02 June 2010

Townes Van Zandt , "Dead Flowers" (Jagger/Richards)

I've always loved this song. I heard it first on The Stones' 1971 classic Sticky Fingers and learned it on guitar by playing along with the record. I loved the speeded-up version on 1995's Stripped. But then I spent a lot of time only hearing myself play it.

Cut to 2004. Out of nowhere, over a bowling game closing The Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski, I hear iconic songwriter Townes Van Zandt performing Dead Flowers to close the film's superb soundtrack. Though I love the Stones versions, Van Zandt brings a Texas soul authenticity and converts it from an almost-country song into a real one.

But great country songs don't get written by accident. It's a credit to Keith and Mick that Townes put his stamp of approval on this little number. As far as the sparse video above is concerned, just think of yourself listening to the song on a long road trip.

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