The story of Jesse Morris, “Punk Rock Johnny Cash,” lives on in Sweden

In 2011, some Muni Diaries readers noted the absence of one of their favorite buskers, Jesse Morris, who was also known as “Punk Rock Johnny Cash.” His incredible voice and rendition of Johnny Cash songs brightened our commute and we were saddened to find out that he had died. The next thing that happened was beyond what we had ever imagined.

Friends, fans, and commuters wrote us about how much they loved him, and Jesse’s former bandmates put together a memorial concert for him. The letters from his fans were incredible (see the comment section here).

Over the last few years we knew that Jesse wouldn’t be forgotten, as you can see in this simple ode to him on Valencia Street last year. And, seven years later, we received a letter from Jimmy in Sweden who found Jesse’s singing on YouTube, as well as the unfortunate news about his passing via the posts on Muni Diaries.

Here’s what Jimmy had to say:

Hi, over there,

I just found out that he ain’t alive and am very sad to read he had trouble.

It’s always the best and greatest that goes away first.

When I heard him, I was so happy to [find] a fabulous artist that was singing as 100% good as Johnny Cash did.

But then the sad news is that he ain’t alive.

I was thinking when I heard him play on YouTube that I was [going] to travel over to San Francisco from Sweden to see him, but that was just to understand that it will not happen.

Just wanna send sympathy and love to you that knew him and miss him.

Take care, Jimmy Blues Johansson

We’re thankful that Jesse’s music and story traveled far and wide. If you have another local legend everyone should know, our inbox is wide open.

Photo by fiveinchpixie

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