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2001 New Year's Resolutions
I've heard it said that when you renounce something you give it exactly the same amount of power it takes you to fight against it. The result is a standoff and unlimately a failure. This New Years, I'll make my resolution to stop smoking. I hope to be able to watch myself in the battle. I have a bet with Nanci Griffith - a dollar a cigarette. It's just the kind of thing that friends do. But the co-dependency of helping/quitting, is its own little setup. Mostly, the thing I want to do differently in 2001 is to watch myself more often as I do my stuff. I figure I've been asleep for a long time and it's time to be a witness to my life. I don't plan to change that much, I just wanna watch.
Michael Johnson 12/22/2000


"Bluer Than Blue" by Michael Johnson peaks at #12 in USA 40 Years Ago #OnThisDay (July 8 1978)
Michael Johnson Photo


Leo Kottke in Concert, Worcester, Massachusetts
May 1973

I wrote that last tune in collaboration with a guy named Michael Johnson. [some clapping] Have you heard of him? Jeez. Are you from Minneapolis? Ah! Isn't that a thrilling town to grow up in?

Michael had the worst moment on stage that I've ever heard of. He was playing at the Earl of Old Town in Chicago, the second of his last set, and he threw up on his audience. You know, the front row is a lot closer in a club than it is here. They were fans of his though.
(Listen to Leo tell it at right)




On April 21, 2018, on a snow covered Colorado mountain, Michael's ashes were spread at the feet of a Bristlecone Pine.