KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

Published June 11, 2004

So when he entered the studio again at the end of the year, he had a lot to live up to. Dylan rose to the challenge and the subsequent album, Blonde on Blonde, is universally hailed as one of the best in rock history. The sessions stretched to six months as compared to Highway 61´s six days. But in the process, genius was unleashed. In fact, so much of it seemed to be channelled into the studio that for a while, everyone seemed to have become infused. His band (The Band), previously an above average Canadian bar band, went on to record their own great albums in the following years, Music From Big Pink and The Band. The explosion of genius that took place at CBS studios was so great that even the janitor made a masterpiece.
The janitors´ name was Kris Kristofferson. He had been a Rhodes scholar at Oxford before becoming a helicopter pilot in the army. He turned down a job teaching English literature at West Point in order to move to Nashville to become a songwriter. There he got a job in a studio, emptying ashtrays and vacuuming floors at night, hoping to find someone to release his songs. When Dylan was up all night writing songs on very expensive studio time, the janitor didn´t dare approach him. Dylan was then the hottest thing in pop and even had a police escort to keep fans away. It wasn´t until 1969, when Johnny Cash recorded the Kristofferson song Sunday Morning Coming Down that the ball started rolling. Legend has it that Kristofferson landed on his lawn in a helicopter with a bottle in one hand and a tape in the other.
The following year, Bobby Neuwirth from Janis Joplins´ band attended a Kris concert and was impressed. He told Janis about him and introduced the two, who proceeded to have an affair. Another master songwriter, Leonard Cohen, said once that he met Janis on an elevator and she asked him whether he was Kris Kristofferson. He told her he was, and the two of them had an affair as well, immortalised in the Cohen song Chelsea Hotel No. 2. Joplin´s affair with Kristofferson was also fruitful; she recorded his song Me and Bobby McGee and had a number one hit with it, albeit posthumously.
Kristofferson´s first album, Songs of Kristofferson, came out in 1970. He´s since gone on to write many more songs, but it is his first album that remains his definitive statement. Even if you´ve never heard of Kristofferson before, you´ve probably heard most of the songs here somewhere. Kristofferson was one of the first people to realise the similarity between the traditional country/western outlaw hero and the new hippie counterculture hero, and he combines these elements on the album. The first song, Blame it on the Stones takes the side of the longhairs, and he goes even further in The Law is for Protection of the People, equating the crucifixion of Christ with hippie bashing in the American South.
Dylan would never again make masterpieces as easily as he did with Blonde on Blonde. But he´s still playing, on his socalled his Neverending Tour. Kristofferson is still playing too. He´ll be here, in Laugardalshöllin on the 14th of June. I wonder whether he needs a janitor.



Culture
Music
Five Icelandic Christmas Songs That Don’t Suck

Five Icelandic Christmas Songs That Don’t Suck

by and

Like we noted in last year’s Straumur Xmas Special, the holidays can be hard on the ears for folks who have a modicum of taste for decent music. It’s a well-known fact that most Icelandic Christmas songs suck pretty hard, but of course there are always some exceptions. You can add the following to last year’s selection. Skakkamanage “Costa Del Jól” This lost pearl of a Christmas song was released by indie band Skakkamanage (led by Svavar Pétur, the man behind Prins Póló) just before Christmas of 2005 and is named after one of Iceland most popular holiday destination, Costa

Culture
Music
Who Are GANGLY And Why Are They So Great?

Who Are GANGLY And Why Are They So Great?

by

Earlier today, long-time Grapevine contributors Straumur premiered a song/music video by a new, apparently “local” band that calls itself GANGLY. Now, this in itself wouldn’t be that interesting (lord knows there are plenty of bands out there making songs and videos), except for the fact that both song and video are fucking S T U N N I N G ! Here, see and hear for yourself Right? Right? Let’s hear it again: OMG so great! And that video? How could you make that video and not want to tell everyone about it? WEIRD. So who are GANGLY and how can we

Culture
Music
Just Go Join A Freakin’ Snake Cult Why Don’t You?

Just Go Join A Freakin’ Snake Cult Why Don’t You?

by

Just Another Snake Cult have released a weird and awesome new video from their lauded LP “Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me”. Premiered recently in the UK by Clash Magazine, and in Germany by top blog i.am.no.superman, we’re happy to present the Icelandic debut here. Says band mainstay Thor Bogason: “Spell of Platonic Reversal” is our only song that’s survived and evolved through all the band’s lineup changes, remaining a constant part of our live set through the years. At first it surprised me every time people would tell me that the song stood out to them, because when I

Culture
Music
The Best Of What We Saw At Iceland Airwaves 2014

The Best Of What We Saw At Iceland Airwaves 2014

by

Iceland Airwaves 2014 came and went, and oh what a blast it was (it was. It’s crazy. You should come next year). We very much like the Iceland Airwaves festival. Indeed, every year since 2005, we’ve operated a gargantuan team dedicated to reviewing EVERY SHOW by EVERY BAND on the official festival schedule. Through the years, this has proved a fun and often rough process that has resulted in some great writing, several nice quotes for a band’s press kit, a few broken hearts, several heated phone calls and more than one death threat (including that time in the late

Culture
Music
The Accidental Airwaves

The Accidental Airwaves

by

A press pass fell in my lap unexpectedly and I felt compelled to go to the Airwaves festival. Although the pass fell too late for me to catch the only worthwhile show at the festival this year, the one that had Kontinuum following Momentum, who performed after Svartidauði, who, in turn came on after Ophidian I, I still got to see some truly memorable stuff this year. Some by design, and some through pure happenstance. What follows is my recollection: Wednesday to get my groove on On Wednesday afternoon I happened by Bar 11, where Future Figment were playing some

Culture
Music
Sónar Adds SBTRKT

Sónar Adds SBTRKT

by

Sónar festival continues to power up it’s bill, this time adding some impressive firepower in the shape of UK producer SBTRKT (that’s pronounced like the regular “subtract”, rather than a phlegmy, cough-like mumble of “sbtrchkt”, hipster faux-pas avoidance fans). This comes in addition to an already pretty sweet lineup that includes Matrix-villain tween-goth pop idol Skrillex, as well as TV On The Radio, Kindness, Paul Kalkbrenner, Todd Terje, and a whole crop of diverse Icelandic talents. The whole thing is held in Harpa, which will no doubt provide a grim form of entertainment in itself as thousands of sweaty, gurning

Show Me More!