is where i used to be most sundays when i was younger, buying cheap records. and i saw a box of records for two pounds each, which was quite expensive for albums at a car boot sale, so i was probably only half heartedly flicking through them. i didn't usually spend more than a pound on a record, if i was going to spend two then it would have to be something pretty special. i think the most i ever paid for a record at a car boot sale was five pounds, for a copy of the first solo album by kevin rowland, and that's just because i'd never seen it anywhere ever before. and i've never seen it anywhere ever since either so it's lucky i did, even if it's a bit crap. anyway, i was flicking through this box of records. me and pete always used to laugh if someone said they were flicking through some records, because i think we thought it sounded a bit rude. it doesn't seem that rude or that funny now. anyway, there was this box of records that were two pounds each and i wasn't really that interested in them, until i came across a copy of the first nancy and lee album. i hadn't ever heard of them before but i knew nancy sinatra because of these boots are made for walkin and i was really into sixties girl singers like sandie shaw and petula clark and i'd been thinking i might try and get hold of some more nancy sinatra stuff if i saw it anywhere so i decided that maybe this was something worth paying the extra pound for, and nancy and lee both looked amazing on the cover. so i picked it out and carried on flicking through. i wonder if pete still finds that funny. anyway, i carried on flicking through and i found the second nancy and lee album, nancy and lee again. and again they both looked amazing on the cover and it was in really nice condition and i figured that if i was going to buy one then i might as well buy both, so i did. and when i got them home i listened to them while i was painting my bedroom ceiling. and they turned out to be two of the most beautiful and funny and sad pop albums i'd ever heard.
and after that i was obsessed with the songs of lee hazlewood. and i bought everything i could find. i think i nearly finished my collection last time we were in america, because a lot of it is only available in the uk on import. i'm still short of a few things though. my favourite two songs of his are feathers, off the poet, fool or bum album and congratulations, the song he did with nancy on their second album. there are so many others like some velvet morning and sugar town and sand and my autumn's done come and summer wine and easy and me that i love too, as well as all the songs he sang that he didn't write like did you ever and jackson, but feathers and congratulations i've always loved just that little bit more.
i'll write again soon about everything we've been doing for the last couple of months, but i just wanted to write something about lee hazlewood because he wrote pop songs the way i always wished i could. and because he's died and it's sad.
it's a funny thing to be sad when someone you don't know dies.