John R. Cash was a country music singer-songwriter from the United States. Much of Cash’s music, particularly in the latter stages of his career, contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption. While his career was successful, he did have some losses. Did you know that Cash got into a fight with an ostrich?
Johnny Cash once fought with an ostrich and lost. Cash was seriously injured when an ostrich kicked him on his property. An ostrich is said to have kicked the singer in the chest, causing severe injury.
Johnny Cash and the Ostrich
Cash tells the story in great detail of what happened one day when he had a brawl with his pet ostrich in an excerpt taken from his 2003 autobiography, Cash: The Autobiography, and featured in Far Out Magazine.
Cash once had a collection of animals, including an ostrich, a llama, buffalo, and even a wild boar, at his home on a 175-acre property in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He and his second wife, June Carter, lived there for over 30 years. However, Cash was seriously injured in 1981 when an ostrich kicked him on his property. It’s an almost unbelievable story, but it’s true.
An ostrich kicked the singer in the chest, causing severe injury, according to Complex. It landed him in the hospital, where he broke some ribs and experienced internal bleeding. However, it was only the beginning of the singer’s problems. (Source: Cheat Sheet)
What Happened After the Fight?
The famous ostrich incident is highlighted in Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon, a book by Pastor Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill. It appears to have exacerbated the Walk the Line singer’s addiction issues, which he was no stranger to. He struggled with addiction for decades and was arrested in 1965 after being caught bringing amphetamines from Mexico.
He had an ostrich name Waldo that attacked him [in 1981] and almost killed him. In fact, it jumped on top of Johnny Cash, broke four of his ribs, and ripped him wide. And if he wasn’t wearing the giant metal belt buckle, he may not have lived to tell the of Waldo. sadasPastor Greg Laurie, Author of Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon
However, it led to him becoming addicted to the painkillers he was prescribed, for which he sought treatment. According to IMDb, he went to The Betty Ford Clinic for treatment in 1983 but returned for medicine in 1989 at Nashville’s Cumberland Heights Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. (Source: Cheat Sheet)
Was the Injury from the Fight the Start of Johnny Cash’s Addiction to Painkillers?
Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, told Express Co UK that he saw his father struggle during the 1980s as he dealt with his father’s painkiller addiction. At one point, he describes his father as incoherent.
In the eighties, I was there, very close, to witness his pain pill addiction, Watching him struggle through that and seeing him disintegrate in character. He was never angry, never physical. But he just became incoherent and not available for a while.Carter Cash, Johnny’s Son
Despite his addiction issues, Cash is remembered for his iconic songs and larger-than-life legend. He died of diabetes complications in 2003, just months after his beloved wife, June. Despite his addiction issues, he remains a celebrated musical icon. (Source: Cheat Sheet)
Image from Biography