Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin, Long Island discussed on Revisionist History
I'm back with Rick. And I asked him about the origins of one of his most famous collaborations, Rick Rubin. Jewish kid from Long Island and the man in black. How we how did that happen, by the way, the Johnny cash thing? It's also unusual way. At happened was I had worked with almost all the artists had produced up until that time where young artists for first time artist and all the artist I signed were debut artists. And I thought it would be fun challenge to make a really good album with a great artist. Who may be hasn't done. Great work for a while. So it was more like a was like a puzzle to solve. And when I thought about the different great artists who weren't doing great work. I when it came up was Johnny cash thought is I mean, he's Johnny cash or you know, I try to turn the. Because you're. The line. You listen to much country. Not really so you think of him. And then you saw what comes next I ask what's going on with him is on record label. He's playing at that time is playing in like small dinner futures around falon that low. And he'd been dropped from his label sort of like he had been discarded by the industry at that time. And I think part of the reason that he was open to working with me wasn't because he believed in me or believed in the idea. I think he was excited that somebody cared enough to want to do something because nobody else did had he heard of you. I don't know if he had l think so why would have did he ever listen to hip hop. No. No. So you're just basically co calling. I mean through his people, I'm guessing and we met backstage at a dinner theater in Orange County. And I remember it being awkward both of us were pretty quiet who I remember sitting on the couch for a long time and not really talking. But feeling even though it was awkward I felt comfortable with them. Yeah. And there was no idea of what it would be at the time. It was just sort of. Let's go on this. Journey do something and find what's great. Did. He have I did he who is the one who I sort of. Suggested the idea of doing these strip down covers is at your idea. It wasn't it wasn't. Well, I won't. No. Stand at the gates of Bill. It's started where we were looking for songs, and we would get together. So in terms of finding the material that best fit his voice. We would do these demos basically solo demos. But there was no thought that that's what the record would be like it was more. The first stage of this. Expedition was figuring out the material that was gonna work. Give me an example of a song that doesn't fit his voice and tell me why it doesn't there's a handful of things one is he has the feel an affinity for it. If he if he doesn't feel it. It's much harder. Second is subject matter would have to make sense for in his case. It was different because there's Johnny cash the human being and the MS Johnny cash the mythical man in black and my goal. Was to make music that always fit the mythical man in black now if Johnny cash human being as well, that's fine. But it didn't have to it was more important that it was. This sort of looming cartoon figure of who he was that's that's sort of. I thought you were going to say the exact opposite. I thought you're going to say we have been joined by a dog. But I thought you're gonna say my goal was to make music that fit the the human the human. No, he had hit even done that along the way, not always so successfully. Yeah. And I think it really went back to like, I think of the great Johnny cash moments. I shot a man in me. No just to watch him die the sort of outlaw figure now. Johnny cash in real life. Never shot a man in Reno just watch him die. But the mythical man in black did, and we responded, so it was more that it was more like these sort of grueling heavy introspective or revelatory thoughts because in real life..