20 Years with Townes Van Zandt

by Harold F. Eggers, Jr.

Townes, the ramblin' and gamblin' troubadour that made the highways of the world his home, seldom had time to look back, consumed by his next gig and the adventures that lay before him. I traveled and worked with Townes over a 20 year span, initially zig-zagging across North American hundreds of times ... then doing the same throughout Europe, The United Kingdom, Ireland and Scandanavia. The adventures became even more wild as the years flew by.

I started out as his road manager to become later his manager and business partner in his live recordings. Our office was in the cars, trains and planes as we raced from one gig to the next. I oftern felt like I was traveling with Hank Williams, Van Gogh, Kerouac, Edgar Allen Poe and Hemingway, all in one: watching and listening to Townes weave the magic of his soul in intense and diversified performances he gave each night. Over the many years we traveled together, Townes would talk endlessly of his life and music, giving me a deep, loving, personal understanding and insight to my beloved friend.

The Townes Van Zandt overseas tour of 1994 was 38 shows in a row throughout Europe, including The U.K. and Norway: a different city each day, like we were moving at the speed of light. Townes' spirit was soaring; he was doing what he loved best, performing to a new audience each night, and travelling at the quickest speed posible. Townes' London show was the crown jewel of this tour. The two hour performance was spellbinding. You could hear a pin drop in the massive cathedral from the begninning to the final encore. Townes touched hearts and souls that night. On this remarkable recording, you can feel and hear the masterweaving his personal stories, jokes, lyrics, ad music. I have no doubt Townes left a part of himself that night in London, and now the rest of the world can hear the thunder of Townes and his music as it was that magical evening.