UNDERSTAND YOUR MAN

This period of Johnny Cash's life is probably his darkest, and is also the most troubled time for Johnny and Bruce on their journey.

Understand Your Man was targeted at Johnny's wife, Vivian, whose patience had been stretched to breaking point, bringing up her children as Johnny travelled the world and got drunk and stoned when he could, which is to two key points in Johnny's life: one that happened, and one that didn't.

Johnny referred to an incident in Nickajack Cave, on the Georgia and Tennessee border, where he claims that he crawled inside, saw a vision, and came out a new man. Unfortunately, the cave was flooded at the time he said this happened. There may well have been times that he'd crawled into the caves, stoned, and came out after a vision, but it wasn't in 1967.

The turning point in his life came in a much simpler way: a telling off from a Sheriff in LaFayette, Georgia.

Johnny was spending a lot of time in the area, as he was friendly with two musicians, Norman Blake and Bob Johnson. Norman played on Understand Your Man. One night, he was arrested for being a drunk prowler after getting his jeep stuck in the cave and spent the night in the Walker County Jail. In the morning, Sheriff Ralph Jones gave Johnny the hard word, telling him that he had too much talent to throw away.

It had the effect, and Johnny made a big attempt to clean up his life. And he had to, because his biggest moment was looming: he was about to play at Folsom Prison, and it was going to be recorded.

Johnny never forgot the night though, and played a free concert a few years later, which helped fund local amenities.

Approach into LaFayette

Approach into the centre of LaFayette

LaFayette Georgia

Lafayette, Georgia

Walker County Courthouse

Walker County, Courthouse, LaFayette

Nicajack Caves

Nicajack Caves - where Johnny probably didn't have a life-changing vision

LaFayette Georgia

Lafayette, Georgia

LaFayette Georgia

LaFayette, Georgia

Walker County Sheriff's Department

Walker County Sheriff's Department, Johnny's hosts for the night

Nicajack Caves

Nicajack Caves