Editor's note: This story originally attributed the epilogue to Joe Ely. As a reader kindly pointed out, Ely had re-posted words from biographer Tamara Saviano. This story has been updated to reflect that correction.
Guy Clark cast a long shadow. Quite literally, it seems: The late singer-songwriter was reportedly too tall to fit in a casket arranged so family and friends could view his remains one final time before he was to be cremated. The funeral home had to remove his boots, and still "the top of his head was pressed against one end of the box," according to his friend and 2016 Texas State Musician Joe Ely, who posted a lengthy and touching Facebook missive with words from biographer Tamara Saviano, detailing events surrounding Clark's funeral and final wishes. The moral?
"Guy Clark does not fit in a box," Saviano mused.
Published Tuesday, Ely's post contains what will be the epilogue to Saviano's book called Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, which is available for pre-order on Amazon.
It also includes details on Clark's incredible final wish: To have his "cremains incorporated into a sculpture" by Santa Fe -based artist Terry Allen.
Following a picking session in Nashville around a homemade altar outfitted with Clark's boots and favorite photos, Saviano says close friends -- including musicians Verlon Tompson, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle -- boarded a tour bus for "Guy's last road trip" and headed to Santa Fe.
Though not a native Texan himself, Allen grew up on the Llano Estacado and he too made a name in the amorphous genre sometimes called "Texas Country." His 1979 album, Lubbock (On Everything) has been called one of the "finest country albums of all time, a progenitor of what would eventually be called alt-country."
Upon arrival in Santa Fe, Saviano recounts another vigil at Allen's home where Ely and fellow artists Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram and painter Paul Milosevich "flew in from all parts" to pay their respects. That included a green chili enchilada and tamale dinner with toasts of wine, Topo Chico and Keen's Honey Pils.
Saviano doesn't remark as to when Allen's sculpture will be finished -- or if it will ever be unveiled to the public.
But, befitting of a songwriter of Clark's caliber, the truth resides in the guts of a well-told story.
Read Ely's full post / Saviano's epilogue here: