We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Johnny Cash, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the singer and musician that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: His Marriage Was Not Perfect. Though Cash’s marriage to June Carter was idealized by many, the truth is not so pristine. Cash and Carter began their relationship when Cash was still with Vivian, and Carter is believed to be quite the manipulator. According to Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn, Carter was “an early equivalent of Yoko Ono in John Lennon’s world.”
Number Seven: He Was an Early Smoker. Cash began smoking cigarettes when he was just 12 years old.
Number Six: He Was an Excellent Liar. Cash claimed that he quit taking pills when he crawled into a cave on the Tennessee River and laid down to die. However, it was later discovered that the cave would have been filled with water at the time, and he did not actually quit using drugs.
Number Five: He Bought His First Guitar for $5. It’s true! Cash was in Germany when he bought his very first guitar for 20 Deutsche Marks, or five dollars.
Number Four: He Almost Started a Riot. Cash’s second major prison concert could have been the beginning of a riot. Cash had written some very hateful lyrics about San Quentin prison, and he later realized that if he had said the words, every other prisoner would have rioted with him.
Number Three: He Had a Nice Next-Door Neighbor. Cash’s next-door neighbor was fellow musician Roy Orbison. They lived next to each other in Tennessee for more than 20 years.
Number Two: He Was Not Present When Kris Kristofferson Landed a Helicopter on His Property. Though one famous story goes that Kristofferson landed a helicopter on Cash’s property while holding a beer, in reality, Kristofferson said that he definitely was not holding a beer, and Cash wasn’t even there when he landed.
Number One: He Was Incredibly Despondent. Before Cash was able to resurrect his career in the 1990s, he was convinced that he would die a nobody without anybody caring. He then began to work with Rick Rubin, who inspired him to think he would eventually be a legacy.