The whole world did not know that after seven months of recording “Hurt,” Johnny Cash would meet the creator and it would be one of the most beautiful yet painful love letters to the people who were touched by his music.

[like_button] Johnny Cash in Hurt


Hurt, Johnny Cash cover

It wasn’t an original Johnny Cash song but Johnny Cash wields a unique power to claim songs whenever he does a cover on any of it. It seems like Johnny saying goodbye using an original music could be the most perfect way to end the show, but, it became a different story when Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor reluctantly agreed for Cash to cover “Hurt.”

When the news broke that Johnny Cash is doing ‘Hurt,’ director Mark Romanek begged if he could shoot something for the music video, going as far as offering to shoot it for free. Universal Pictures agreed to back the said music video but Romanek is already on the verge of running out of time as Johnny Cash who was 71-year old then; could not stand cold Tennessee weather while his health was clearly deteriorating.

Romanek’s race against time leads him to Johnny Cash’s house and museum, The House of Cash. The director recalled how he came to realize that there’s no better place to shoot but Cash’s lair, he told Independent:

“It had been closed for a long time; the place was in such a state of dereliction. That’s when I got the idea that maybe we could be extremely candid about the state of Johnny’s health – as candid as Johnny has always been in his songs.”

Thus, it unfolds to everyone from the crew to the public as to how Cash is singing while the viewers are pounded of different Johnny Cash timelines. We saw him young. We saw him alive. We saw his wife June looking at him candidly. We saw his film scenes. We saw his journey. Sadly, at the end of the music video, we saw him closing the lid of piano sending several metaphors which we will later on confirm in September 12 2003, the day Johnny Cash died.

When Trent Reznor saw the music video, he has these words to the country icon:

“I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. [I felt like] I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. [Somehow] that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning – different, but every bit as pure.”


Watch the heart-wrenching video here:


H/T:  Independent UK