When I die don’t bury me
In a box in a cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
And I could be pushin’ up homegrown tomatoes
Ultimately Guy turned out to be my favorite out of all those Texas songwriters. Never the most prolific, he viewed writing songs as a craft more similar than not to building the flamenco guitars he worked on. Maybe 15 albums total, which isn’t that much when you start recording in 1975. Every 2 or 3 years he’d send out another one, each one with gems.
Maybe most of all I appreciated how Guy’s songs celebrated everyday life. Food, friends, stuff that works. It’s rare to find an artist who explores domestic life through a distinctly masculine perspective, and Guy was one of the few. He celebrated the good times and mourned the bad.
There are lots of songs about Mama, but not so many about Dad. Dad songs tend to be like “A Boy Named Sue”, where it’s really all about Daddy issues cause Daddy was awful. But songs like “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” or “Randall Knife” celebrate meaningful intergenerational relationships, the mentoring of a young man and the appreciation for that role model. It’s deep stuff, and overlooked in today’s world.
Women he loved & lost. Of course his relationship with Susanna became somewhat legendary in Americana circles. And he dutifully wrote songs like “My Favorite Picture of You”.
For lighter fare, there was always room for songs like “Texas Cooking” or “Homegrown Tomatoes”. Three minute celebrations of the joys of everyday life. (And the humid sounds of those early records also brings comparisons to Jerry Jeff Walker and even Jimmy Buffett to mind).
Last but not least, for everyone who’s ever hated Los Angeles, there’s always “LA Freeway”, maybe the ultimate get me out of here song.