by Julian Spivey
Today is Kris Kristofferson's 87th birthday. He's one of the greatest songwriters ever. That's inarguable.
I've seen him once. It was Willie Nelson's Fourth of July picnic in 2015 in Austin, Texas. Because it was a festival most artists were doing 30-minute sets. So, my only time seeing Kristofferson (who's since retired from performing) was a short set. It was still glorious - except for one thing - because it was just Kristofferson on stage with guitar, harmonica and mic (honestly the optimum way to see Kristofferson - though probably not in an outdoor venue) it wasn't loud. You really had to listen. Why wouldn't you though? It's Kristofferson! It's the guy who wrote "Me & Bobby McGee," "For the Good Times," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," "Help Me Make it Through the Night." And he performed ALL OF THEM.
It should've been a great memory. Later that afternoon, David Allan Coe - a man who is probably everything that Kristofferson is not. A man whom I refuse to listen to due to his profiting off of racism. An asshole. A man, whom I wish these other artists (especially Willie Nelson) would tell to fuck off and never be heard or seen again. A man who's set I intentionally walked around the grounds of the venue to avoid seeing him during his set. Well, he was going to play soon. And the woman behind me was ecstatic. He was one of the artists she was most looking forward to seeing. And during Kristofferson's set, she talked the entire goddamn time - seemingly about Coe, but it may have been about other things too.
I love Kris Kristofferson. I hate David Allan Coe. And, lady, wherever you are I'm never going to forget you. And I hate that too.