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Murray told The Washington Post he’d had his heart broken and wasn’t leaving the house when he remembered something Hunter S. Thompson once told him about relying on Prine — who died of complications from the coronavirus this week — for his “sense of humor.”
“I remembered that in the midst of this dark fog that I was in, and I went and found this John Prine record,” Murray said, adding he wondered at the time if Thompson thought Prine was a humorist.
He said he’d listened to most of the 26-track CD when the song “Linda Goes to Mars” played.
He said he reacted with: “Huh.”
“That was all,” he remembered. “Just huh, like huh, that’s kind of funny. And that was it. That was it. That was the bottom. I had touched the bottom and it was over, and I was on my way back.”
Murray told The Post he had been so deep in his depression that nothing had reached him until he heard “Linda Goes to Mars.”
He said it was when he got to know Prine that he realized “what a wonderful gift was given.”
“That last record of his was really a treasure, too. His final record was just, oh, my God,” Murray added.
Prine, 73, one of the most influential artists in folk and country music, was hospitalized with the virus in March and later put on a ventilator before he died Tuesday.
Prine was a two-time cancer survivor and continued to make music and tour despite having part of his lung removed.
He had shows scheduled in May and a summer tour planned before he contracted the virus.
Some of the Grammy winner’s most famous songs were “Hello in There,” “Sam Stone” and “Paradise.”
Fox News’ Mariah Haas and Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.