If there’s a country music dictionary, you’ll find both these guys’ pictures under “troubled genius”. Townes Van Zandt is a songwriting legend who battled depression and drugs for much of his life. He died on New Years Day 1997 at the age of 52. Blaze Foley faced his own demons, but left us with a song catalog that includes “Clay Pigeons” and “If I Could Only Fly”. He was shot and killed in 1989.
Story has it that a few times, when Townes would lose his place or struggle for the words in his song, Blaze would slip onstage and help his friend find his way again.
One of my favorite songs, it was written by Townes Van Zandt. It reminds me of two trips I took many years ago, one on motorcycle, the other by train. On each trip, I passed through the Raton pass, on the border between Colorado and New Mexico.