Kris Kristofferson gigging @ Glasto

Kristofferson at Glasto

Kris Kristofferson played his first Glasto the day after his 81st birthday. The 53 minutes on stage started with the crowd singing Happy Birthday to him, and were crammed with everything that makes Kris so extremely likable. 

Kris Kristofferson Glasto Set List 

  • Shipwrecked in the Eighties
  • Darbys Castle
  • Me & Bobby Mcgee (with Margo Price)
  • Here Comes that Rainbow Again
  • Best of all Possible Worlds
  • Help me make it through the Night
  • Casey’s Last Ride
  • Broken Freedom Song
  • Loving her was easier (than anything I’ll ever do again)
  • Home – Roddy Hart
  • Jesus was a Capricorn
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down
  • (The) Silver Tongued Devil and I
  • For the Good Times
  • Why me – (with Margo Price)

Glastonbury Gig Commentary

Kris Kristofferson’s first words at Glasto, after a short curfuffle,  were a smiling, “I’m trying…” He then went straight into his first song, Shipwrecked in the Eighties. His voice was extra gravelly when he sang the line, throw me a rhyme or a reason to try to go on before blowing sad on his harmonica and then greeting the crowd with,

Hello, Glastonbury!

As the applause settles, he added, “I wish I knew where I was.”  

Backup

Kris was supported by two musicians throughout. Roddy Hart on his left & John Martin on his right. These are two well-known talents from Glasgow, and they have been linked to Kris for many years. Roddy Hart, especially. They looked like two wingmen framing their hero.

Kris Kristofferson has clearly got very used to the freedom of playing alone. He has said, on many occasions, that he likes playing solo. I guess it gives him the space to perform as he pleases without having to check that other musicians are on the same page and moving at the same speed. 

The Gig 

The first song behind him, Kris nodded and said “Ah, I guess we are right back at the beginning,” then launched straight into the next song, Darbys Castle. Help me make it through the Night followed. The mic crackled and he adjusted it without losing a beat, as he sang, before the beams were rotten. Further whistling from the mic through the lyrics soon became his sole obsession, and then it settled. The feedback made one last whistle during came back at one night to bring it down, but that was the last snag.

None of this detracted from the performance. Kris was as graceful as ever on stage. His old scuffed boots and now trademark black clothing were familiar and comforting. It felt like watching an old friend doing what he loves the most. I never saw the eagle necklace around his neck, either he wasn’t wearing it or it may have been under his T-shirt.

Kris Kristofferson and Margo Price

Kris addressed the crowd after Darby’s Castle. He acknowledged the applause by saying, “Thank you,” then,  “Well please welcome Margo Price.” More applause, and then a grin and “Well I have no idea what I am doing.” As he kissed Margo Price, he smiled cheekily and addressed the audience like he was enjoying a private joke. He teasingly said, “See what I get to do?” (Referring to that kiss)

Funny how a man of 81 can look like a naughty schoolboy.

Me and Bobby McGee followed in a duet with Ms. Price. Kris’ hair is quite long now and it blew around his face in the Glastonbury the breeze. Some mic feedback in the second verse.Margo joined in during second verse and chorus.  No “and Janis”, this time round, instead Margo sang La Di Da Di Dah (as Janis Joplin did.) Kris smiled and seemed to enjoy this. He got her to sing it “one more time.” Song done, Margo wished Kris a happy birthday before leaving the stage. Kris and Margo were comfortable together and obviously enjoyed a great rapport. The crowd responded appreciatively to the song and became quite vocal.

Ballads and Banter

Next came Johnny Cash’ favourite, Here Comes that Rainbow Again. Kris looked relaxed and owned the stage. After a quick “Thank you”, he went right into Best of all Possible Worlds. Although there wasn’t much in the way of stories and anecdotes, Kris did treat the audience to some adaptationsHe added, “big mistake.. ” and “I would have” after the line sold my soul for something cold and wet as that old cell. After everybody’s so concerned about my health he added wryly, “they were OBSESSED with it“. (A reference to his recent Lyme’s diagnosis, perhaps?) 

