Jon Bon Jovi – Young Guns II – “Blaze of Glory” Soundtrack – tiny curations
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- The Show Must Go On – Pink Floyd
- Miracle – Jon Bon Jovi
- Blood Money – Jon Bon Jovi
- Santa Fe – Jon Bon Jovi
- Dyin’ Ain’t Much of a Livin’ – Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi, the seminal arena rock band of the late 80’s and also the first concert I ever went to for a band that I was into. My mom took me and my sister in 1987 on their breakout Slippery When Wet Tour, with Cinderella in tow.
But just a few years later, at the turn of the decade in 1990, Jon Bon Jovi wrote an entire soundtrack and music inspired by “Young Guns II”.
Emilio Estevez, son of Martin Sheen and brother of Charlie Sheen, played William H. Bonney, “Billy the Kid” in the original Young Guns and then again in the sequel.
He asked his friend Jon Bon Jovi if he could use their power ballad, “Wanted Dead or Alive” for the new movie.
But instead Jon quickly penned “Blaze of Glory”, the song that we all know today, it was a number 1 hit that Summer and remains a classic to this day.
This week, the film and the soundtrack to “Young Guns II” turns 30 years old.
I was an impressionable 15 year old boy when it came out. Let’s celebrate both film and music together today.
That was another single off of the soundtrack, but just less known, that was “Miracle”.
I participated in a little civil disobedience this past Saturday. And speaking of my recent transgression, the last time I swam in the sacred waters of Barton Springs was after I walked in the Spirit World myself, earlier in the year.
All completely harmless, I promise. Nothing like you have been seeing on the news, but I may be seen in a few video clips if you look hard enough.
But could you imagine the lawlessness of the old West? In Billy’s time following the Civil War, in the 1880’s? In New Mexico, a territory no less? Well, that’s what 1988’s “Young Guns” is all about. Billy and the Regulators in the Lincoln County War.
The film ends with and epitaph of the demise of Billy the Kid by the hands of Pat Garrett at Old Fort Sumner in 1881, with the word “PALS” scrawled on his headstone.
“Young Guns II” is the continued story, but now expanded upon by Brushy Bill Roberts.
The real-life man who in 1950 appeared claiming to be the real legendary dead western outlaw William H. Bonney, Billy the Kid.
He proves to be able to escape from handcuffs and has all of the scars from The Kid’s gunshot wounds.
As old as he is, he even travels to the state of New Mexico for a meeting with the Governor.
He and his lawyer are wanting the full pardon that he had been promised by New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace in 1879, but which was subsequently withdrawn.
During the meeting he has a heart attack. He returns home and dies a couple weeks later in his adopted home of Hico, Texas in Hamilton County.
Where I have family to this day. And home to the old Koffee Kup Kafe. He is buried there and now has a new and improved headstone and even a statue downtown.
This is “Blood Money”.
There have been plenty of movies made about the life of Billy the Kid. But one that is another favorite of mine is 1973’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid”.
It is Sam Peckinpahâ€™s last Western. Peckinpah reinvented the Westerns with “The Wild Bunch” and many more.
And his movies were ultra-violent and with slowed down death scenes, earning him the nickname, “Bloody Sam”.
Peckinpah was a renowned character on and offset and this film really went off the rails during production, similar to Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” type of onset drama and craziness, as seen in the “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” both featuring the elder Estevez, named Martin Sheen.
“Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” is film about the outlaw-turned-Sheriff Pat Garrett, played by James Coburn.
And Kris Kristofferson as “Billy the Kid”. Billy’s gang of rebels is filled out by Kristoffersonâ€™s touring band, including Stephen Bruton and Kris’s wife Rita Coolidge.
Not only that, but it also features Bob Dylan. That is also another parallel with “Young Guns II” as Bob Dylan recorded the soundtrack for this film as well.
Many of those early Dylan sessions have been released as bootlegs and most feature Kristofferson’s band, along with Bruton.
One of the spontaneous songs that came out of those Burbank sessions was “Rock Me Mama”, but it wasn’t included on the album. Many years later, the Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show would
revisit unreleased outtakes from this era and rework them. One of those being “Wagon Wheel”, if you haven’t heard their great version, then you have surely heard Hootie’s Darius Rucker’s.
One of the songs that did make it to the film and soundtrack is also playing during the best scene in the film.
Slim Picken’s, the actor that was in countless Westerns, his character is shot and walks off to the river Pecos at dusk to die, with his loving wife keeping her distance.
You know that one, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by GNR. This is a Bon Jovi episode, did you think I would really play the Dylan version?
This next song “Santa Fe”, if you are ever there, get a burrito either Green or Red chili. Or both, make it a Christmas-style.
The novelist Nick Hornby from which both “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy” films were derived. Both also quoted and attributed the “No Man is an Island” to JBJ from this very song.
As heard from the Christmas movie “About a Boy” and then on with the song.
And you are ever on your way back to Central Texas from the beautiful town of Santa Fe, please do your self a favor and stop at Waymore’s Liquor Store on Waylon Jennings Blvd in downtown Littlefield, TX. Don’t blink or you will miss it.
This past Winter, we took the family on a road trip to Angel Fire Resort for the best snow in neighboring New Mexico and we stopped there on the way back.
And here is my own son, Garrett, say “hi” Garrett.
This is the only museum dedicated to Waylon Jennings. It is housed in the back of a liquor store and ran an owned by his youngest brother James in their hometown of Littlefield.
He loves meeting people and taking you all round the museum and sharing stories and songs, it is worth the trip, even if it is out of the way.
The “Blaze of Glory” album is a real gem. Bon Jovi had two massive back to back albums. Then he does his first solo album without any members of Bon Jovi.
And instead has an all-star band and guests. Included Jeff Beck on guitar and some guy named Randy Jackson on bass, and a cast of guest appearances like Little Richard, RIP, just this past May and whom my cousin and I around this same period got to meet backstage at Austin Aqua Fest.
And then there is even Elton John on piano, as you will hear in this next song, “Dyin’ Ain’t Much of a Livin'”.
Believe or don’t believe, but it is possible that Pat Garrett let his friend slip away that night and make it to Old Mexico.
Thanks for listening.