Kristofferson does Dylan Tribute

Darryl Sterdan
Toronto Sun

Kris Kristofferson has been there, done that, bought the T-shirt — and likely written a song about it.

In his 75 years, the ruggedly handsome Texan has seen more living than many could imagine. He’s been a Golden Gloves boxer. A Rhodes Scholar. A U.S. Army captain. A chopper pilot. He’s acted in scores of movies.

Romanced women from Janis Joplin and Rita Coolidge to Barbra Streisand. Fathered eight children. And penned a folio of timeless tunes — including Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down, For

the Good Times and Help Me Make it Through the Night — that have been cut by everyone from Johnny Cash to Norah Jones.

But amazing as it sounds, he claims that until recently, there was one thing he still hadn’t done: Record a Bob Dylan song in the studio.

“I never thought I’d be doing him much good by singing one of his songs,” cracks Kristofferson, his familiar crushed-gravel drawl erupting in a gruff, rumbling guffaw. “I don’t usually do other people’s songs. I haven’t got a great voice.”

Debatable as that last point may be, it didn’t deter him from laying down a gorgeously unvarnished acoustic-guitar rendition of Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn) a few months back for the new all-star Dylan tribute Chimes of Freedom. Kristofferson — whose only previous Dylan cover seems to be a live version of I'll Be Your Baby Tonight from a 1993 Madison Square Garden tribute — is just one of a long list of VIPs on the four-disc set, which is being released Tuesday in honour of the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.

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