Tonight! Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Peter Rowan

Don't miss this opportunity to see two greats play together tonight , Friday December 12th at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage.  Get out of the rain and in the doors - both men treasures!  

Don't miss Ramblin' Jack Elliott as Special Guest with Peter Rowan

Don't miss Ramblin' Jack Elliott as Special Guest with Peter Rowan at The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California on Friday December 12th!
Peter Rowan, Friday, December 12, 2014, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nina Gerber, Blaine Sprouse, Mike Witcher, and Jeff Keana'aina

$26 advance / $28 door

Purchase tickets online

Peter Rowan

Peter Rowan is a bluegrass master. His musical roots go back to Bill Monroe. He didn’t just hear Bill Monroe’s recordings – he played guitar and sang lead with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in the mid-1960s. After stints in Earth Opera, Muleskinner, and the Marin County rock group Seatrain, he co-founded Old and in the Way with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. Since then, he’s recorded more than 30 albums and earned six Grammy nominations and a Grammy. His classic originals include “Panama Red,” “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy,” and “Moonlight Midnight” – and he’s just released a new album, Twang An’ Groove Vol. 1, featuring high-energy live versions of traditional classics and some of Peter’s outstanding originals. “The entire band coalesces around a supple groove, suggesting a sound not unlike the Grateful Dead in full jam band motif,” says the website Country Standard Time, adding that the free form improvisation “all sounds in sync, a reflection of the band's competence and confidence.” Joining Peter tonight will be Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nina Gerber, Blaine Sprouse, Mike Witcher, and Jeff Keana'aina. Get your tickets early – this should be a glorious musical celebration, led by a true master!

Ramblin' Jack Elliott tour photos!

Check out these great shots from photographer Scott Preston of Cincy Groove. These photos were taken in Ludlow, KY where Jack performed at the Ludlow Theatre

Ramblin' Jack In Nashville & Kentucky!

Ramblin' Jack is on the road this week in Nashville on 'special assignment' we will tell you about later - but let's just say he's with good company doing a special "Guitar Pull" with Guy Clark and others. 

Also, Jack is opening a new school in Ludlow, Kentucky on the 8th - so if you are anywhere near there please go and say hey!  Check the website often for updates!

Ramblin' Jack on tour this fall for The Rose of No Man's Land


The Rose of No-Man's Land 
w/Ramblin' Jack Elliott!

8p Oct 24
 w/actress Kathy Baker!
Los Angeles CA
Show & Ticket Link

8p Oct 25
Freight & Salvage

Berkeley CA
Show & Ticket Link

8p Nov 1
Center for the Arts

Grass Valley CA
Show & Ticket Link

8p Nov 19
Club Passim
Cambridge MA
Show & Ticket Link

8:30p Nov 21
Towne Crier

Beacon NY
Show & Ticket Link

8p Nov 22
Joe's Pub

New York NY
Show & Ticket Link

Nell Robinson & The Rose of No-Man's Land 
Features Guests: John Doe, Kris Kristofferson, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Maxine Hong Kingston

Distributed by Compass Records
PBS 'ROSE' Special To Roll Out Late Fall on 

The songs of Nell Robinson & The Rose of No-Man's Land integrate the heritage of her own Alabama family serving in 250 years of war. Most of the source material for the songs are from archived letters, documents, mementos and generational lore, all centered on war and service. Beginning with Revolutionary War to the present, Robinson weaves historic familial history with her lush vocal quality and artisan storytelling with musical guidance by Grammy Winning producer Joe Henry.

Joe Henry's lucent production floats the songs and stories without weighing them down. The music is reverential without being solemn.   

Guy Clark and 
Rodney Crowell wrote two original songs for the album. Crowell contributed "Scots Irish" and Clark's "Heroes" is about recent vets turning to suicide in greater numbers than active soldiers killed by enemy fire. As well, there are traditional songs and songs written by Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe.

Robinson will be touring extensively and in each tour city she will work with non-profits benefiting veterans. As an activist, she wants to draw attention and funds for the needs of veterans, especially in areas of healthcare and soul repair.

RAMBLIN'JACK ELLIOTT 8 p.m. Friday 9/5/2014 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI.


