Legendary Music Producer Rick Rubin Tells Joe Rogan How He Almost Died In A Texas House Fire This Year

If you don’t know the name Rick Rubin, you undoubtedly know his work.

The powerhouse record producer has his fingerprints throughout the music industry and there’s a good chance he’s produced some of your favorite artists across all genres.

A former co-president of Columbia Records, co-founder of Def Jam Records and founder of American Recordings, he is largely responsible for bringing hip-hop music to the forefront of the entertainment industry by helping launch the careers of the Beastie Boys start. LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run DMC and more.

Rap, rock, metal, country, pop… Rubin has produced Grammy-winning albums for Johnny Cash, The Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele and The Strokes, but the list of award-winning albums he has produced is almost too long list.

Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons, Kid Rock, Metallica, Slayer, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Neil Diamond, Brandi Carlile, Linkin Park, Avett Brothers… just name an artist and Rubin could have produced at least one of their records.

Especially in our context here at Whiskey Riff (country music), Rubin is responsible for bringing Johnny Cash’s mid-90’s career back to life with the American recordings series of albums.

Anyway, Rick was a recent guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, and while the whole podcast is worth listening to, especially if you’re a music fan, he shared an absolutely WILD story about how he barely survived a house fire in Texas.

Rick (who also lost two Malibu homes in the 2018 Woolsey Fire) had apparently bought an apartment in Marfa, Texas and was living there with his wife and son.

Earlier this spring, the house caught fire, and when his wife told him to get out and get their son, Rick apparently went back to bed … and it nearly killed him.

go back to bed Yeah… it sounds crazy until you hear him explain it, and then it still sounds crazy.

Hear him share the full story with Joe Rogan:

Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” – best cover ever

Talk about one of the most powerful songs (and music videos) you’ve ever seen.

20 years ago, in November 2002, Johnny Cash shook our world with the release of his latest studio album, American IV: The man comes around.

It was the fourth album in Cash’s American series of albums, and the last to be released during his lifetime. Produced by Rick Rubin, best known for his work in rap and metal, the first album featured some bare-bones recordings of old Cash songs, as well as new ones written by A-list artists and a few Cover versions, but overall, the 6-part project featured a ton of covers.

Perhaps none more iconic than his cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”

Written by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, it’s a brutally honest reflection on self-harm and how empty life can be in a deep, dark depression, and many even suspect the song was meant to be written as a suicide note.

The song was released less than a year before Cash died at the age of 71, just months before the death of his wife June Carter.

Aside from that, “Hurt” has one of the most moving yet saddest music videos you will ever see.

Directed by frequent Nine Inch Nails director Mark Romanek, the video shows the man himself dressed in black at his home and also includes a series of flashback videos of the man in his prime, as well as footage from the empty House of Cash museum.

According to Romanek in an interview with Rolling Stoneshould the decrepit nature of the video reflect the poor state Johnny was in:

“It’s been closed for a long time; the place was in such a state of decay. That’s when I got the idea that maybe we could be very open about Johnny’s health, like Johnny used to be in his songs.”

You can literally see the “pain” in Cash’s eyes as he reflects on his past and ends up breaking down and crying… it’s beautiful and brutal.

When Reznor finally saw it, he had to take five:

“We were in the studio getting ready to work and I screwed it up. At the end I was really close to tears. I work with Zach de la Rocha and I told him to check it out.

In the end there was only dead silence. There was a wet throat clear and then, ‘Uh, ok, let’s get some coffee.'”

Speaking of Reznor, he was initially skeptical that Johnny would record it and in fact he didn’t really like it when he first heard it.

According to an interview with NME, he said it felt intrusive…too personal to share:

“I said I was very flattered but was given no indication that it would actually be included. Two weeks passed. Then I got a CD in the mail.

I listened to it and it was very strange. It was this other person who inhabited my most personal song. Hearing it was like someone kissing your girlfriend. It felt intrusive.”

But when he saw the video, everything changed:

“I turn on the video and wow… tears fall, silence… wow. I felt like I just lost my girlfriend because this song isn’t mine anymore.

It really got me thinking about how powerful music is as a medium and an art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom to stay sane about a desolate and desperate place I found myself, totally isolated and alone.

It ends up being reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre, and still retains sincerity and meaning… different, but just as pure.”

And to this day, you could argue that it’s the best cover ever.

It’s easily one of the best music videos of all time.

Go behind the scenes with director Mark Romanek and commentary on Rick Rubin, Trent Reznor, Bono and more.

https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/10/18/legendary-music-producer-rick-rubin-tells-joe-rogan-how-he-almost-died-in-a-texas-house-fire-this-year/ Legendary Music Producer Rick Rubin Tells Joe Rogan How He Almost Died In A Texas House Fire This Year

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