Neil Young recently told the world about the time he met the legendary Johnny Cash. Cash, who would later in life become a born again Christian and dedicate his latter years to spreading the gospel, made an undecided impact within the world of music. Today, Neil Young reflects upon his impressionable meeting with the man who fell into a burning ring of fire and most assuredly walked the line…
As per Ultimate Guitar, Neil Young recalled meeting Johnny Cash during an early 1970s appearance on the country legend’s TV show. He admitted that he remembered little from the encounter because he was “petrified” he’d screw up the night’s performance.
The episode of “The Johnny Cash Show” first aired on February 17, 1971, would enter history for several reasons. In the episode Cash spoke to a group of young people at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University. Those talks, as Cash himself revealed very shortly afterward, inspired him to write the legendary anti-war anthem “The Man in Black”, which also earned the country legend his famous nickname. In the same episode, Neil Young could be heard performing “The Needle and the Damage Done” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, which marked a milestone in Young’s solo career.
Speaking to Conan O’Brien in a recent interview, Young spoke about meeting Cash while filming the episode. He said (transcription via Rock Celebrities):
“I really like Johnny Cash. I hardly even got to speak to him, but that’s okay; he was busy. It was the Johnny Cash Show. You got to realize in my eyes, doing this – I’m what, 23 years old, and I’m going on a television show.”
It’s always good to hear nice things being said about others.