Johnny Cash has always been larger than life.
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'Heaven's Gate' was based on a true story about the cattle people: the people who had the money turned on the settlers who were in the area. And it was mainly a defense of their behavior. And the cattlemen's association had just about declared war on these people who were poaching cattle, and because they were mainly immigrants.
I feel so lucky to have lived the life that I did and to be surrounded by the people I love. I've got eight kids, and they're always laughing all the time. It's like music to my ears. I think that my frame of mind these days is probably happier than I've ever been, which is kind of odd, coming close to the finish line.
I never was one to go into an office and write. For one thing, I had a job. I was cleaning the ashtrays and setting up the studios at Columbia for a couple of years and working every other week down in the Gulf of Mexico flying helicopters. I didn't really get to just write songs for about five years.
I was working the Gulf of Mexico on oil rigs, flying helicopters. I'd lost my family to my years of failing as a songwriter. All I had were bills, child support, and grief. And I was about to get fired for not letting 24 hours go between the throttle and the bottle. It looked like I'd trashed my act. But there was something liberating about it.