He was Casanova’s rock scene – the life story of Kris Kristofferson, the man who conquered the most beautiful women and wrote the most beautiful songs!
He won some most beautiful women, but it came at a price!
Kris Kristofferson was born on June 22, 1936, in the small town of Brownsville, Texas. His father was a general in the US Air Force, and his mother was a housewife. The Kristofferson’s are originally from Sweden and have been senior officers for generations, first in the Swedish and then in the US Army. As a boy, he often moved with his family to many places throughout the United States, due to the nature of his father’s service, so he finished high school in the city of San Mateo, California.
After graduating, Kris, as the winner of the prestigious “Rhodes” scholarship, went to study English literature at Merton College at Oxford University. He applied to go to war in Vietnam, but was instead sent to train as reserve officers at the U.S. National Military Academy, West Point, and after graduating, he spent three years as a member of helicopter and parachute units stationed at U.S. bases at the time. West Germany. He was promoted to the rank of captain and gained the status of a military veteran. The skill of piloting a military helicopter was later useful to him. Namely, after completing his military service and returning to the United States, he worked as a helicopter pilot on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. It was one of the many jobs he did during that period to feed his family.
In the mid-1960s, he went to Nashville, Tennessee, the center of the then folk and country music scene. He initially worked as a support staff member in a studio where his idols and the biggest music stars of the time, including Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, were recorded. It was Cash who was the first to recognize Kris’s exceptional lyric writing talent and encouraged him to start recording his own songs. It was also the beginning of a great friendship that the two had until Cash’s death in 2003.
During his stay in Nashville, Kris perfected his guitar and harmonica playing and began composing music for his own lyrics. Thus, in 1966, at the age of thirty, Kris began his songwriting career, by which his name remains the most recognizable to this day. At the same time, he started acting, which over time became an equally important professional preoccupation. So far, he has had over 80 film and television roles, most notably the role of Billy Kidd in the western “Pet Garrett and Billy Kid” (1973) (the second main role, Pete Garrett, played by Bob Dylan), the role of John Norman Howard in the film “The Star is Born” (1976), the role of James “Jim” Averill in “Gates of Paradise” (1980), the famous Oscar winner Michael Cimino and the role of Abraham Whistler in the film trilogy “Blade” (1998, 2002 and 2004).
She has won numerous film and music awards and recognition’s, the most significant of which are the Golden Globe Award for Best Leading Actor in a Feature Film in the Musical or Comedy (1976) category for her role in the musical “The Star Is Born”, (The role was played by Barbara Streisand) and the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement (2014). In 1985, Kristofferson was nominated for an “Oscar” in the category of film music for the music from the film “Lyricist”, which he composed and performed as part of the role. He was inducted into the House of Famous Songwriters in 1986 and the House of Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. It is interesting that Kris, in addition to his military career and study of literature, was equally successful in sport’s in his youth – he trained boxing and rugby, won awards and even ended up on the cover of the national sport’s magazine “Sports Illustrated”.
Today, Kris is considered probably the best songwriter in country music and one of the best songwriters in general, and the award of the Nashville Association of Songwriters, recently, bears his name. His songs are about love, freedom, passion, depression, loneliness, friendship, drugs, death, social issues, war, religion and politics. Many of them manage to strongly convey to the listener the experience of the author and bring him closer to the topics they are talking about from the inside, provoking a repeated personal experience of what is told in the song. Together with Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, he is the founder of the so-called “Outlaw country”, today the dominant subgenre within the great tradition of American country music. Elements of rock, blues, gospel and chansonnier style can also be seen in Kristofferson’s music, but the authentic line of outlaw country sound (based on acoustic guitar and harmonica) and the textual expression of high poetic quality are what make his work recognizable and what places him at the very top of the American songwriting tradition of the second half of the 20th century.
With Cash, Nelson and Jennings, in 1985, he formed the country super group “The Highwaymen”, which recorded three studio albums and four singles and for a full ten years, performed in the United States and around the world.
And after the band stopped working, these four greats, who some call “the last great American heroes of the 20th century”, remained inseparable friends forever. After the deaths of Jennings (2002), Cash (2003) and Haggard (2015), Chris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson remain the last two representatives of outlaw country, but also among the few remaining musical legends of their generation, not only in the world of country.
