Talk:Townes Van Zandt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject United States / Texas (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Texas (marked as Low-importance).
WikiProject Dallas-Fort Worth (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Dallas-Fort Worth, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics related to the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex in northern Texas (USA) on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Biography / Musicians (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Musicians (marked as Low-importance).

Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Abebenjoe 21:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


Honestly, this whole article reads like something in the 'National Enquirer' - not up to snuff by Wikipedia standards. Too subjective, loaded with hyperbole. Has anyone checked the footnotes?

I don't see why his alcoholism should not be included. I think it is a very relevant part of the Townes van Zandt story. HE wrote songs about it.

This reads too much like a fan page. I'm going to clean it up unless I am provided with legitimate evidience as to why it currently complies with NPOV standards.

Clean up what you think needs cleaning. You don't have to wait for anybody to justify what is in the article. If somebody disagrees with your edits, they will change what they disagree with. This is wikipedia after all. Tiles 07:19, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I removed a few lines that appeared to be penned by a bitter record label, blaming TVZ for not promoting his own records and claiming that he led an entirely destructive life. If we're not going to mention the family and friends he loved and that loved him, we shouldn't focus only on the fact that he drank alcohol. A country singer with a substance abuse problem? As if this is unique. Let's keep the facts as objective as possible here.

No bitter record label... this was the first wiki-article I created (in amazement that it hadn't been yet), so the POV was a sign of greenness... and needed revision. Thanks to everyone for cleaning it up! I had actually put the stuff about not promoting himself much as a form of praise for him... I'm not sure why I put the stuff about alcoholism, a reflection of my state of mind at the time I guess (and justly removed)... But shall we remove the disclaimer of NPOV dispute now? It seems very good. PJV
I removed the NPOV dispute disclaimer and most of the hidden intro (the birth and death dates were not in question, I assume.) The article has changed significantly since the NPOV dispute was put in, and the passages in question above have been completely removed. If anything remains in the article that seems to violate NPOV, add the template back with an indication in this talk page of the passages in question. -PJV

In the entry I would be more clear about Towns' artistic emotion and creativity being inseparable from incredible binges of drinking and gambling (yes "self destructive", like Johnny Cash was). I assume this is what the american term "substance abuse" means? The fact he died (to my knowledge) because he was in hospital for minor <sic> treatment and was deneid alcohol sheds some light on the tragedy of his premature death. A tribute song "The Genius" on the album "Devil Of A Dream" (1998) was written & recorded by Robin and Linda Williams.(M.A.Edwards - not a registered user)

Would be interested to read about the alcoholism in the article. Seems relevant to his life and possibly death? Divad 16:19, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

"For the most part he performed for small but appreciative audiences in Texas bars." At the height of his career, Van Zandt was touring the country, playing for huge audiences numbering in the hundreds (or even thousands). He also lived much of his life in Nashville, so to say that he mostly just played in small Texas bars seems a bit misleading. Maybe that should be clarified to say "Early in his career...". Ideally, someone should add more biographical information about his life during the 80s and 90s. Kaldari 18:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Van Zandt's drug and alcohol use is absolutely relevant to this page, because these were incredibly strong influences on his life and music. There is a difference between using drugs to get a buzz (as many rock stars do) and using drugs to explore the mind (as I believe TVZ did). However, it would make sense to put this discussion in a section apart from his music. On that note, I read in "Blender" magazine that Van Zandt once had some of his teeth smashed out with a ballpeen hammer after "a bizarre glue-sniffing accident." I came to the Wiki page for more info on this incident. If other fans like me are interested in reading this kind of stuff, it absolutely belongs on TVZ's wiki page. However, these things shouldn't detract from the overall message about TVZ's incredible talent for singing and songwriting. So, does anyone have some info to add on the glue & hammer incident? --Greensheep 21:53, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Greensheep - Townes was huffing glue (strong stuff, used with model airplanes) and passed out. His mouth became covered with superglue, bonding his upper and lower teeth together, and the tube of superglue became glued to his teeth. He went to the ER and they had to whack the tube/upper teeth out. I believe this story is recounted in the documentary film "Be Here to Love Me". DFS (talk) 22:22, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

The biography just published and the DVD reflecting on his life have more information about his (severe) glue-sniffing habit. From what I recall (I am in the midst of writing up some psychological information about him), he was prone to putting glue on socks, stuffing them in his mouth, and inhaling until he passed out. There was even a picture of him with a sock in his mouth in his high school yearbook. According to Townes (interviewed on the DVD), he fell asleep with two tubes of (airplane glue/contact cement) in his mouth, gluing everything together. A doctor used the hammer to unstick the mess. I don't recall much about the inhalant abuse after the insulin shock treatment. With regards to drug usage, he was an alcoholic for 30+ years and a nearly-constant user (mainly abuser) of drugs until the last minute of his life. His drug use and abuse highly affected his career and personal relationships. I'll see if I can do some additional details soon with regards to the new information from the book. Minvaren 17:54, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The scope of his influence on current artists[edit]

