Springsteen, Raitt Pay Tribute to John Prine, ‘A National Treasure’

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John Prine (Photo: Danny Clinch; used with permission)

John Prine is being mourned by fellow musicians and by some of the world-class venues whose stages he graced during his remarkable career. The singer-songwriter died Tuesday (April 7) from complications due to the Covid-19 virus. He was 73.

Bruce Springsteen called Prine “a national treasure.” “One of the great ones,” wrote Stephen King. “So many memorable songs.”

“My heart hurts,” wrote Sheryl Crow.

From James Taylor:

“I spent the past two years touring with Bonnie Raitt. She changed her set pretty much every night but, often as not, her half of our concert included John Prine’s beautiful song, ‘Angel From Montgomery’. I know tonight that Bonnie is mourning the loss of one of our generation’s greatest singer/songwriters. John was taken from us by Covid19. For me, losing him makes this pandemic personal because John Prine was a hero of mine. ‘Christmas in Prison’, ‘Dear Abby’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Hello in There’…

“Prine was one of those artists that really didn’t translate into the Pop Culture, attempts to explain or promote him were clearly painful to him: he wasn’t evasive or mysterious, he was just embarrassed. The genuine article. There goes a good one…”


From longtime Los Angeles Times music writer Robert Hilburn

From Melissa Etheridge: “Such a special man and songwriter. Thinking of his family. He will be so missed by the whole songwriting community.”

From Arlo Guthrie: “I’ve been sitting here for about an hour trying to write something about my friend, John Prine. Words don’t come easily especially when you’re talking about someone who was so good with words. Regular everyday words about everyday things came from him in a way that just doesn’t happen very often.

“My buddy Pete Seeger used to say ‘Anyone can make a song complicated. It takes a real genius to keep it simple.’ John Prine was that kind of genius.

“With a twinkle in his eyes, and a few kind words and observations, John was one of the good guys.”

From Jimmy Webb: “It’s all just too much. John Prine was one of our best songwriter storytellers.”

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