Posts Tagged ‘Jon Hensley’

Not Really Enough, Is It?

July 17th, 2015


Here is a video of me performing “The Concept Of You”. It is a song I wrote and composed. Julie Roberts will record it for her next album and Shooter Jennings will produce it. This would not have happened if not for Jon Hensley, who died in his sleep away June 1st.


In that video I am wearing a scarf that Jon gave me. It is a scarf that went with his Manuel suit. After he died, his family looked in vain for it until they learned I had it. It was a gift from him to me but I returned it to them on the night this video was recorded, July 4th. They hosted a memorial tribute concert for Jon at the Merle Travis Center in Muhlenberg County. I wore it onstage, performed a short set then left it on the mic stand. It was a dash of showbiz on a very heartfelt, difficult night.


Incidentally, today the cause of Jon’s death has been released by the Bowling Green Police Department. Asphyxiation in his sleep from choking on food. No illegal drugs were found in his system. I should repeat that for the benefit of the haters: NO ILLEGAL DRUGS WERE FOUND IN HIS SYSTEM. He did not overdose on cocaine as has been suggested by at least one website and comments in Youtube videos and in Topix forums. For anyone who ever suggested he did, may your turds come to life and kiss you on the mouth. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.


This doesn’t exactly make anyone feel better. Certainly not his parents, his sister or girlfriend. He’s still gone. He’s not coming back. It’s vindication when vindication should not have been necessary. The truth does not make his loved one miss him less.


I don’t want to end on a down note. Jon Hensley lived a couple of lifetimes in thirty-one short years. He stomped on the terra and he made many friends and defended them vigorously. He championed the little man and threw his support behind those who needed a second, third, five-hundredth chance in life or in music. He was a genuine badass and he had style. He was creative and fast-thinking. He was a man who had fifty best friends. I can say I was one of them, proudly.

#700, A Eulogy, A Love Letter

June 17th, 2015

This is the seven-hundredth post on the Kentucky Prophet website.


I have not been in a writing mode lately so I will take the time to share and link to Young Mary’s Record and the eulogy she wrote for her late boyfriend, Colonel Jon Hensley, which she read aloud at his funeral. It is funny, sad, touching and long-running like any goodbye worth bidding. No one knew him better over these last few years. Jon and Mary barely had two years together but they were closer than any couple I know. Tracy and Hepburn? Captain and Tennille? Jordan and Pippen? Amateurs, compared to Jon and Mary.


A few snippets from Mary’s eulogy, which you should read in full.


. . . he’d already been off the phone and heard me inside talking to the landlord and he knew just how my voice raised when I was happy and which one of my comments were genuine and which ones were fodder and he hadn’t even needed to come to the doorway.  “I can always read you,”  he told me.


The thing about Jon is – if he knew I had such an audience – he’d want me to have spent none of this time talking about him.  He’d have wanted me to tell you about how his mother and sister are the most beautiful and his daddy was the strongest.  He’d have wanted me to tell you about his Shooter Jennings and about how he is the most fearless  talented musician and the most loyal friend – He’d have wanted me to tell you about his Wanda Jackson – the first female to ever record rock n roll – the apple of his eye.  He would’ve wanted me to tell you that in 1980, Merle Haggard became the only non-jazz musician to be on the cover of DownBeat Jazz Magazine.   And how Dwight Yoakam is a revolutionary.  And how Marcy Playground Sex and Candy is the best pop song.  And how Bob Dylan did not suck on Letterman and if you thought so, you just don’t get it.


I laughed yesterday here in this funeral home and I saw a woman look at me, confused.  I could almost read her expression – wasn’t that the 30 year old widow? I worried immediately.  Like every other time, I’d found myself uncomfortable in social world, I immediately wished for Jon.