Justin Townes Earle Tribute: Steve Earle Discusses His Son Justin Townes Earle
(Justin Townes Earle died Sunday, August 24th, 2020, I will be re-poosting
Steve Earle was my fave country boy for a decade and his son Justin Townes Earle, had one of the great first albums (and crap sophomore effort) known to man.
I used to see Steve whenever he played in town (which was all the time) and though I’ve only seen Justin once, it was at Joe’s Pub so that counts as four times!
Steve’s struggles with heroin are legend and Justin has had problems of his own which ended with a cancelled tour and a stop at rehab.
Here Earle discusses his son with the country music website “The Boot”:
How’s Justin doing?
He’s fine. He’s on tour right now halfway between here and [the west coast]. I wish he could come see his brother more but he is doing what I was doing — he has a record out and things are going pretty well and he’s touring. That’s what he should be doing.
I’ve read people say, and certainly Justin say, how terrific it is that you got him into rehab.
It’s best not to talk about that. The way I stay sober, I don’t mind saying, is a 12-step program. Justin’s program is his program. I didn’t get into rehab, and I can’t get Justin into rehab. Justin had to get himself into the program. It’s just one of those things that it’s the only way that works. I have been sober 16 years and I’ve been sober a lot longer than I was publicly f—ed up. ‘Guitar Town’ came out in 1986 and by late 1991, I was homeless. That is literally less than five years. I didn’t make a record for four years. I started making records in 1994 and actually releasing them in 1995. I have been sober ever since. I’ve made a lot more records and played a lot more shows, and wrote a lot more songs than I ever did when I was a practicing addict. And we’re still talking about it. Justin has his own thing he has to go through. He’s fine right now.
As you look at [your almost 1-year old son] John Henry, though, you must think about how you’d like to protect him from, well everything, but certainly addictions.
Trust me, my plan for Justin was not to have him become an addict. It’s not like he doesn’t remember me being f—ed up, but he has a lot more memories of me being sober. He inherited the disease from me. I inherited it from my family. I’m not the first addict in my family. I hope John Henry never has to go through it. I can’t guarantee that. I can’t make the choices for him. He has to make them for himself. I promise you that I did not become an addict because of anything to do with the behavior of either of my parents. Everybody has to make their own choices.