After Emmylou Harris left the stage, John Prine took over the night with his quirky humor.
By the time he started, most the amphitheater had filled up and the sun had gone down revealing the night sky and the true beauty of Red Rocks.
John opened with
Six O’Clock News
He said this was an old song from Chicago and that he used to play it with his good buddy, Steve Goodman. He commented that Steve and Emmy were neighbors in California an that he knew Steve would be smiling down tonight. He added that Steve had a way of playing the guitar so that it made it sound like “I was playing the good stuff, but I wasn’t.”
John said that the next one was “for the organ donor society.”
Please Don’t Bury Me
He said that this next song was a song that “almost didn’t get written” and that he had a tough producer who told him that he needed another song for the album and John said, “No I don’t,” and the producer said, “Yeah, you do.” So John went to the hotel and thought “I’ll fix him,” so he wrote the “worst” song so that the producer would agree that the record was over. He said after he had “sung it a couple hundred times he got to like it.”
Fish and Whistle
He said the next song he wrote with a friend from Bristol named Robert Cook who speaks like Carey Grant but doesn’t look a thing like him, not that John minded. And they wrote this in his kitchen in Nashville (to which someone hollered and John said, “oh, you’ve been there?”) He talked about how when he was writing a song with someone he didn’t know if they were thinking the same thing he was but since he was thinking about his wife, he sure hoped that Robert wasn’t thinking about the same thing.
Glory of True Love
During which Emmy snuck down to the stage
John said that Emmy and her band were playing in Lawrence, Kansas tomorrow night and that they had “a few miles to put on” but she was gonna come out a sing a few with him.
Emmy came out with some papers (song lyrics) and her glasses which she put on and then took back off before they started.
John told the story about the movie with Billy Bob Thornton and said that Emmy was “brave enough” to sing this next one.
In Spite Of Ourselves
Emmy managed to get through this with a straight face… how I’ll never know… though she did do a cute little dance-y thing at the end of her verses.
Emmy said that she’d “always wanted to sing this one.”
Angel From Montgomery
Emmy left and John started
You Got Gold
Donald and Lydia
That’s The Way The World Goes Round
During which his band returned as they had left during the time Emmy was on stage.
Bear Creek Blues
He said this next one was in the memory of Hunter Thompson
He said that the next one was a song he wrote for his wife, Fiona, saying “she’s here tonight, so I’m gonna sing this song. We’re taking the kids on an RV trip though Utah tomorrow. We’ll see you at the KOA.”
She Is My Everything
I Ain’t Hurtin Nobody
He took a moment to properly introduce the rest of the guys on stage.
Hello In There
Unfortunately John never quite looked my way and I couldn’t get back to the middle where I had taken photos of Emmy earlier, so I didn’t get any great shots of John by himself.
Photos by Nichole Wagner