Do you remember where you were when you found out that Johnny Cash passed away, on September 12, 2003? This member of Rocks Off was in our tiny S-10 pickup, delivering pizzas somewhere in Pearland, when one of the country stations he was flipping through delivered the news that the Man In Black had finally ascended back to Heaven.
We cried in the car, and we wore sunglasses until the swelling went down and played his music the rest of our shift, shuttling pies to houses all over our old suburb. If memory serves, we were at the 2003 Austin City Limits Festival, where Cash's daughter Roseanne canceled her scheduled appearance and Drive-By Truckers and Old 97's (among others) played an impromptu tribute set - Ed.
Rocks Off was really crying tears of joy and thanks that he was finally not in physical and mental pain, and that he was reunited with his old friends and his beloved wife June Carter, who passed earlier that year. Sure we were sad we would never meet him and see him live, but that was life. His death was very much like a precursor to our grandfather passing away years later: Seemingly immortal he-men, moving their souls forward to something bigger and brighter.
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Even now, his music is less rock, country, roots, or even blues; it's biblical. That's not just a fan boy gushing, either. If we really stop and think about his image, impact, and the implications he had to modern music since his first single, we got chills. The man was cool enough to leave the music industry, making a depraved Nine Inch Nails song his own. Even Trent Reznor says so, and he wrote the thing.
We found 10 great pictures of the man that you may have not seen before, from his brushes with other celebs to moments of anger, hilarity, and grace. And Richard Nixon.