Johnny Cash’s ‘She Used to Love Me a Lot’ Video Shows Struggle in Modern America
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Johnny Cash may be gone, but his music is still alive and well. The icon’s new ‘She Used to Love Me a Lot’ video gives a visual juxtaposition between of desolate American landscapes and wealthy institutions, such as Wall Street.
Director John Hillcoat jumped at the opportunity to work on the beloved singer’s video project, featuring the lead single from Cash’s new ‘lost’ album, ‘Out Among the Stars.’
“The jet-black hair, the dramatic face, even the name sounds iconic …” says Hillcoat.
The concept for the video is intriguing; Hillcoat wanted to “broaden the track’s literal love song reading out so it could incorporate the story of modern day America, in which the dispossessed have been cast aside by the country that once looked after them.”
Throughout the video, images of Wall Street and financial buildings are shown alongside clips of homeless people, ex-cons, tornados, seedy motels and men who have been cast out of society today. The shots were taken all over the United States.
“We went to Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New York and also prisons in Albuquerque and Tennessee — these tent villages just went on, block after block,” the director explains.
In addition to the bleak scenarios of modern day America, there are also glimpses into Cash’s life. His burned-down Nashville lake house appears, as does the Tennessee cave where the icon contemplated taking his own life — which actually kicks off the film. There is a melancholy feel to the music video, matching perfectly with the ambiance of Cash’s voice, crooning about a lost love.
‘Out Among the Stars’ was shelved by Columbia, which is why the record has been in the vault for so many years. “He was loved by America, and then found himself suddenly cast aside,” Hillcoat says.
With the release of the lost record, which drops March 25, the singer is certainly no longer cast aside — he is bigger than ever, even after his 2003 death. The 12 tracks on the record include duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, as well as an expanded ensemble featuring a young Marty Stuart on guitar and mandolin.