Guy Clark: The High Price of Inspiration
Guy Clark’s house is tucked away off a main road in Nashville known to most for its Target, a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant and fast food chains. It’s not the prettiest part of town by any means, but once you take the turn, a bit past a gas station, you find a little enclave of mostly brick homes in an area that’s nicer than it ought to be, dictated by stop signs and little curvy roads. Down a short and steep little hill that I’m not sure my ancient hybrid car with cheap tires will have any luck getting back up, lies his home: modest, and obscured by a couple of trees leaking water from a passing rainstorm.
When I get there, Clark is waiting for me in the basement – though to call it that is to call a penthouse an attic. Not that it’s luxurious or decked-out by conventional standards, but it is a place full of enough musical relics to make your head spin: the walls covered in racks stacked with hand-labeled tapes and demos, notebooks, CDs, instruments, lyrics, tools and anything else that Clark has held on to over the years – he describes himself as a packrat of sorts, but it seems more archival than that. This is his workshop, where he used to make guitars (two at a time) before it got too painful for him to stand for hours on end. Joy Brogdon, his friend with Emmylou-Harris-silver hair and wearing a black Johnny Cash sweatshirt, leads me down the beige-carpeted stairs before offering me some coffee and disappearing again.
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