It was two years ago today that the NYPD, prompted by a phone call from a neighbor, arrived at Paul Nelson's Upper East Side apartment and discovered his body.
In honor of Paul, the quietest of Americans—and in observance of the Fourth of July—today would be a good day to go back and read his brilliant review of Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger. Like the 1975 album about which he was writing, Paul's piece addressed the "mythic American hero," a subject that he returned to again and again: "the cowboy/desperado, the gangster/detective, the movie star/rock & roller—whose lifestyles generally suggest either early and unnatural death or obsolescence."
Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.