My Friend Bruce Langhorne

Bruce Langhorne, an old friend and musician/composer that I have known for many years has had a catastrophic series of medical events this year, and they are not over yet. Bruce does not have any medical insurance. …

He’s a beautiful dude who has had an auspicious but unhighlighted career, including being the guy playing that amazing slide guitar on Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. Tons of other Dylan, Odetta, Clancy Brothers, etc. He scored Melvin and Howard and Fighting Mad for me, also peter fonda’s brilliant Hired Hand. He’s quite a guy.

When Bruce was a 12-year old violin prodigy living in Harlem in the fifties, he accidently blew several of his fingers off with a cherry bomb that he held onto too long. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Bruce looked up at his distraught mom and said, “At least I don’t have to play
violin anymore.” He has been a master on all guitars, mandolins, etc, pianos etc over the years and for many years was Dylan’s first choice for important guitar parts on the albums and sometimes live, with Bruce playing all these instruments django rhinehart style, working the strings with mostly nubs instead of (his missing) fingertips.

Bruce suffered a huge diabetes-related attack on his digestive system in the spring, and then had a stroke in the summer. He is recovering slowly but surely and needs to have a microscopic tumor removed from his brain when it gets big enough — the tumor is related to his previous problems.

Janet told me that Bruce sat down at the piano a couple of weeks ago, played a few notes and then just sat there silent. He told her ‘my fingers used to melt into the keys, but now they don’t know what to do.’ He’s in good spirits though, and focused now on trying to get strong for the future operation.

Checks can be sent to:

and mail to JANET BACHELOR
VENICE, CA 90291

JONATHAN DEMME is a film director. His films include Something Wild, Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs and The Agronomist.



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