I'd really like to see a section added at the end that details just what I put as the heading. His influence as a songwriter isn't covered well in the current article. I'm not qualified to make a definitive statment on the subject but would love to see something added. Both he and John Hyatt have had tremendous impact on the current AltCountry movement. ThanksLisapollison 13:01, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


Sometimes I think Wikipedians are too pedantic for their own good. Does the phrase "untimely death" really require a citation? Just asking, is all. Mohr Stoutbeard 19:51, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

The Van Zandts, Townes and "Little Steven"?[edit]

Was Townes related to "Little" Steven van Zandt or the van Zandt brothers from Lynyrd Skynyrd? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I don't know of any relation to those Van Zandts (Steven Van Zandt or Johnny Van Zant). Townes' ancestors are rather famous; Van Zandt County, Texas is named for his grandfather [sorry—third great-grandfather]. Another of his famous ancestors, John Charles Townes[1], is the one for whom Van Zandt and "Townes Hall" at the University of Texas School of Law is named.
Van Zandt's oldest son, J.T. Van Zandt[2] is a part time musician who looks and sounds a good bit like his father. The names of Townes' younger children Willy and Katie Belle appear in song titles on his No Deeper Blue album.
Also, Steve Earle's oldest, Justin Townes Earle[3] is also named after Van Zandt and has become a fine musician as well. Those are all the famous namesakes and relations that I know of. -MrFizyx 05:21, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
just took a brief look at Little Stevens wiki page and it says he was born Steven Lento so doubtful they're related —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


I think the last part of this, while cute,is unnecessarly judgemental and NPOV. It probably should be removed?

When he died his daughter told his wife, "Momma, daddy's fightin' with his heart," pretty much summing up his life. Dannygutters 20:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. In fact, I'd remove the whole quote unless you can find a source, and even then... -MrFizyx 20:43, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
PS you mean "not NPOV" ;) -MrFizyx 20:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I revised the quote and sourced it in the article. Minvaren 03:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

"groomed for Texas governorship"[edit]

"Van Zandt was being groomed for Texas governorship..." This sounds like complete hearsay to me. What does this statement mean, specifically? There is no reference to suggest that it is true. It seems a little premature to begin "grooming" someone for the governorship in his early twenties before even finishing college...becoming the governor of TX does require an election afterall. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I wouldn't take a position as to whether it was hearsay, but it is often observed that Joseph Kennedy (Sr) "groomed" his sons for the Presidency - definitely by their twenties. In a political context, grooming usually means that one receives the education and "all the right connections" to be prepared to run for the job in question. So, it is possible that Townes was being groomed in his twenties and not change the point that actual elections determine whether someone has been groomed enough. DavisGL (talk) 17:17, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Extensive covering[edit]

I'm not completely sure if this is relevant, but maybe a list of people of people who covered his songs should be included - an imcomplete list of covers can be found at [4]. Furthermore, I'd like to note that Danish indie/folk-band Rhonda Harris released an album called "Tell the World We Tried" in 2006, which consisted entirely of TVZ-songs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


I can't find references to the Meat Puppets or GG Allin performing Townes-penned songs anywhere on the net. GG has a lo-fi cover of "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones (Which Townes also covered) on one of his albums, but it has for more in common with the Stones version. Could someone please give an explanation for why these two artists are mentioned? BradSerious 16:37, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Townes van Zandt.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Townes van Zandt.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:12, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Pat Green[edit]

The article mentions that the bonus track on Pat Green's "Songs About Texas" album features guest vocals by Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson. I just plunked my copy into the CD player, and while there is clearly another singer on that track, it's definitely not either of those two. I have several albums from each of them and have seen both live several times, and the guest vocal on that track is clearly not either of them. If I get the time I'll dig out the CD case and see who it was, but in the meantime I'm erasing the part of the article that attributes the vocals to Jerry and Willie. Mpolansky (talk) 09:16, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


I am unfamiliar with the term "third-great-grandfather;" I am guessing it is meant as a sixth generation removal but isn't this normally expressed as "great-great-great-great-grandfather"? Or "sixth generation descendant"? DavisGL (talk) 12:17, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Townes Live in Amsterdam[edit]

This is a full lenght concert performance of Townes recorded in 91' and released I believe in 2005, I think it should be added to the video discography. Hammer of the Gods27 (talk) 04:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Citations format change?[edit]

I'd like to change the current citation format. The predominant style does not mention author, date, page(where applicable), or accessdate, and puts the name of the source first:

3. ^Onion AV Club article: "Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt review".

I'm asking because WP:CITEVAR says to. Templates like {{cite web}}, and others, simplify the construction of common citation formats, and tools like Reflinks automate the conversion of bare URLs to full citations from most sources. Bare URLs inevitably rot, as occurred with citation #7 to, now deadlinked. Without a title, date, author, or original publisher (or a quote in the body) it's frequently impossible to repair a dead bare URL. --Lexein (talk) 16:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)