I lost my heart again last night.
He stood,just a few feet in front of me,dressed in black,plucked his guitar and said, rather than sang in a voice that left no woman doubting that this was a real man;
“Take the ribbon from your hair”
Kris Kristofferson,the All American Rebel,sang at the Zürich Summer Festival,”Live at Sunset” last night and I was lucky enough to be able to sit in the middle of the front row.
It was as though he was singing just for me.
He was 72 last month,and he is still looking for freedom.
After “Me and Bobby Mc Gee” the world knew who he was,and he is still there.
Many have coveted his songs,but the chords, and the stanza are so well knitted that the songs are more difficult to interpret than they seem.
Maybe his voice hasn’t got the fullness that it used to have,and his guitar playing didn’t stick to the rules,but then one of the fingers of his right hand was bleeding enough for us to see just after the interval.
He passed off the weaknesses ,with his old charm and humour.Even stated ,when he repeatedly had to pick up a handkerchief, that he thought we were paying a lot of money “To watch an old fart blow his nose”
But he can still write songs,maybe I should say he can still write poems for the simple man, poetry that gets his message across. He should be able to,he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University and studied Literature at Merton College. During his time with the US Airforce they wanted him to teach the subject at West Point Military Academy.But Kris is the pacifist son of a General and it was 1965.
And yesterday evening, so many years after Janis Joplin sang “Me and Bobby McGee” his followers in Zürich still love him.
He says he wants to compose and sing until they shovel dirt on his coffin.
He also knows what words he wants chiseled on his grave stone,- from colleague Leonard Cohen,
” Like a bird on a wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free”