“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
Archives For Quotes
I just got home from yet another fantastic live music experience at the hands of Milwaukee’s own 91.7 WMSE. It was the warm up show to the first annual Radio Summer Camp, a festival that is bringing great music to some of Milwaukee’s best venues from tonight (August 19) thru Monday August 24. Tonight’s preview was a religious experience followed by rocking throwdown at Shank Hall that featured my friend and favorite new songwriter Tim Showalter/Strand of Oaks opening for the amazing Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit.
Now I know that I have written and gushed over Tim’s work before but his songs and personality continue to blow me away and introduce my slightly coffee stained chompers to whoever’s around. He impressed me even more tonight by showing up with nothing but his beautiful voice, guitar, and some effects pedals that enhanced the already pleasant atmosphere. It’s so unbelievable that one man can produce the sound and explosiveness of songs that were recorded with a full band. After the show I thanked him for playing “New Paris,” my personal favorite, and he smiled with appreciation but said “Aw, they sound so much better with a full band.” I say they sound great any way we get to hear them. We got a touch of some new material in the form a lyrically funny but sweet sounding song about post Blues Brothers Dan Akoroyd and his closing number that he wrote after a dream he had about his grandfather. Obviously, I loved both. Can’t wait to hear more and see a lot more of Mr. Showalter.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit followed and blew the roof off. Being familiar with his work with the Drive-by Truckers and his two post Truckers albums, I’d say I was a casual fan. But after tonight there isn’t an album I won’t cop or a show that I won’t see that has Jason on the bill. They tore through some of his Truckers’ work and dominated newer songs to make them sound like they’d been playing them for decades. Super tight playing all around. If you’ve never heard him before I strongly suggest getting a hold of anything with his name on it if you enjoy good rocking accompanied by down home storytelling lyrics. Highlights of the night for me came from “Outfit,” “7 Mile Island,” “Decoration Day,” Chicago Promenade,” and a lengthy and rocked out “Never Gonna Change” that featured the facemelting riff from “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”.
Big thanks to WMSE for throwing this whole thing together! If tonight is any indication of how the next couple of days are going to be, Milwaukee’s in for a real treat!