Thursday, February 28, 2008

John Denver: genuine guy?

In response to my Where the name comes from and "Whispering Jesse" revisited posts, I have received several email messages from fans of John Denver. One asked, "Was John Denver really the all American guy that we all knew and loved?... Was he really just a nice, down to earth guy and did he have a temper?" Here is my reply:


John was a fairly genuine guy. You never had the impression that he was trying to be something he was not. He had his shortcomings like we all do. He could be moody and he had a fairly quick temper, which I really only saw once when he was frustrated that he couldn’t reach me on a Saturday when he was having computer problems. But he also had tremendous patience, as I experienced one afternoon when his daughter Jesse Belle was being fussy and making a mess.

As an aside, some jackass who claimed to be John’s computer consultant was quoted in an Aspen Daily News article a few years ago saying that he witnessed John angrily backing over his laptop computer in his driveway. That never happened. That guy never even met John. I contacted the author to tell him so.

John liked to have a good time, but who doesn’t? He went through a period in the early 1990s when he was frequenting Takah Sushi, a Japanese restaurant on the Hyman Avenue Mall in Aspen. My wife and I saw him there one night before he and I met and became friends. Anyway, he liked his sake and it caught up to him one night when he wrapped his Porsche around a tree in Starwood on his way home.

More than anything, I believe John was humbled by his good fortune. He was an extremely talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, but those things came so naturally to him that he didn’t think they were any big deal. Anyone who ever saw him perform knew that his songs came from his heart and that he was happy just to have the opportunity to share them with his audience. The overwhelming response he received from his audiences around the world was, I feel, genuinely gratifying to him.

Considering his situation, John was a good man who made a great positive impact on society. Would that any of us could do better.

Best wishes,


1 comment:

jrbuff said...

wonderful info about john. thought you might want to know about a book called john denver-the complete lyrics. it has all the lyrics and for many of the songs there are notes from john. the whispering jesse notes were in this book.
thanks for keeping john alive.