Our tribute to Richard Brautigan

Rich and I wrote and recorded a song inspired by the last of  Richard Brautigan’s novels published before he died in 1984.

American Dust CD Cover

The novel is called ‘So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away’  and our song is called ‘American Dust’ – you’ll know why if you have read the book.

You can hear American Dust on Soundcloud on the player below. Rich and I like to play an acoustic version best. I have just got a fab little harmonica – a Seydel Sohne Big Six Folk- it’s perfect for it.


American Dust
When I was young the road ahead was so long
The sea was so far and hot was the sand
We played down the junkyard shooting bottles and cans
I walk home slowly with the red red sun

To the place on the corner by the all-night
Look through the window at the funeral pyre
She won’t be running with me no more
We’re Dust…American…Dust

So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away

I guess that tomorrow I’ll be down at the pond
Where the sun on the water make my hair white blond
If the watchman reaches for another beer
I’ll get a penny at the all-night store

The road is long but sun down calls
In the apple orchard shadows fall
I miss the can but Shoot The Man
We’re Dust…American…Dust

So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away
No the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away

We’re Dust…American…Dust

© Duffy-Howard

Here is the story as described in John Barber’s excellent Brautigan.net website

“Focused around the death of a young boy in a shooting accident in a western Oregon town on Saturday, 17 February 1948. Although he never confirmed or denied the connection, the story was thought to be autobiographical, built on an incident that happened to Brautigan at age thirteen.

“Actually, the story was created from two separate incidents. The first involved Brautigan, his best friend Pete Webster, and Pete’s brother, Danny. The three were duck hunting in the Fern Ridge wetlands, near Eugene, Oregon. Brautigan was separated from the other two. Brautigan fired at a duck and a pellet from his shot struck Danny in the ear, injuring him only slightly. About the same time, Donald Husband, 14-year-old son of a prominent Eugene attorney, was shot and killed in a hunting accident off Bailey Hill Road. Brautigan’s incident and that involving Husband became one in this novel (Bob Keefer and Quail Dawning).”

We were over the moon when John Barber put our song –  American Dust – on the Audio Recordings page of the Richard Brautigan Legacy site and in his article for the cult online Poetry/Prose/Critical Writing/Art publication The Honest Ulsterman.


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