For the past 12 years, Townes Van Zandt has no longer been "waiting around to die". He was born a child of privilege and old Texas money. And for you Minnesota boys, he got his high school education here, right up the road at Shattuck. (Remember Shattuck? That's where the Ol' Man always threatened to send me, 'cause I was an academic screw off. "If ya don't get your goddamned act together I'm sending ya to Shattuck". In hindsight, he shoulda.) Money doesn't cure all ills though. Townes grew up to be a severe manic depressive, with his long term memory erased by extensive shock therapy. Steve Earle once said that Townes Van Zandt was "the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." Van Zandt responded: "I've met Bob Dylan's bodyguards and if Steve Earle thinks he can stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table, he's sadly mistaken. -Wiki
Townes died twelve years ago on January 1, 1997, from the wear and tear of a life of ingesting an unbelievable quantity of alcohol and hard drugs. Along the way, when he was straight, he crafted some beautiful, tender songs. Below Earle's response to his death.