As you may have gathered by now, I love quotes. After all the reading I’ve done over the past few days, I don’t have enough room to fit all the lovely ones I’ve found today in…
“I remember when I fell into June’s Ring Of Fire….The flame of our love still burns. Burns, burns.”
– Johnny Cash
It’s up there as one of the greats and since recently sinking my teeth into Mr Cash’s autobiography I can see why something so turbulent ended up working.
Although it would never have been described as perfect, there is something really quite awe inspiring about the Johnny Cash – June Carter love story.
We were all taught real love is all about give and take. This is very true but it is also about knowing when to give and – more importantly – when to take. Knowing when to cave in and let someone love you is just as important as making sure you give all your love back.
“I worked with John, but I had enough sense to walk just a little ways behind him. I could have made more records, but I wanted to have a marriage.”
– June Carter
It is evident from what others have said that the Carter-Cash love story was exactly that. Although some would argue the spot light was on Johnny and it was all about him, those around would note that she wasn’t oppressed or inferior in anyway he in return for her support and devotion gave her an unconditional love for the rest of their lives.
And that’s all she needed in return.
“June was around a fair amount. She was his support system. Kept him going. She completed him. He was quiet and very shy, and she wasn’t. It’s like it balanced him out. It took the pressure off him. When she was there, he was off the hook because it was The June Show. He liked that. It was a lot to carry The Johnny Show.”
– Rick Rubin
Johnny dragged June into a world of drugs and alcohol and ego. But she pulled him out with love and he seemed to always feel indebted to her for that. His autobiography speaks of her so highly that it melts the heart.
“We’re soulmates, friends and lovers and everything else that makes a happy marriage. Our hearts are attuned to each other, and we’re very close. I’ll get up every morning at five o’clock and make the coffee, start pacing the floor, wanting her to get up too. But I’ll let her sleep for a couple of more hours. Although if she smells the coffee, she’s up.”
– Johnny Cash
The book is so strong and powerful. It shows us that companionship – it can be found in friendships as well as relationships – is about being on a team. Pulling each other along. June wanted to be the role of the wife, proudly calling herself ‘Mrs. Johnny Cash’ in countless interviews and liner notes. She wanted to be wanted. And Johnny wanted her to want to be there for him.
That is why it is one of the greats. Because however you look at it, the relationship was not about egos – it was about being equal and both getting what they wanted out of it.
Every Johnny wants to find a June.
And every June is looking for her Johnny.
“What June did for me was post signs along the way, lift me up when I was weak, encourage me when I was discouraged, and love me when I felt alone and unlovable. She’s the greatest woman I have ever known. Nobody else, except my mother, comes close.”
– Johnny Cash