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December 11, 2019

Kris Kristofferson & South Africa

Almost everyone I know had THAT record. You know the one? Blue eyes on a green background? The album was released under two different titles. In South Africa, we knew it as Kris Kristofferson, Me and Bobby McGee. The Kris Kristofferson South Africa Tour 2014 was something that many people thought they would never see – But miracles do happen.

The music was everywhere – In the record rack in the lounge, on the Philips turntable and on the cassette tape that we played at the swimming pool. We sang along, slow danced and taped it onto TDK tapes for our guys to take away with them when they left for their national service and their jaunts to the bush, the borders and sometimes just to the military base in the next town.

Kris Kristofferson has been part of South African culture for many years – he just never knew it.

Sanctioned South Africa symbolised everything that Kris has stood against over the years. The paradox is that white lifestyles in our rogue state mirrored his own in many ways. Like his, our lives were framed by school, sport, the military and inequality. Like Kris, many of us were partly raised by women paid to look after us – Women from the broader, poorer community who made life easier for our parents by doing the chores they just didn’t want to do.

Kris Kristofferson finally performed in South Africa in 2014. He was 77, the world had turned but the arenas were packed. The connection between Kris Kristofferson & South Africa is explored in some depth in the article Kris Kristofferson – South Africa

Some extracts from the article & resources –

  • Facebook Group
  • Fan Page – kriskristoffersonfan.com
  • Official – kriskristofferson.com
  • Juanita Cantu, Kris’ nanny, played a huge role in his early life. Their relationship continued right through until her recent death
  • The song Christian Soldier traces the anomaly of a Christian at war: “It’s hard to be a Christian soldier, when you tote a gun and it hurts to have to watch a grown man cry…”
  • He (Kris) writes how soldiers ……. are “playing cards, writing home, having fun, turning on and learning how to die”.

The writer adds – Having spent some time on “The Border” during South Africa’s generally low-intensity bush war against Swapo in northern Namibia. The army is about time-consumption. You sit around, with heaps of time on your hands, and mull over the possibility that you might soon be dead..

 

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