John Prine dead at 73

John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday working people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 73. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone.

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23 Responses to John Prine dead at 73

  1. Oregon Rambler says:

    This sucks.

  2. Harold Foster says:

    I really like John Prine. “The Great Compromise” is one of my favorite songs of all time…. I hated to hear he was sick, and sad that he has died. Like so many, we have lost another great musician.

  3. Wayne K Wilson says:

    Rest in Peace.

  4. Reg says:

    Quite sad, of course. But, John had MULTIPLE health issues dating back to the 1990s.

    Wikipedia states: In early 1998, Prine was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck. He had major surgery to remove a substantial amount of diseased tissue, followed by six weeks of radiation therapy. The surgery removed a piece of his neck and severed a few nerves in his tongue, while the radiation damaged some salivary glands. A year of recuperation and speech therapy was necessary before he could perform again.The operation altered his vocals, and added a gravelly tone to his voice.

    In 2013, Prine underwent surgery to remove cancer in his left lung. After the surgery, a physical therapist put him through an unusual workout to build stamina: Prine was required to run up and down his house stairs, grab his guitar while still out of breath and sing two songs. Six months later, he was touring again.

    Honestly, I am surprised that he was still alive.

  5. John Deaux says:

    Rest in peace, condolences to all

  6. waitingForTheStorm says:

    Paradise has always been one of my favorites.

  7. joe says:

    Damn shame. Why couldn’t it have been pelosi?

  8. EndOfPatience says:

    I was lucky enough to hear him live at The Emporium in Atlanta in the early 1970s. Been a fan ever since.

    I’ll miss him, but at least he had a good run.

  9. Chris Mallory says:

    Paradise was always a standard around our house growing up. Mom was from Greenville and Dad was from Penrod. The first Mallory got to Mulenburg County back in 1812. A few of them still live there. Mom’s dad was a miner. He started at the mines at the age of 13. He had to drop out of school at the age of 9 to take care of his younger siblings after his mother died. He worked both below ground and strip mines. He could fix anything with a motor, but he couldn’t read or write past signing his name. After he died, we found some old pay stubs from back in the 1970’s. On a UMWA contract he was making about $3.50 an hour. He built his own house and always paid cash when he would buy a truck.

    Reading some of the articles on Prine’s death, they called Paradise a “protest song”. But for me and my family, it was life. I have been to all the places named in the song. I hunted with Papaw in reclaimed strip pits. His house was about 300 yards from a working strip mine and his wasn’t the closest house to the mine.
    For us Paradise was always about going home again or the inability to do so.

  10. Cavguy says:

    Great musician.

    Bad politics. Mostly surrounded by progressive liberals.

    He will live on forever in his recordings and videos.

    No more pain John, welcome home.

  11. Donnie says:

    Had tickets to take Dad and Brother to see him in Louisville in May. Sorry for his family first. This sucks.

  12. ABE says:

    This afternoon I’m gonna have a very private FUCK YOU WUHAN party on my porch. I’ll drink some hazy IPAs and listen to my four John Prine albums.

    Cool guy…

  13. TwoDogs says:

    Sad. I’ve played some of his songs for going on 50 years now. Don’t know that I’ll be able to for a while without getting choked up.

  14. nwoldude says:

    Sam Stone was my favorite followed closely by Paradise. Gave all my record albums to a friend long ago but I am sure the hay bales one shown above was my first exposure to John Prine. RIP brother!!

  15. Canonfoder says:

    I was raised in Chicago(60’s-70’s) and have listened to his music since then. Finally got to see him live about 5 years ago at Spreckle’s theater in San Diego. If you were on his mailing list you got first pick on tickets for his shows. Got front row tix. It was as wonderful as I expected. He will be missed. Standing by peaceful waters. RIP John

  16. drjim says:

    Very sad to hear. I saw him many times when I lived in Illinois, and he put on a great show.

    RIP, John.

  17. PoppaGary says:

    I was introduced to John Prine sometime in the mid-70’s by my best friend’s father (my 2nd family) who was into a variety of genres, mostly folk and blues…he loved ol’ timey music.

    I did not realize for a long time that the many of the songs I heard him and so many others sing were actually penned by his hand. They just seemed like they had always been there.

    Loved his music and stories, but, ya, not his politics.
    (Seems quite a few creative people lean that way.)

  18. alfie195671 says:

    Death sucks.

  19. CCW says:

    John Prine and Iris DeMent – In Spite of Ourselves

  20. AmazingAZ says:

    I’ve been playing “Crazy As a Loon” for years. The highlight was around a campfire in Lyons, CO at a Song School there. Ended up with mandolin, flute, banjo & even cello playing along. What a rush! Saw him play a couple of times. RIP John Prine. Makes me sad…

  21. Titan Mk6B says:

    Like PoppaGary I was introduced to him in the mid-70s and was an instant fan. Learned how to play many of his songs and spent a lot of time with friends doing just that.

    Got to see him and Iris in a show in Eureka Springs, AR once and it was magical.

    My favorite is “Hello in There”. How a guy so young (at the time) could write about old folks always astounded me.

    My favorite story about him is about “Paradise” Bill Monroe told him that he thought it was a song from the 20’s that he had missed.

  22. Doonhamer says:

    Sad news.
    He was loved this side of the Pond.
    Thanks for telling.

  23. Muzzle Blast says:

    Sad news, the man’s haunting lyrics have been with me since I was first introduced to his work in the way back college years in the 70s. From Bruised Orange (Chains of Sorrow), the following has been a big influence on my philosophy of life:

    You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
    throw your hands in the air, say “What does it matter?”
    but it don’t do no good to get angry,
    so help me I know

    For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
    You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
    wrapped up in a trap of your very own
    chain of sorrow.

    The short version is “Let it go…”

    RIP John

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