Archive for August, 2012

It’s always amazing to discover the places Hank Williams has traveled in the 60 years since his death.

Remember when he suddenly appeared and totally dominated one of the most watched television shows in history, the fundraiser for Haiti back in 2010? At that time, Dave Mathews and Neil Young  brought Hank’s powerful lyric on ‘Alone and Forsaken’ to a world-wide audience.

A few days  ago, I started getting a whole bunch of visitors on this blog from a website called Koptaku.com.

This is a major website for gamers,  people devoted to Video Gaming. Well these games are getting pretty elaborate and now cost about as much to make as real movies, and they even have soundtracks.

Here’s the news: Hank has appeared in this  new media on the soundtrack of ‘The Last Of Us’.

Now this humble little blog doesn’t get any recognition or support from the Hank Williams’ community or Hank Williams’ industry, but here’s a little surprise, if you combine the words Hank Williams with a lot of other topics, this anonymous little publication will land right up on the front page of your Google search. It so happens on my blog post on Haiti, I printed the lyrics to ‘Alone and Forsaken’. I guess these gamer blog writers Googled the Hank song, landed here,  and were kind enough to put a link to these little scribbles on their blog, and I started getting gamer visitors.

As you know, Hank Williams is on the soundtrack to ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ a major Hollywood feature film this year. This film is being talked about as a potential Oscar winner for Best Picture and other major awards.

Always something to look forward to with Hank, and as with the gamers, no shortage of surprises either.

Here’s the gamers site with details on Hank’s role in new media. This includes video.

And here’s my original article from 2010.

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The Pain

As we know Hank Williams suffered horrible pain after a Spinal Fusion surgery in December 1952.

Even today, Spinal Fusion surgery is very painful and the torture of indescribable pain very long lasting. Even with today’s powerful and complex pain medications people still suffer for weeks and months even years after surgery.

Hank Williams was urged to get back on stage about a month after his surgery.

I picked this You Tube video from a woman who had the same surgery as Hank, as she describes her condition 6 WEEKS after surgery. And we are talking 2010, not 1952.

Why was Hank forced to work so soon after surgery? Why was his pain ignored? Why do even modern biographers ignore Hank’s Spinal Fusion, and blame so called alcoholism and lack of character for Hank’s problems in the last year of his life?

A while back a wrote another post on this issue, one which is largely ignored by other Hank William’s commentators.

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The Hank Williams bio pic covering the last 3 days of his life has earned a positive review by Kerry Lengel in the Arizona Republic Newspaper.

Lengel sees right away that this not really a Hank Williams biography and has little to do with his music, but, as others have said as well, is more of a “gloomy buddy road trip flick”.

But Lengel sees a lot more positives than many other critics I have talked about on this blog.

He calls the movie starring Henry Thomas as Hank “a subtlety affecting character study”. He says, “Hank longs for a simple human connection”.

I liked this comment about Thomas who he says does not attempt to imitate Hank Williams physically, but does,  “immerse himself in the character he’s been given: old before his time, with a mean streak to match his ego and alienated from all humanity, including himself.”  Not everyone would agree with this gloomy depressing insight into Hank’s character and the pain of his short life here on earth, but there is an element of truth in it.

A final quote from the review continues this theme: ” ‘The Last Ride’ measures the distance between the myth and the man. And if that doesn’t make for the cheeriest of viewing experiences, it does offer an alternative to the easy sentimentality that powers the biopic formula.”

As far as we know the movie will open in a more general release, and is not yet available in DVD.

Here’s a link to the review.

And here’s a list of all my posts on this movie over the past several years!!

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