The country I come from is called the Midwest
Alan Acuff grew up in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He loved guitars from an early age and still does.
Al’s songwriting first drew praise in the early 70s while he was a student at CAL ARTS. In John Baldessari’s Post Studio Art class Al was encouraged to use his songs as video soundtracks. John liked Al’s videos and showed them to his friends. In short time Al’s videos became art exhibition favorites in museums and galleries around the world.
And that’s how Al accidentally became a music video pioneer. Al’s early videos can now be viewed at The Getty in Los Angeles and MOMA in NY. You can read more about his early video work in the book California Video: Artists and Histories by Glen Phillips (published by The Getty).
Blowin’ down this old dusty road
After graduating CAL ARTS in 1976, Al remained in California working various day jobs and playing music at night. Then in 1979 he met Ramblin’ Jack Elliott who was recently arrived in L.A. and needed a place to park his Dodge truck for a little while. Jack wound up camping at Al’s Venice Beach bungalow for a couple of weeks. He payed his rent with songs and stories about Woody Guthrie. (Thanks Jack!)
It will come as no surprise dear reader that, inspired by Jack’s stories and songs, Al read all the books and listened to all the records. And a little while later he departed Los Angeles to do some ramblin’, pickin’, and grinnin’ of his own.
Going where the water tastes like wine
Eventually Al rambled his way to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he lives happily ever after.