8 p.m. Friday, Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. $20 at the box office, (866) 468-3401 and

"Authenticity" in music, as Elvis Costello has pointed out, is basically nonsense. For every sharecropper or dockworker who moaned the blues or country from a deep and daily knowledge of hardship, there's at least one guy who spurned a comfortable life to become an entertainer and then an artist.

Ramblin' Jack Elliott's parents wanted him to become a doctor, but the Brooklyn lad was entranced by cowboys (he briefly joined a rodeo) and by Woody Guthrie (later a traveling companion), and his emulation of Guthrie began a country-folk career that has survived since the mid-1950s.

Having influenced and performed with Pete Seeger, the Dead, Dylan and countless more, Elliott has more recently worked with producer Joe Henry on the 2009 album "A Stranger Here," which picked up a Grammy. Now 83, he's still his own kind of cowboy singer, and he isn't faking it.

— Jon M. Gilbertson,

Special to the Journal Sentinel

Unraveling a mystery: Where is Bing Crosby's storied denim tux?

Unraveling a mystery: Where is Bing Crosby's storied denim tux?

Updated 11:06 pm, Sunday, August 17, 2014

Carolyn Schneider's quest to track down an unusual tuxedo that belonged to her uncle - the legendary Bing Crosby - has become a hobby bordering on an obsession.

In a dossier in her Las Vegas home are documents, photos, newspaper clippings and other evidence, clues in a puzzle she has been putting together over the past decade.

"I guess I watch a lot of murder mysteries or something," she said. "It's kind of a detective story."

At the heart of the story is a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing with a singular backstory - a double-breasted denim tuxedo jacket that Levi Strauss and Co. gave Crosby in 1951 to right a wrong.

Schneider's search for the suit, and her certification by Levi's as a forensic expert on the garment, are a tribute to a man with whom she feels deeply connected.

She knows that she may never locate it. But Schneider hopes her exhaustive investigation will at least iron out what she sees as rampant wrinkles of misinformation.

"I've met some very interesting people and heard some very interesting stories," she said. "But I want the truth - the truth of the jacket."

Uncle Bing

Schneider, who declined to reveal her age, grew up in Alameda and went to San Jose State on Crosby's dime. After graduating, she lived with him in Los Angeles, while briefly considering a career in acting.

Her affection for her uncle inspired her to write "Me and Uncle Bing," a book published in 2002 that details growing up knowing the celebrated crooner and actor.

But it wasn't until 10 years ago - well after Crosby's death in 1977 - that Schneider set her sights on the tuxedo.

In doing so, she dug into how her uncle got the jacket, a story that went viral decades before the Internet and endures as part of Levi's folklore.

Legend has it that sometime in early 1951 - when Crosby's fame was at an all-time high - he and a friend were on a fishing trip near Vancouver, British Columbia.

When the two went to get a room at a local hotel, they were turned away because Crosby, whom the clerk didn't recognize, was wearing a dingy denim jacket.

The hotel manager, though, spotted the star, apologized and offered a room.

The tale traveled all the way to San Francisco, prompting Levi's to make the singer a custom, Western-style, double-breasted denim tuxedo jacket, complete with a riveted boutonniere, made from the iconic red tabs that flag the back of Levi's jeans.

It was a statement by the company that denim could be appropriate for any occasion.

On June 30, 1951, local dignitaries presented Crosby with the jacket at the Silver State Stampede, a rodeo in Elko, Nev.

"As Bing's career and fame grew, he became interested in property, especially ranch property," Schneider said. "Once Bing bought those ranches, he became involved with the community. He was considered a friendly fellow rancher."

Popular figure

Crosby was so well-liked in the small cattle town that he had been made honorary mayor and presented a key to the city in 1948.

At the rodeo, Elko's mayor, Dave Dotta, also got a jacket from Levi's. On the inside of each tux was an oversize leather patch signed by the president of the American Hotel Association.

The patch was a "notice to hotel men everywhere," which entitled the wearer "to be duly received and registered with cordial hospitality at any time and under any conditions."

The event was a publicist's dream.

Soon the story - along with pictures of Crosby wearing the jacket - was printed in newspapers around the country.

Paramount Pictures was set to release the star's newest film, "Here Comes the Groom," and executives jumped at the chance to parlay the press into promotion.

