Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt

Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt

Director: Margaret Brown Cast: Townes Van Zandt, Joe Ely, Guy Clark



The celebrated singer and songwriter Steve Earle once said "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." Earle was hardly the only artist of note who loved Van Zandt's poetic, elliptical songs of love and dashed hopes -- Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, the Cowboy Junkies, and Nanci Griffith are among the many performers who have recorded his work, and he was a key inspiration for much of the Texas singer/songwriter community, including Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Lyle Lovett. However, while Van Zandt was greatly admired by his peers and a small cult of passionate admirers, it was other artists who had hits with his songs, not him, and this gifted but troubled man was haunted by drug and alcohol addiction much of his life. Van Zandt also had difficult relationships with his family and three wives, and at the age of 20, he was given shock treatments which wiped out nearly all of his childhood memories. In the 1990s, Van Zandt's public profile began to grow larger, and he was signed to a major record label for the first time in 1996, but as often happened in his songs, fate stepped in, and Van Zandt died following hip surgery on New Year's Day, 1997. Filmmaker Margaret Brown, a longtime fan of Townes Van Zandt, examines both his life and his art in the documentary Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, which includes interviews with many of his close friends, family members and collaborators, including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Shelley, Guy Clark, and many more.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/14/2006
UPC: 0660200312428
Original Release: 2004
Rating: NR
Source: Palm Pictures / Umvd
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:40:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Rare and intimate performances from Townes Van Zandt, JT Van Zandt, Devendra Banhart and more; Exclusive interviews with featured artists; Commentary track with director Margaret Brown, cinematographer Lee Daniel and musician Joe Ely; US theatrical trailer; Palm Pictures previews; Weblinks

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Townes Van Zandt Actor
Joe Ely Interviewee
Guy Clark Interviewee
Jerry Jeff Walker Participant
Steve Earle Participant
Kinky Friedman Interviewee
Emmylou Harris Participant
Steve Shelley Participant
Lyle Lovett Participant
Kris Kristofferson Participant
Willie Nelson Participant

Technical Credits
Margaret Brown Director,Producer
Louis Black Executive Producer
Bob Kellough Sound/Sound Designer
Sam Brumbaugh Producer
Lee Daniel Cinematographer
Tom Hammond Sound/Sound Designer
Don Howard Editor
Chris Mattsson Executive Producer
Amy Shatsky Associate Producer
Karen Skloss Editor
Paul Stekler Executive Producer
Michael Taylor Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me
1. What a Song Is All About [5:18]
2. A Cult Figure [5:32]
3. A Privileged Youth [2:22]
4. Wild Crazy Things [1:44]
5. Houston in the 60's [6:44]
6. Wandering [3:27]
7. A Genius [2:47]
8. Addiction [6:44]
9. Here for the Music [4:06]
10. Cutting Records [8:11]
11. Home and Family [5:44]
12. Flyin' Shoes [3:19]
13. If I Needed You [5:34]
14. Pancho and Lefty [6:41]
15. Marie [3:53]
16. Normal Life [6:26]
17. Rake [7:27]
18. End Credits [7:13]

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Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This DVD was nothing short of spellbinding. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen in the same way I was mesmerized by The Hank Williams Story as a child and the Chet Baker tale later on. That said, I question the reason given for Townes' mental decline. The tendency of all who knew Townes and those interviewed is to place the blame on electroshock treatments he received as a young man. Interestingly, not one person considers that possibly - just possibly! - his brain cells were pretty well shot way before then by sniffing glue in school. I'd think that such an indulgence resulting in the loss of nearly all of one's teeth to be a fair indication that the dip stick wasn't quite touching the oil to begin with. Any subsequent treatment, electroshock or otherwise, would be beside the point, wouldn't it? Perhaps if Townes had had one enlightened observer back then (pre-glue/post-erratic behavior), he might well be with us today. But it is doubtful he would have possessed the gift to write gut-wrentchingly real music that resonates in your soul. This is the true tragedy of Townes Van Zandt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great documentary for a singer that lived a wild life and payed the consequences. Too bad we never saw the even more talented side of Townes Van Zandt when not on drugs and alcohol. Includes insightful interviews with country luminaries like Stevie Earle, Emmylou Harris, and the one and only Willie Nelson and of course Kinky Friedman. For the ladder, get elected. We need every Jew we can find to fill our offices. To the former, keep on smoking, ahem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago