Lyle Lovett, Nashville 1987.

Monday, 19 July 2010 This photograph was commissioned by the style magazine I.D. and was taken in downtown Nashville. Lyle Lovett was a bit quiet but he was perfectly compliant and there were no problems at all during the shoot.

Afterwards the writer, Simon Witter, and I went around the corner and found one of the scariest bars either of us had ever been in.  From the outside, the bar looked quaint and like a perfect, bona-fide slice of Americana. So we decided to try it. Once we got inside we realised we’d made a BIG mistake. The entire clientele seemed to be of the crazy, street person persuasion, and they were all staring at us. No big deal maybe. But here’s a funny thing: the bar only stocked a single product – a brand of canned beer. Fair enough, if you only want to drink beer. But there was absolutely nothing else whatsoever. And there were great big boxes of this beer, piled high against the walls all over the place.

It was certainly the kind of place where you didn’t want to find yourself accidentally looking at anyone in the wrong way, so Simon and I went to play pool at the back of the bar, where it was deserted. After a while a guy came over to us and said straight out of the blue: “Do you want to come out the back and help us kill a n_____.” I replied with a terribly feeble sounding “Er, no thanks.” His response was “Aw, ya fucking punk…” and he wandered off. We were both shocked. Neither of us could see anyone fitting the description and it may well have been some sort of crazy Tennessee euphemism for something else. Either way it didn’t sound very nice. We decided to quickly drink up and go.

About year later, I read in the paper that the female singer with a bar band had been shot dead in this place, after she refused to play a request.