A month later, the film premiered at the Hunter Theater in Elko, and standing proudly out front was Crosby in his denim tux. After the premiere, though, the jacket disappeared.

But as the picture opened in other cities around the country, Levi's urged its retailers to exploit the story by sending them promotional window displays with replica tuxedo jackets, each with the leather patch that said, "Presented to Bing Crosby."

The jackets, Schneider said, were supposed to be shipped back to Levi's, but few were.

Over the years, she said, the replicas circulated around the world - one traveling to Japan and another to England. She ended up with one herself.

The sad truth

Many owners knew the story about Crosby and the Vancouver hotel, and after looking at the patch figured they had his jacket. At the time, few understood there were replicas.

Schneider's job has been to break their hearts.

She said she could pick the real jacket out of a lineup of look-alikes - and was even ordained as an expert by a former Levi's historian.

"Mrs. Schneider is eminently qualified to examine any Bing Crosby tuxedo jacket and determine its authenticity," reads a letter given to her by Levi's.

But Schneider won't say how exactly she can identify her uncle's jacket, explaining that she fears someone might alter it. Several replicas have been auctioned on eBay for thousands of dollars.

So far, Schneider has contacted more than a dozen people with jackets, including a museum in Elko that has the original tuxedo given to Dave Dotta.

Detective work

As part of her investigation, she either tries to see a jacket in person or asks the owner to send her detailed photos of the front, back and inside.

"I would love for you to have Bing's jacket, but what you have is a replica," Schneider recently told Rex Allen Jr., son of famed Arizona singing cowboy Rex Allen.

"Generally speaking, the owners are not happy to hear from me," she said, "because they love Bing."

One such fan and jacket owner is troubadour and cowboy folk hero Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who lives in Nicasio in Marin County and turned 83 this month.

"I've always been utterly charmed by (Crosby's) rather relaxed way of wording and singing his songs," Elliott said. "It sort of makes you want to tap your foot and smile."

Elliott was given his jacket as a present from a friend who used to deal antiques. In 1995, he wore it to perform at the Grammys in Los Angeles, where he accepted the award for best traditional folk album.

'It looked splendid'

"It looked splendid and it used to fit me. Now it's a little tight on me," he said. "Its made out of old-fashioned, tough, thick denim the cowboys used to wear."

Schneider spoke briefly on the phone with Elliott a number of years ago, and asked for pictures of the coat - but he never sent her any. For all she knows, he might have her uncle's original denim tux.

This year, Levi's reissued the jacket with a limited run of replicas. A display set up at Levi's headquarters in San Francisco mimics the Silver State Stampede stage where Crosby was first presented with his jacket.

Schneider hopes her search ends soon - so she can track down her uncle's famous jacket before more people come out of the woodwork falsely claiming to have the original.

She is adamant that she has no interest in possessing the tux. She simply wants to set the record straight, and she clearly takes pleasure and comfort from the adventure.

Schneider hopes whoever has the jacket is taking good care of it.

"It's become," she said, "kind of a holy grail for me."

Evan Sernoffsky is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Twitter: @EvanSernoffsky

Happy 83rd, Ramblin' Jack by Lauren Daley

Raise what you're drinking to the last cowboy.

The last of the rail-riding poets.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot -- the living link between Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan -- celebrated his 83rd this weekend.

Happy birthday, Jack.

I've been lucky enough to see Ramblin' Jack twice now, including at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, where, he surprised Beck on stage to duet on Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting For A Train." He hobbled on stage in his dusty boots, his skinny legs clad in pale blue jeans, wearing his signature bolo tie, flannel shirt and ten-gallon hat.

It didn't look like he planned it, either -- he had a Poland Spring bottle in his hand that he didn't put down, and when he couldn't raise the mic, the octogenarian knelt down to sing on his knees.
It was an epic moment for everyone there, including Beck, who said after Jack left the stage, 
"Well that was an honor. I think I'm done now."

I saw Jack for the first time back in 2011. I covered his concert at a southeastern Massachusetts venue for my music column:

He wore almost exactly the same outfit, and his hour-long set included an incredible rendition of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter," "House of the Rising Sun," a cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice (It's Alright)," Woody Guthrie's "1914 Massacre," and "Falling Down Blues."