He ended Best of all Possible Worlds by saying, “I know I’m supposed to end this song but I really can’t remember how” and went straight into Help Me Make it Through the Night, to which he added his characteristic, “Help me Make it Through TONIGHT”

He ended Casey’s Last Ride with, “Well I can quit there,” followed by, “Thank you“, then “Somehow I have got wrong..  somebody put the wrong thing up on this…” Roddy walked over and they sorted out whatever the issue was, quickly and easily. Broken Freedom Song followed, then another “Thank you.” Loving Her was Easier came next, followed by a short chat between Kris and Roddy Hart that was inaudible but ended with Kris saying, “Man that’s hard to hear .. ” as he smiled at Roddy. It was clear they are friends.

Kris Kristofferson and Roddy Hart

Kris said, “Thank you. I’d like to introduce Roddy Hart and John Martin, my good friends from. Glasgow.” Applause followed. It is likely that the boys from Scotland had their own fans in the audience, too. Kris continued with, Well now, what key we in?” He consulted with Roddy who said, “I’ll take this song.”  Kris nodded and replied, “Good.

Roddy addressed the crowd with, “Hello Glastonbury. How are you? It’s a great honour to be with this man playing – 81 years old yesterday,”  The crowd applauded. Kris laughed and replied,”Thank you, brother.” The Glaswegian continued, “My name is Roddy Hart this man is John Martin here with me and we have played many shows with Kris Kristofferson over the years and he sang on one of our songs years ago.  He’s asked that we do it here today. I hope you don’t mind. We’re gonna do it here today and then get back to Kris Kristofferson. This is a song called Home“.

Roddy Hart is a talented songwriter, vocalist, performer and long time friend of Kris Kristofferson’s. Kris sang with Roddy on one of his very early albums, Bookmarks – Where he added his voice to the track Home. The performance at Glasto was as polished as it was poignant.

After the applause died down, Jesus was a Capricorn came next. Kris said, “Thank you,” to the crowd, then spoke to one man in it. “Do you know how much you look like Sam Peckinpah? I thought I saw Sam down there ringside.” He grinned wryly, then got right into Sunday Morning Coming Down. 

Johnny Depp and the Silver Tongued Devil

Kris was just into the song when Johnny Depp came out and joined him on stage for the song. The crowd went wild at this unexpected treat.

Roddy tweeted earlier…

 

As it ended, Kris asked, “Is that it?” then said, “I think that the end of it.  Well, I can’t think of what song I’m gonna do. What’d I just do?” – Then he grinned and said, “Hey! Welcome, Johnny Depp. Aw man,  what an honour to be on the same stage as you, Hoss!” 

The Silver Tongued Devil

Johnny Depp stayed on for the tune that I regard as Kris Kristofferson’s theme, the Silver Tongued Devil and I. He especially seemed to enjoy jamming with John Martin. Kris acknowledged Johnny Depp as he took a bow, then, “Is that the end of that song?” 

As Depp took his leave, Kris gestured towards him and said “My hero!” –  For the Good Times was next. 

Someone tweeted, “Kris makes every time a good time…”

Kris spotted the man from earlier in the crowd again. He couldn’t resist saying, one more time, “You look like Sam Peckinpah. Did anyone ever tell you that?”

Finale

Margo Price came back out and joined in for the last song of the session, Why Me. Kris Kristofferson said, “Thank you, Glastonbury“, then, “Thank you, brother” to the guys on the stage, and “Coming out” to the lads backstage. It ended with a final, “Thank you so much” to the fans.

PS

Thank YOU so much, Kris. For the love, the lessons, the learnings and the sheer joy and sense of belonging that you have added to the lives of so many of us. Listening to your work has helped us mourn, reminisce and laugh hysterically at ourselves. It has helped us to realise that despite our fears and the dark bits in our souls, that we do actually belong to the human race.

 

Before the #KrisKristofferson concert at the #Glastonbury2017… 😁 #JohnnyDepp pic.twitter.com/sYaWU0s1qK

— IFOD (@IfodOnelmstreet) June 26, 2017

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