I was on a roadtrip five years ago when I bought a random CD at a fuel stop on the Hume highway. It was a ten dollar Johnny Cash compilation. I was vaguely aware of him as something American listened to when they traveled long distances cross country so I thought it might be fun to emulate.

Then He played Hurt … and One …

For me that was like the first shot of heroin …

I played those tracks continually for the next week through a pair of Ambience loudspeakers. Although aware of my occasionally obsessive musical playback behaviour, this time my family debated calling in professional help.

The sincerity and redolence of his iteration of these otherwise familiar songs was simply transfixing for me.

Watching the movie "Walk The Line" was superfluous because I by then I already knew everything I needed to know about the man in black thorugh his music.

I was forced to pretend that I didn’t have a problem by playing and feigning enjoyment of other music when family members were present.

I would go for drives to the local town, ostensibly to carry out an errand of nutrition, but really to feed my need.

At work our vehicles each acquired their Own Personal Jesus.

I was able to put his pictures up all around the store, for a while. Then one night I wallpapered the whole sales office with his images and they made me stop.

As soon as I was able to get a client off the main shop floor into one of our subsidiary buildings for a demo then they would have Ring of Fire played to them.

Late at night I would sneak back to the store to play American Recordings.

These days my friends and family are tolerant of my Johnny Cash handicap.

I’m allowed to play it in the store, for limited periods, and not too loud.

They won’t let me play it in a vehicle when I’m sharing it with somebody else.

Lately I’ve been reacquiring my collection on Vinyl to play it in the store.

They haven’t commented on it yet but Johnny has been playing somewhere in the store for most of the last week … or perhaps they are just humoring me until the white van and men in white coats come.

Have you noticed he has the same initials as Jesus?