- I can't remember the first time I actually heard Jack Elliott, but I'll never forget it. Jack's kinda like that. Peter & Isabel Gardner used to tell these wonderful strories about Jack and Derroll Adams in Paris (seems like it was Paris) & how crazy & wonderfully decadent it all was.
They would play his first records & I would listen & read the liner notes about how he ran with Woody Guthrie & he was Ramblin' Jack. "The 1913 Massacree" still sends chills up & down my spine.
Then I heard an album called "Young Brigham" & a song called "912 Greens" & my life changed. All of a sudden anything was O.K. That one song set me free to write whatever I wanted..."Now you're up, now you're over."
The other night, Jim Rooney & Rosalie Sorrels came over for dinner with Susanna & me. At some point we decided to call Jack &, after a series of phone numbers, we ran him down just before he went on stage in Seattle. We passed the phone around & we all got our fill.
After that we told Ramblin' Jack stories 'til we ran out of the best single malt scotch whiskey money can buy..."Now you're up, now you're over."
Then Jerry Jeff called & we passed the phone around & told 'em again.
The highest I've ever been was in Tucson one time when Jack showed up at a concert Peter Rowan & I were doin'. We invited Jack up to do a few tunes & Peter & I played along. Peter & I discussed it later & both agreed that we had been taken to the edge of chaos in perfect time & did not want to come back.
I've written a song about Jack & I have sung a song with Jack, but nothin' compares to the song I learned from Jack... "Now you're up, now you're over" & when I die I want the same thing on my tombstone he has on his --Now you're up, now you're over."
- Guy Clark
(Clark's song about Jack is titled "Ramblin' Jack and Mahan")