Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday ~ Kris Kristofferson

Happy Birthday Kris Kristofferson! I wrote a blog post featuring him back in 2009, but vagaries of Blogger changes and YouTube deletions have affected it, so I'll use the surviving bits again, and add to them here.

Kris was born 22 June 1936 in Brownsville, Texas. Astrotheme gives his time of birth as 3.30pm.

I used to think Kris had Sun in Gemini. I was mistaken - but only just. Sun at 1 degree of Cancer, linked by conjunction to Mars and Venus in Gemini a degree or so behind. Mercury is also in Gemini - it's own sign. No need to ask the source of his writing talent then - it's all there! Classic line-up for a writer, in this case a songwriter, with Cancer Sun adding warmth and sensitivity to what might otherwise have emerged as a cooler, less emotional individual. Sun is conjunct South Node of the Moon - a sensitive point in the natal chart, further emphasising the Cancer/Gemini cluster.

Fixed Star Aldebaran, one of the Royal Stars lay within a degree of Mercury as Kris was born - an additional boost to his mental processes. He was a brilliant student and Rhodes Scholar in his youth. He rejected a military or teaching career in favor of following his dream to be a songwriter.

If the time of birth used is near correct, Scorpio rising is reflected in Kris's early and enduring erotic pull for the ladies. Moon in Leo close to midheaven links to his career on stage both singing and acting. He's one of the few singer/songwriters who have also made a good impression as a movie actor - Gemini versatility. A strong Jupiter in Sagittarius, its own sign, forms a harmonious trine to Moon in Leo, helpful for publication (of his songs and acting endeavors)

The other well-known facet of Kris's personality is a strongly left-wing political leaning. I'm pinpointing avant garde, rebellious Uranus in a very strong position on the descendant angle to represent this.

There are challenging aspects in Kris's chart too, of course. Hardly anybody gets away without some of these. There's a Grand Cross here, linking Neptune, Mercury/Chiron, Saturn and Jupiter by squares, consequently throwing up two oppositions: Saturn/Jupiter and Neptune/Mercury.

I haven't been able to find out much about Kris's personal life, other than that he has had three marriages, 8 children and 2 grandchildren, and is still on friendly terms with both ex-wives. He has probably dealt with alcohol and drug problems - he wouldn't fit the template of his times and profession if not! I suspect the Grand Cross relates to that, but also to his political opinions. He was brought up in a strongly conservative family in staunchly Republican Texas - he must have had many challenges before moving to a more liberal environment.

Kris's songs are thought of by many as country music. I consider them to be without category, or at the most crossover folk/country/popular. I recall hearing on one of his recordings an audience member calling out to him something along the lines of "Is that country music?" or "That ain't country, Kris", and he answers in his signature lazy drawl, "If it sounds country, man, that's what it is!"

Below are some of my own favourite songs written and sung by Kris Kristofferson (nobody sings 'em better, don't care what anyone says!) He's joined by Rita Coolidge on the second and third songs.

This one is pure poetry - you can feel that you're there with him, one Sunday morning!

This one, has that wonderful line : "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

Cannot forget this one:

Oh yes...and something completely different:, "Don't Let The Bastards Get you Down" - good advice which never goes out of date. "It's gettin' hard to listen to their lies" (ain't that the truth?)


mike said...

A fellow with multi-faceted talents, oozing with success, but I've never been a fan of his. I tend to dislike most country music and consequently, he escaped my interests, even when he crossed-over to acting. I am certainly impressed with his credentials, though. A bit of a Renaissance man, with everything from scholastic, military, athletics, writing, singing, to acting.

I'm not sure of his parent's political agenda or affiliation. Kristofferson was raised in a blue-state environment, as Texas only recently switched to a red state:
"In 1994, Democratic Governor Ann Richards lost her bid for re-election against Republican George W. Bush, ending an era in which Democrats controlled the governorship all but eight of the past 120 years. Republicans have held the governorship ever since. In 1998, Bush won re-election in a landslide victory, with Republicans sweeping to victory in all the statewide races."