Kristofferson’s songs, in addition to all already mentioned, were covered by other important country performers, such as Dolly Parton, Ray Price and Ray Stevens, but also music stars from other genres, such as Dylan, Elvis, Joan Baez, Janice Joplin (who reached the peak of his career with the processing of his song “Me and Bobby McGee”), Ray Charles, Gladys Knight with the group “The Pips”, Sinead O’Connor, Russell Corrow and others. Songs “Sunday Morning ‘Coming’ Down”, “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Help Me Make It Trough the Night”, “Why me, Lord”, “For the Good Times”, “Lovin ‘Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again) “,” The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 “,” The Silver Tongue Devil and I “,” Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends “,” Nobody Wins “,” To Beat the Devil ” , “Who’s to Bless and Who’s to Blame” and “The Killed Him” (also edited by Bob Dylan) are just some evergreen hits signed by Kristofferson. In a half-century-long music career, he has released 18 studio albums, 3 live albums, 4 music compilations, 29 singles and 6 joint albums with other artists.
Chris’s studio album “The Austin Sessions” from 1999, which presents his covers of his own greatest hits from the previous period, was accompanied and sung by Vince Gill, Alison Kraus and the front man of “Dire Straits”. Mark Knopfler. It is interesting that the American company “Gibson”, which, along with the company “Fender”, the world’s largest manufacturer of guitars and music equipment, named the model of acoustic guitar that Chris usually plays after him “The Kristofferson SJ”. For the first time in his career, he performed in 2017 at the British music and stage festival “Glastonbury”, and on that occasion, during two songs on guitar, he was joined by Johnny Depp.
Of all the American politicians of the second half of the 20th century, he appreciates the Kennedy brothers the most. Although he once wanted to fight in US forces in Vietnam, he later took a negative stance on the war, and opposed the interventionist foreign policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Latin America and the Middle East. He wrote the song “Sandinista” in 1990 in support of the Nicaraguan liberation movement, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, which fought against military dictator Anastasia Somoza, who had long enjoyed US support. In public appearances, he advocates for the protection of human rights, and especially for the equality of African Americans and Native Americans in the United States. On several occasions, he materially supported the activities of a prominent fighter for the rights of African Americans, Jesse Jackson.
He has been married three times and has been married to his current wife since 1983. He is the father of eight children – five sons and three daughters.
Kris Kristofferson is not only known as an American actor, singer, songwriter and musician. In his time he was known as Casanova. His connections with famous ladies from the world of rock and Hollywood are enough to write a whole book.
He is still married to a make-up artist, Lisa Meyers. But until he met the love of his life, Kris was associated with many famous women. Before that, he was married to Fred Beir in 1961, he had an affair with Patti Davis, a girl who was also in a relationship with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix.
The women adored his charm and gentle side which, as they say, was disarming. He also had fun with Janice Joplin in 1969 until her death, after which he fell in love with Joan Baez. After her, he was in love with the famous Carly Simon, in 1972.
His second wife left him due to extramarital affairs. And that’s because of the one with Barbra Streisand. From his second marriage to Rita Coolidge, which lasted from 1973 to 1980, Kris had a daughter, Casey. He did not manage to control himself in his second marriage either, so another woman left him due to various affairs. Chris and Barbra enjoyed Forbidden Love in 1976 and that relationship was the reason his second wife left him.
Then he finally found the love of his life – Lisa Meyers. They met in February 1983 and after a year of dating, the couple decided to step on a crazy rock. The couple had five children. They have been married for 37 years.
He is a Christian by religion. It is interesting that during a Sunday service in an evangelical church in 1972, which he attended completely unplanned, Kris had, as he puts it, a “deep religious experience” and that then, in the language of Protestant theology, he asked for forgiveness of sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his “personal Savior.” This event, which left a strong influence on Kris’s personality, but also on his artistic work, inspired him to write the country gospel song “Why me, Lord” (which, among others, was edited by Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley).
Today, the Kristofferson’s live on a family estate in Hanna on the island of Maui within the Hawaiian archipelago. The first is a neighbor with his former band mate Willie Nelson, as well as Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.
In 2016, it was discovered that Kris was suffering from Lyme disease, after he was previously misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result of the disease, memory problems occurred. Despite everything, Kris continues to perform on concert tours and music festivals throughout the United States, but also in Europe, in his ninth decade of life.
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