Me & my Blog About me, & Kris Kristofferson

About me, & Kris Kristofferson

I am a kid of the “Baby Boom”.  I was born in West London, my parents were both in the first batch of children that were born in England,  If it wasn’t for either family drama, work prospects or the war my Dad would have been Irish, my Mum would have been a Scot. Me?  Well, I guess I would probably still have manifested along with the other post war offspring somehow. As it is I have been a stranger in a strange world since birth.

My Irish grandparents both died in wartime London.  My Dad was raised by kin who became his nuclear family, but despite growing up in London he did once tell me (over a brandy) that if he ever had a real problem he would confide either in a Catholic priest, or a prostitute.

My Mum’s parents lived in London, and I spent more time at their house than anywhere else.  They sang, let me watch tv until late, told great stories and showered me with their love, attention and peculiar ways.  All this changed when I was nine.  We moved to South Africa, and my days of being a Gran’s brat were over.  I was an older sister, then a few years later I was the eldest of four children.  Oh for those idyllic days of living as an only child….

My family moved – A lot.  Most immigrant families did.  I am never sure what to say when someone asks what primary school I attended, there were nine in total.  At times I almost missed the desperate tone in my Grandparent’s voice when they used to jab me and ask, “MUST you sound so bloody ENGLISH?”  The sentiment was the same- minus the love- in my new world. Many locals believed all of us Whities should speak Afrikaans.

Durban was in the most English-speaking of the provinces though, so it wasn’t as big an “Aw…” as it sounds.  I have since come to love the Afrikaans language, while remaining annoyingly & embarrassingly less than fluent.

I got hooked on Kristofferson after listening to an LP record that I bought for my Dad back in the 70’s.  In those days, our music was Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper.  Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Rodriquez were popular in South Africa, partly I guess because we were isolated by sanctions, and partly because the material resonated with our bush war.  It also went well with getting stoned.

There was a certain romance in thinking of our boys in brown, all of seventeen and far away, chilling and listening to music of an evening somewhere under a setting sun, dreaming of us girls.

Looking back now, they were strange times, but then it was just daily life.  The Apartheid era relied on the police having extended powers to keep peace in the ‘burbs, but we heard stories despite censorship. The times and the country’s love of country/folk music probably had a lot to do with Kristofferson’s music being listened to all over southern Africa.

The lyrics helped young adults make sense of the world they were in as circumstances were pretty similar to the era in America that inspired the songs.  The South African/Angolan & Rhodesian bush wars certainly impacted society like the Vietnam War had done abroad.  Our wars were just a lot closer to home, & a lot easier for the world to forget.

Young people could easily relate to songs about police brutality, the brotherhood of soldiers, the futility of war and the desperation of poverty and addiction.

Recently we learnt that Sixto Rodriquez never knew he was famous in South Africa.  I wonder if Kris Kristofferson will ever know the reach his work had during the same era.  I sent him a letter explaining some of these things during one of his UK tours a few years ago, in Glasgow.  There was no opportunity to get an autograph, but I did give  the supporting act singer some DVDs and the letter on the understanding that I might not get them back.  I was delighted when they were returned to me, signed, a few days later at a gig in Edinburgh.  Did Kris read my 5 page letter?  I believe he did, & might explain why in another post.

Kris did eventually gig in Cape Town not too long ago, maybe he does have an inkling of how much his music meant to so many. Young people who could often only source music on tapes that were copied from other tapes as imports got trickier as sanctions bit.  Nearly everyone I know had a copy of his first album, or at least some tracks from it on their home-made TDK compilation tapes.

The marriage of Apartheid era fans to the music of a man who personifies left-wing, freedom politics is truly ironic. There again, life can be strange.

This blog has been a long time coming.  Anyone familiar with Kris Kristofferson’s music will know that it has evolved like we have with the years.  Long may he strum xXx

© kriskristoffersonfan.com, unless otherwise stated

9 Responses

  1. Ed Fell says:

    Watching that 1992 Sinead O’Conner Madison Square Garden concert and Mr. Kristofferson’s protector of this singer/warrior was one of the most moving moments of all TV in my life. The imprint of those courageous moments have guided and inspired me in my personal and professional life. In this end of President Obama’s legacy, my hope is that Mr. Pelltier’s cause for pardon will be heard and that his freedom can be manifested. I’m wondering if Mr. Kristofferson is active in this movement and how can I help. For most of my professional life, I’ve been a psychotherapist and lately I’ve come to believe that the world is under a virus that has made us all insane. The global psychosis is overwhelming and so many are seemingly unconcerned or aware of the magnitude of our global suicidal directions. I live on Maui and have many friends throughout the world who are also seeing clearly what is going on and are truth tellers like Sinead. I’ve wondered if Mr. Krisofferson has more to say or write about our present and future. Thanks Kris for all you have stood for.

    • kriskris says:

      Hi Ed, thank you for your kind note which I will pass on to Kris Kristofferson’s manager. I know that she too is busy with projects and I cannot promise anything, but am sure she will do her best. On my side, I will keep an eye for any updates and post anything I find right here. Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Apologies for my late reply, I have been a bit under the weather but feeling stronger by the day 🙂 I agree that the world seems to be insane but am delighted that there are people like yourself who have noticed this too. Great to hear from you.

  2. Kay Jordan says:

    I am purchasing two tickets to the Colorado concert in October and would like to at least meet Kris Kristofferson and let him know we have a close mutual friend in San Antonio, TX who is a hand surgeon.

    I was planning to surprise my husband for his birthday by taking him to the Kris Kris concert, hoping to at least be able to shake his hand and tell him how much we have enjoyed his music and movies through the years.

    I was willing to purchase VIP tickets so we could say hello but there are no VIP packages for purchase.

    Can you help me know how we might be able to say “hello”?

    Thank you, LKJ

    • kriskris says:

      Hi Kay. I am sorry that there aren’t any VIP packages, & I can’t put you in touch with anyone that can set up a meeting opportunity. More often than not, Kris travels without too much fuss and with just a small group, so opportunities often depend on how he feels on the evening. Sometimes his hands do take strain because a solo gig can be quite demanding, & he sometimes says as much when asked for an autograph. Let us know how it goes? Thanks for the note, & best of luck with the concert. Regards, Donna

  3. Boris says:

    Going to see Kris Kristofferson live this Wednesday here in Belgium! Love his music and hope to meet him before the concert 🙂

    • kriskris says:

      Brilliant news. You will surely have a lovely time. Please let us know how it goes? No UK dates this year yet other than Glastonbury 🙁
      Cheers,
      Donna

  4. Boris says:

    I’m only 16 years old and I live in Belgium but love Kris Kristofferson his music and many other good music. But Kristofferson is my favorite of all time. He will play here in Belgium on Wednesday. Really hope to meet him just to tell him that he’s still inspiring some of the youth today 🙂 Thanks for everything Kris Kristofferson 🙂

  1. August 4, 2015

    […] Me & my Blog […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *