As self-aware as he was, Guy Clark probably didn’t completely comprehend the extent he influenced other songwriters.
“I just try to do the best I can, you know,” Guy Clark told CMT.com in 2013. “Sometimes I have more luck at it than not. … Just stick with it till you get something that sounds right — that is right.”
Aspiring songwriters — and veteran songwriters, too — gravitated toward the man who wrote classics such as “L.A. Freeway,” “Heartbroke,” “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” and “She’s Crazy for Leavin’.”
When asked about the best advice he could provide other tunesmiths, Clark’s words were as straightforward and succinct as the lyrics he wrote.
“Don’t try to be careful,” he said. “Go ahead and do you best and let it fall wherever it falls. I mean, you just have to go for it.”
The Texas native died Tuesday (May 17) following a lengthy illness.
Here are some of messages his friends posted on social media as they remembered a one-of-a-kind artist.
He was the king of Texas songwriters, and a huge influence on anybody out there trying to do it the right way. We'll miss Guy Clark.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) May 17, 2016
— Rodney Crowell (@RodneyJCrowell) May 17, 2016
Guy Clark: 1941-2016. Travel safe, old friend. I would not be the songwriter I am if I hadn't sat at your table and learned from a master.
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) May 17, 2016
Sad to hear about the passing of Guy Clark. I'll never forget the day I wrote with him and him busting out a J the size of a baseball bat.
— KACEY MUSGRAVES (@KaceyMusgraves) May 17, 2016
As soon as I get back to Austin, I'll be drinking one at the Chili Parlor bar.
We lost a legendary songwriter today. Goodbye Guy Clark
— Josh Abbott (@joshabbottband) May 17, 2016
— OfficialMaryGauthier (@marygauthier_) May 17, 2016
— Gretchen Peters (@gretchenpeters) May 17, 2016
"…I loved Guy’s heart, his humor and his country wisdom. He will be missed. Rest in peace Guy!!" – Ricky Skaggs https://t.co/kgSY1SouvB
— Ricky Skaggs (@RickySkaggs) May 17, 2016
When I was 27, I met and asked Guy Clark, "Who was your favorite songwriter when you were young?" Guy said, "Me."
— Drew Holcomb (@drewholcomb) May 17, 2016