Of course, you don't earn a name like "Ramblin' Jack" without being a talker. Jack can talk.

Throughout the evening, he had the audience gathered 'round and listening like kids listening to a wise ol' granddad.

He told us tales of meeting Woody Guthrie, singing with Bob Dylan, and a Tall Tale about sneaking into folk singer Tim Hardin's house disguised as a house painter.

"It was a hoax, so I could get right up there on the ladder and look down his throat, to see how he sang and learn how he played," Jack told the crowd.

He had a sore throat and allergies, and the night was also peppered with one-liners like: "Thanks for clapping. If I heard someone sing like I just sang, I'd head for hills." And, "I'm not a music-lover, thank God. I like dogs, boats and trucks."

The irony, of course, is that Jack Elliott loves music more than almost anyone.

He's the kid who ran away from his Brooklyn home at 14 to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a real live cowboy.

In 1950, he sought out Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and rode the rails with Woody from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters.

Woody Guthrie, it seemed, had a magic that captivated young folkies, and made them want to be just like him.

Bob Dylan, as we know, imitated the way Woody walked, talked and dressed. But before him, Jack Elliott was so enthralled with Guthrie that he absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, "Jack sounds more like me than I do."

In 1954, Jack journeyed through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. In 1955, he got married and traveled to Europe, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers -- from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton -- with his American cowboy folk repertoire.

When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan at Woody Guthrie's bedside, and mentored him.

In 1995, Ramblin' Jack received his first of four Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for South Coast (Red House Records). In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts.

According to Jack's Web site, at age 80, he's "still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You'll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle."

The lucky roomful of people at the Narrows Center who saw him saw a living legend and a true entertainer.

As Bob Dylan said in his "Chronicles: Volume One:"

"Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them. Jack went out and grabbed you... Jack was King of the Folksingers."

Here, here.


Ramblin' Jack Elliott to the Mid West

Look for dates to be posted in days....for Jack's tour of the mid-west coming soon!

Feature: Ramblin' on with Ramblin' Jack A Marin musical legend rolls on down the road

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:00 am

Not so long ago, many American boys dreamed of becoming cowboys—but of course few really did. Teenager Elliott Charles Adnopoz of 1940s Brooklyn, however, made his dream come true, running away from home to live the cowboy life. While that career choice didn't last too long, it influenced the rest of his life, as he evolved into Ramblin' Jack Elliott, a true American musical hero—often called an icon, a living legend and a pioneer. All of which he is.

Ramblin' Jack has lived in West Marin for well over two decades. He was born on August 1st—his birthday is next week—at least eight decades ago, but as he notes below, he is now "aging backwards." Hearing and seeing him play his guitar and sing, one tends to believe him. He still tours consistently, but given that airports drive him "crazy," his travels tend to be literally on the road, as he has been famed for since the 1950s. And all that traveling means that he's had memorable encounters and friendships with many renowned figures—some of the most famed in modern American culture. Yet Jack himself remains about as down-to-earth a guy as one could ever meet, more prone to talk about transmissions and horses than anything else—although he'll talk about just about anything.

His musical career has been up and down, with fame first garnered in the 1960s, then a fallow period, then a resurgence with his first Grammy for his album South Coast in 1995—for best traditional folk album—and then another, for best traditional blues album, in 2009 for A Stranger Here. But despite his collection of Grammy awards, he still sails a small boat on Tomales Bay.


So, how does a nice Jewish boy named Elliott Adnopoz from New York City become a folk legend named Ramblin' Jack Elliott?

Well, I've been nice, but I wasn't very Jewish. My dad was a doctor and the phone was always ringin' all night long and he was running out on house calls to deliver babies and such. When I was 9 I saw a rodeo in Madison Square Garden and when Gene Autry came splashing in on his horse through a disc of white paper with his hat, saddle and spurs and came galloping around the arena, that was it for me. I was a cowboy in my heart from then on.

And soon you were gone on the road yourself ...

In September 1945 the war had just ended and I was 14 and I heard hoof beats on the street and it was a real cowboy. Not long after, I took off with a couple of poets, hitchhiking, and at a truck stop a driver had room for only one person and I took it and never saw them again.

