The Dark Stories About Johnny Cash’s Life Most Fans Ignore

Close-up portrait of American country singer and songwriter Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003). (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Johnny Cash, the country music star and leader of the charts, was between the stage and the fame; and in turn between excesses and adultery. He was a man married to Vivian Liberto since 1954, father of four daughters, and immersed in endless musical tours throughout the American continent, but Cash’s life had dark stories that most of his fans ignored.

The Man in Black was a legendary character. His misbehavior and drug use reached suicidal levels during the 50s and 60s. Culturizing brings you some of the most curious anecdotes in the life of this great artist.

Beginning his career he became famous for destroying hotel rooms, on one occasion he painted all the walls of his room black, on another he put a donkey in the room to keep him company and on another, very famous, he and the band put together a bar in the corridor of the hotel and they were drinking all night there.

In June 1965 Cash’s truck caught fire; the fire spread to the Los Padres National Park in California and destroyed more than two km2 of mountains. The fire destroyed 49 of the 53 condors that were in the reserve, in this regard Cash said  “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.”

Although Cash cultivated a very romantic image of an outlaw, he never served more than one night in a row in jail, however, the “only” nights in prison were several. In 1965, Cash was caught crossing the Mexican border, with a guitar case full of prescription pickups, for which he was given a suspended sentence. Later that year he was arrested in Starkville, Mississippi, for trespassing on private property to steal flowers.

In 1968 Cash entered the Nickajack cave in Tennesse, intending to commit suicide, under the influence of drugs, Cash simply decided that he was going to walk inside the cave until he was lost. There came a point when he fainted from exhaustion, when he woke up he had an epiphany in which he had to reconnect with God, he managed to crawl out of the cave and decided to change his life.

Cash was more or less drug-free until 1983 when he decided to fight an ostrich he had on his farm. The bird sent him to the hospital and made him addicted to tranquilizers.

At the end of his days Cash was a changed man, very close to religion, and he died peacefully after having gone to hell and returned several times.