Johnny Cash was a private man, but now, his son, John Carter Cash is shedding light on the singer. In Reddit Ask Me Anything chat, Cash not only told stories about his famous father, but also, how he felt about the movie "Walk the Line," and his father's predilections.
|In all honesty, what did you think of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of your parents in "Walk the Line"?|
Reese and Joaquin gave full-hearted performances as dedicated actors. Reese, in particular, talked to family members and truly studied my mother. Joaquin also took on the amazing task of learning to play guitar and sing for this role. This typically takes years. It's amazing that he pulled it off and did so well.
|What is something "Walk the Line" didn't portray, that it should have? Maybe a specific story, or a specific quality about your parents?|
My father was a scholar. Not many people know this. He had ancient biblical texts within his library, including the works of Josephus. These were hand-annotated and rigorously studied. My father was also a man of laughter. He was wise. The depth of his character is not something that can be correctly related by any actor, or in any film, in two hours. "Walk the Line" does one thing beautifully: It tells a great love story.
|[Cash's first wife] Vivian [Liberto] passed away in 2005, but I am curious about the relationship growing up. The difference between the way the movie portrayed it and Johnny's own words in his memoir surprised me. He treats her with such respect in his memoir.|
Vivian is passed away. Yes I am very close with my sisters on my mother's and father's side. I was taught there is no such thing as half-sisters. I still talk to Rosanne regularly, and Carlene, all of 'em.
|What's the best advice your father gave you?|
The best advice my father gave me was not something he said. Or instructed. It was the way he lived his life. Towards the end of his life, my father was struggling and in pain, going blind, and sickness was taking over his body. Still he endured, and not only that, he excelled. And created some of the most beautiful recorded material he ever did for the American Recordings series.
|How do you feel about ostriches knowing that one almost killed your father?|
|So what is your most memorable story from growing up?|
I was on a fishing trip floating the Tikchik River in Alaska, with my parents at the age of 13. It was a wilderness float, 5 days. Camping out every night. It never got dark. Typically each evening, there would be a brown bear watching us from across the river. One day I was standing on a gravel bar, fishing, and fell in the water. The water rushed into my waders, and I began to sink. The guide grabbed me by the shoulders and forcefully pulled me out of the frigid water. Glad I made it through that one.
|Did you find Walk Hard, The Dewey Cox Story entertaining?|
Yes. My dad would have laughed also. I was mad when I heard about it, and then I saw it, and I thought it was great.
|Your father's collaborations with Bob Dylan on songs like Girl From The North Country are some of my favorite songs. The two of them both seem legitimately happy in photos and videos that they appear in together, which is something of a rarity for Bob. Do you have any knowledge of their relationship and whether they stayed in contact through the years?|
My father told me he met Bob Dylan in a New York City hotel room in the early 1960's. They had corresponded, writing letters back and forth, dad said that when he met Bob that Dylan rushed into his room, jumped on the bed, and began bouncing up and down chanting I met Johnny Cash, I met Johnny Cash. They had a dear friendship. And although they didn't spend a lot of time together in the last part of my dad's life, they never ceased being friends.
|What were your parents favorite books and movies?|
My father's favorite book was the bible. He truly loved Russell Crowe in "Gladiator." He really did. I met Russell Crowe last night and told him that. And in the latter part of his life, his favorite book was Gary Jenning's "Aztec." He also loved Og Mandino's "Greatest Salesman in the World," and Khalil Gibran's The "Prophet."
|How did being the son of a very famous person impact how other people viewed you? Did you have normal friendships, relationships, etc. If you didn't, did you realize you weren't like the other kids, or was it explained to you?|
My parents were good, down to earth people. They weren't haughty or puffed up. Just good hearted, from very American soil. No matter where they went, they were the same. Whether with the president or the grocery store clerk. This made it a lot easier living in the shadow of their celebrity.
|Can you tell us of a quirk your father had? e.g. "He would wake up every morning and 'first do this'" or "He liked his pancakes such and such way."|
My father liked crunchy peanut butter. Fried catfish. And deep-fried chicken skin.
|What concerts did your father take you to without his own music? Which was his/your favorite? Thanks!|
My dad got me backstage to Ozzy Osbourne in 1982. He was super cool for doing that. I even got to meet Ozzy.