How long were you gone that time before your parents started looking for you? There's a "missing person" sign your parents made that says: "May be on a ranch. Parents not opposed to him staying on ranch."

You think they wanted to get rid of me? They were tired of me roping the furniture. Anyway, with the cowboys I found I lived on flapjacks and one old rodeo clown knew my folks were lookin' for me and said: "If you stay here you will end up being a cowboy, but if you go to high school and get your dee-ploma you can do anything, including being a cowboy." So I went home and thanked my parents for inviting me back.

How'd you pick up the guitar?

I was just strumming a bit, but when I went back I got more serious about it.

And then something very important happened in your life, about 1951—you met Woody Guthrie. His daughter once said you became his closest friend.

I was hanging out in Greenwich Village—this is a very unromantic story; I wish I could say I met Woody changing trains in a yard in Omaha, or something—but I'd heard from other singers he was not feeling very good already, and called him up. We spent a lot of time together over the next few years, did some travelin', and sang a lot of songs together. He was a great influence and some of his songs are some of the greatest poetry describing man's inhumanity and with some good ideas on how the world could maybe be a better place to live. He was the Walt Whitman of the working man, and he thought the communists had some good ideas and that caused him some trouble, but they wouldn't really have him, as he was a bit too sloppy of dress.

Around then, I heard that Jack Kerouac read the entire manuscript of On the Road to you. How long did that take?

Three days and three bottles of wine. I think he had a thing for my girlfriend. He came around many times to visit, along with other authors and poets.

Well, somewhere it says that both Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg thought you were the one who was very good at stealing other guys' girlfriends ...

Those writers were very biased, you know.

Then you got married and moved first to Hollywood and then to London ...

We got to London in 1955 and were in and out of there for six years, with my wife Jan—I mean June—I crossed wives there; Jan's another wife ... we had a great time traveling around Europe on a Vespa motor scooter. Anyway, back in London they had these big tabloids and I recall seeing one reading, "FILM STAR DIES," and it was one of June's ex-boyfriends, a cat named James Dean who was just starting out. I'd met him some and serenaded him some in his white Porsche—the first Porsche in America—and the one he died in here in California.

And when you got back to New York, there was this early 60s "great folk scare" scene going on ...

That's right, but I wasn't aware of it as such; when you are in the middle of something it's not like it was on TV or something.

And there was this other nice non-Jewish boy named Bob Zimmerman, or Dylan, around. He was a young kid who wanted to be a singer.

Yeah, Bob had just hitched in from Minnesota, to see Woody as much as anything, and was only 19 years old. I was there too, so we met.

In his book Chronicles, Dylan wrote, after he heard one of your records: "Damn this guy was great ... he was so confident it made me sick ... Elliott was far beyond me ... I'd have to block him out of my mind, forget this thing, tell myself I hadn't heard him and he didn't exist. He was overseas in Europe, anyway, in a self-imposed exile. The U.S. hadn't been ready for him. Good. I was hoping he'd stay gone." It sounds like you gave the young Dylan an existential crisis!

I didn't mean to—I'd never heard of him yet at that point. But later I learned his song "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" from his record, over a bottle of Cutty Sark—the one with the clipper ship on the label—stuck in a nice warm cabin in a snowstorm for three days—that was some kind of speed record for me, as it usually takes me three to six months to learn a song. And, when it thawed out we drove my 1950 Chevy truck motorhome up to New York City where they were having an open mic with all sorts of folksingers, would-be folksingers and has-beens, with my pals Dave Van Ronk, Peter and Paul—Mary was out shopping I believe—and I thought I'd get up on stage, as the previous singer had been booed off the stage. I sang "Don't Think Twice" and Bob was there, and it's dark in there with only a little light sort of glinting off his halo and he said: "I relinquish it to you." I'd never had anything relinquished to me but it's one of my favorite songs ever since.

Van Ronk wrote in his book that your parents finally came to see you play around then and your mom loudly said: "Look at those fingers—such a surgeon he could have been!"

Yeah, sometimes they never let up on all that ...

You kept on recording through the 60s and into the 70s, and then reunited with Dylan for his 1975 "Rolling Thunder Revue" tour, with Ginsberg, Sam Shepard, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Roger McGuinn, all sorts of people, and some of Dylan's greatest performances.

