Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Is Steve Earle America's greatest living songwriter?

Interview by Robert Chalmers

He's survived seven wives, 50 arrests and a monstrous drugs habit. He's lambasted the War on Terror and infuriated the political establishment at every turn. Meantime, his music just gets better and better, as his long-awaited new album proves.

It was early one morning, in the lobby of a Stockholm hotel, Steve Earle recalls, that he told Elvis Costello how he was planning to spend the next 24 hours. "Costello listened to me," Earle says, "and told me I was f'n crazy. He has known me a long time; I believe he was genuinely concerned for my safety." Also present at this meeting was Bobby Muller - the President of Veterans of America, and co-founder of the Nobel prize-winning charity International Campaign To Ban Landmines, in whose support both musicians had been performing the previous evening.
"I regard Bobby," Earle says, "as the most brilliant activist of modern times."

"And what did he say?"

"He told me I was f'n crazy too."

Read the entire interview in the Belfast Telegraph.

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