Sean was a fan of Johnny Cash … the man and the music. He admired the attitude – the cussed independence, the integrity, the insistence on standing up for the underdog. He admired the way that Cash faced the world head-on, played by his own rules and lived life to the full. And of course he loved Cash’s voice.
He was completely blown away by the ‘Hurt’ video – which features the infirm but dignified old man at the end of his life, and moments from his past – when he first saw it. He thought it was one of the most powerful things he’d ever watched. As I’ve mentioned before, he later played this song on the CD player for an American woman who visited us; she had never heard it before and it had a profound effect on her as it drew up material relating to her past.
We used to play a Cash compilation CD in the car. Sean always disliked ‘Jackson’, for some reason … tracks he especially liked included Cash’s cover of U2’s ‘One’, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ and ‘The Highwayman’ (with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings).
Typically, Sean found it pleasing that Cash and Bob Dylan were good friends and mutual fans, and had played music together … friendship was important to Sean, and he loved to see the people he liked enjoy it too. That was how Sean was. He was a sweet person.