That was great fun. There was too much whiskey. And there was a filmmaker doing a modern-day fairytale—a very long one ...

That was Renaldo and Clara, Dylan's notoriously baffling four-hour flick. After that you started recording in earnest again, and things seem to have taken off for you, and you wound up with Grammys in both folk and blues ...

Bob Dylan wrote me a letter of introduction to the great John Hammond Sr., who had signed Bob to Columbia Records and had practically discovered everybody from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday to a long list, a charming man who I'd never met ... Bob wrote: "Dear John, I want to introduce Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who is my long-lost father ..." etc., full of such nonsense. Obviously I'm not old enough to be Bob's dad; I'm only 10 years older. It was great. And John's son played on one of my records—in fact Dylan played harp on one, too, but couldn't use his real name so he was "Tedham Porterhouse." That record has just been reissued on vinyl, called just Jack Elliott. I think I've done at least 20 LPs all total.

By 1998 you were in the White House getting the Presidential Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton. After all your hard traveling, what was that like? How was the food?

The food was very good, once we got to it. I didn't really know what to say to him. I don't really rehearse such things, I just kind of blurt it out, hoping that it's gonna be true. Now, I'd had one solid bourbon in the Abraham Lincoln Room and then two glasses of red wine before the dinner came and I got a little bit carried away—I get patriotic when I'm drinking and they were playing "America the Beautiful" and I was singing along "A-MERrrrica ..." and my wife Jan was a bit embarrassed. She looked over at the presidential table where Clinton was sitting with Gregory Peck, but Clinton and he were just grinning with me. I was singing along with the United States Marine Marching Band. I don't know if they have a recording of that one.

Your latest record came out in 2009, called A Stranger Here and it is fantastic, with a wonderful band, recorded in a basement once owned by the widow of President James Garfield in Los Angeles, produced by Joe Henry with guys from Los Lobos and such, and is mostly blues-based songs.

I had little to do with putting that one together, actually. I listened to about 15 of the wildest and greatest old blues songs the record company guy had recommended, only some of which I'd heard and only one of which I already knew [how] to play. I just sort of took a musical bath there and let the music flow by as I listened to them, and then when I went down to Pasadena and met the guys and [we] started playing together I just thought: "Oh, OK, this is gonna be no problem, no worries. In fact, it's gonna be great."

And it sure was. I think Joe Henry writes in the liner notes: "How many people in the seventh decade of their musical career are making the best music of their life?" It's just incredible stuff.

Well, I thank you. And him.

I bet you've never counted, but how many songs do you think you know?

Hmm, I did count way back once when I was a kid, and I probably knew more than 300. Woody wrote 2,000 of 'em. I only know about 25 of his now I think. But Woody once wrote a long, long ballad about The Grapes of Wrath called "Tom Joad" and he put the whole big fat book into about 14 verses of a song. He later received a letter from John Steinbeck who was very pissed off and wrote: "You little son of a bitch, it took me 600 pages to say what you did in that one song!"

How did you end up living in West Marin?

Well, I first came here right after I met Woody, and he told me to go across the street from the hospital, where he was sick, to meet his wife and kid. I then drove out in a car, and I've always loved boats ... [Here Jack launches into a long involved technical description of boats, sailing and trucks with many names and dates, more about Woody Guthrie, touring with Cat Stevens and getting his favorite guitar stolen, all of it fascinating ... but never gets back to West Marin—but does demonstrate how he got his lifelong nickname "Ramblin'."]

OK then; we can see now why Kris Kristofferson said about you: "I never heard anyone so enchanting on subjects I didn't give a damn about."

Well, I do sometimes get carried away on subjects and forget what I was talking about. Pete Seeger was singing me "Happy Birthday" backstage at the Newport Folk Festival and I saw the cake and it said "80" on it and I thought: "Never been there, ain't going there"—so I double-clutched, got it into reverse, and I'm going backwards now, and I'm 78 now, goin' on 77. It's the best decision I ever made. And I still go out on tour just to get cat food and diesel fuel—I like trucks, and the sound of trains and trucks, horses snortin' ... and some music. I'll keep making it as long as they let me. And then some.