Good times come and they go, even a good man will break, he’ll let his troubles bury him whole even though he knows what’s at stake.” – Harlem River Blues
Justin Townes Earle is no stranger to substance abuse. Raised by his mother Carol Ann Hunter (the third of Daddy Steve Earle’s seven wives) in South Nashville followed in his daddy’s inclination toward narcotics at a young age and developed a self-proclaimed serious addiction by the tender age of 12.
According to Wikipedia (grains of salt all around) Earle followed his daddy’s other inclination and did a stint as a guitarist and keyboardist for his father’s touring band the Dukes, but due to poor performance from his drug use he was fired. I’m not sure where this was in his daddy’s own cycle of addiction, but being thrown out of Steve Earle’s band for drug use might have been quite a feat.
While on the road promoting his new release Harlem River Blues, Earle’s demons caught up with him. Last Thursday in Indianapolis Earle moved from an in-store performance LUNA Music Midtown (recorded by laundromatinee.com) to a sold-out show at the venue Radio Radio and things moved progressively from bad to worse as Earle got progressively drunker.
An onstage and offstage altercation leading to an alleged assault of Radio Radio’s daughter (who was running his merch booth), destruction of dressing-room property, and resisting arrest and a night in jail on charges of battery, public intoxication and resisting law enforcement. The sordid details are covered in more details at fellow music blogs Saving Country Music (where I first discovered the story) and My Old Kentucky Blog.
After being released from jail Earle tweeted of his release and took a shot at the venue “Oh and Radio Radio in Indy and all it’s staff can kiss my fucking ass! … leading to some back and forth with followers. Pointedly Earle was release from jail on the birthday of Hank Williams Sr.
Earle has suspended the remaining dates on his tour to enter rehab. I for one hope this is not merely a symbolic gesture and he gets the help he needs. I’m not going to sit here in judgment (when’s the last time you read a blogger claim THAT) of a man that is dealing with things I’ve never had to deal with. It appears he is taking responsibly and dealing with his issues like a man. that’s all anyone can ask of him.