Lawyers Guns & Money favorites the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera turned twenty (20!) on 9/11/2021. Patterson Hood’s account of the crazy, inspired thought process behind this novelistic masterpiece is a parable about hope and creativity and resilience in the face of despair that anyone who has ever had a heart is sure to find gratifying.
Actually making it was a fucking nightmare. We were broke and in over our heads yet we instinctively knew that if we backed down or couldn’t follow through we were done for and it was all over. We had, perhaps intentionally, backed ourselves into a corner and to not deliver would mean that we were basically just full of shit. By the time David Barbe began mixing it we weren’t even speaking to each other and he literally had to talk me out of quitting my own band one evening. Did I mention how broke we all were? I ended up homeless the summer before it came out, but fortunately my friend Jenn gave me a storage room to sleep in. I spent the last half of July and all of August working around the clock trying to get SRO released.
Reminds me of one of my favorite Dylan lyrics, “Did you ever have a dream that you couldn’t explain?” Anyway, check out Patterson’s words here. And here’s hoping they do get to mount SRO On Ice for the 25th anniversary!