Twilight said...

mike ~ Country music kind of kidnapped him, but for me he's country-flavoured rather than pure country... that'd be Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

Re his parental background, there's this from a piece here

Kristofferson was not to the Nashville manner born. Born in 1936, he grew up in a conservative Texas military family, the eldest son of an army pilot, and he excelled at the things soldiers' sons are expected to excel at before they, too, join up. He was a fine athlete, a college fratboy, and he won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where he read English at Merton College.

The move to Nashville didn't please his parents: he had reached the rank of captain by then, with a pilot's licence and the prospect of a teaching post at West Point military academy. Turning all that down prompted a 25-year period in which he exchanged not a word with his mother. "The general [Kristofferson Sr] wasn't as shocked by it as the general's wife," he says. "Country music at that time was held in very low esteem outside of the south - 'shitkicker music' - but I bought every one of those old Hank Williams singles, old 78s, when they first came out. I'm old enough that his death was a real blow to me."

Twilight said...

mike ~ Meant to say - yes, thanks for the reminder - hard to believe about Texas being liberal, back in the day - I take your point.

mike (again) said...

A terrible thing having parents with exacting expectations...a common dilemma for many progeny. Kristofferson spent his formative, high school and college years in CA, so some liberal-dust must have fallen on him. Sontag was an influence, but prior to Sontag's fame.

"Like most 'military brats', Kristofferson moved around frequently as a youth, finally settling down in San Mateo, California, where he graduated from San Mateo High School. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College in 1954. He experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrated's 'Faces in the Crowd' for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, football, and track and field. He and classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958, which has remained a Southern California rugby institution. Kristofferson became a member of Kappa Delta Fraternity at Pomona College, graduating in 1958 with a BA, summa cum laude, in Literature. In a 2004 interview with Pomona College Magazine, Kristofferson mentioned philosophy professor Frederick Sontag as an important influence in his life."

One of the more interesting factoids about Kristofferson to me was his romantic relationship with Janis Joplin. Seems like oil and vinegar, but must have been sugar and spice. Here's an interesting statement from Kristofferson about the origin of "Me and Bobby McGee":

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ What a varied and fascinating life he has lived!

Regarding Janis Joplin; Her voice/singing style does absolutely nothing for me, though I did like her attitudes when I once saw a DVD of her as a guest on a Dick Cavett chat show. I don't know how much of a real romantic relationship she had with Kris - see link below - though they were friends:

He's obviously an emotional guy (Cancer Sun) and unafraid to admit to tears. :-)

Anonymous said...

"There are points in your life, especially if you have creative ambitions ... where selfishness is necessary."

Yes ... Kris is ... multi-faceted, oozing with success ...
I'm not partial to his music style ... however ... I don't mind it.

But as a Actor ... I like his work.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea ... (love it)
Millennium ... (acting in that film took guts)

Poor Dick ... Janis, Gloria and Ms Kidder all on one show ... (Thumbs Up!)

I don't think Kris was a "boyfriend" ... just a "lay"


Twilight said...

Anon/kidd ~ I've seen and enjoyed three of the four films you mention, but not "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea". Should look for that one. I enjoyed the version of "A Star is Born" with KK and Barbra Streisand; "Cisco Pike" and "Heaven's Gate" (both a long time ago); more recently "Bloodworth".

I think Dick Cavett had JJ on his show several times. I don't think the Gloria Swanson one was the show I saw - seems the other guest was a guy, but don't remember who. I keep meaning to get out the DVDs of the Dick Cavett shows again - I enjoyed his interviews, so much better than the Late Night crew we have now.

Yeah - I bet it was more just "for fun" JJ + KK, rather than for lurve. :-)

Anonymous said...

Dick Cavett is the cat's meow ...

Speaking of Cats ...


Twilight said...

Anon/kidd ~ Thanks for those - I shall watch the Cavett show video later; the cat - LOL - I bet it'll be wary of investigating strange machines again in future! Good to see that no harm ensued :-)