This page was finally completed on July 23, 2006. "PURE COUNTRY"
~ PHOTOS 2
The Mirage, Las Vegas, Nevada June 19 & 20, 1992 Thanks to Anita O'Brian for inviting me to the filming. I would have never had this experience without her invitation. I lived in Minnesota at the time so I was not in one of the neighboring states that they mailed invites to.
Thanks to my friends Marie and Lillian who sandwiched me inbetween them so I was the one getting elbowed all the time.
My thanks to Evon Oliver who sat two seats away from me at the filming, and shared some of her photos with me. I have them safely stored in a scrapbook.
Now I know what it's like when they say "lights, cameras, action!" It was almost unreal to sit there and watch this filming, but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so glad I went.
The Director Chris Cain gives the two stars some direction for the scene.
George was on stage in front of us for over nine hours, from after midnight right to the early morning. It would be the longest time I would ever have him in front of me lke that (except for the Team Roping that is).
The shirt he wore was beautiful, I have never seen him wear it since. I don't think its one of items donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame so I like to think of it safely stored away in his closet. (Update: I was right, he loaned it to CID Entertainment for the VIP Room Experience for his final tour in 2013 and 2014).
During some pauses during the filming George was sweet and autographed some items for his Fan Club Members who were part of the audience.
George lay down on the stage not ten feet from me. They put a mat down for him so his black jeans wouldn't get dusty.
George was tired but in a good mood, kind of goofy part of the time actually which was fun to watch.
The idea was that George would have his head on the camera lens and sing "I Cross My Heart" directly to "Harlie" during her crying scene . She sat in the booth with her brothers and Ernest, her Grandpa, who was played by Rory Calhoun. He was one of my childhood western heroes. His blue eyes were still twinkling, and he caught me watching him several times and finally winked at me. I blushed and smiled back at him, caught in the act. If I had only had the opportunity I would have loved to have talked to him for just a moment. Sadly, this was to be his last film.
I might add at this point that George had lost over 20 pounds before filming and was very slim. Those slim fit black jeans fit him very well.
I remember when he first sat down and stretched hisi legs out he looked at the closest girl and said "Watch my boot." He didn't want to kick her.
Here he is at the start of "I Cross My Heart" looking directly at Harlie as he sings.
It was my first time to hear the song, and I knew it was going to be a big hit. It was perfect for the movie too. Every time I hear it all the memories of the filming come back.
We were rehearsed for a time to chant :"Dusty, Dusty!" when George walked from back stage to the front stage position. The fans with "Dusty" shirts were put closest to the stage and cameras. The cameras were rolling and everyone was doing great. I found myself standing back aways in my blue George shirt, watching, saying something else. "I love you, I love you." That scene was cut from the film. I can't imagine why.
During pauses from filming George would look around and see what was going on. Of course his fans were looking right back at him.
Here you can see the mat that they put down for him to lay on.
Waiting to see if the film just shot was good, to see if they would need a retake.
Sometimes George's mind seemed to be far away. It was a pleasure to watch him with people during this situation and see what a nice person he is to be around. By the way, Norma was not far away, she was backstage watching everything.
George was in good spirits, and his sense of humor was really showing. The entire crew seemed at ease with him, and joked back with him.
One of those long pauses during filming.
George is watching Harlie in the booth, during one of her close ups.
During a break one of the stage hands had a rope he was playing with. Of course our Cowboy took the opportunity to make a lasso and showed the stagehand how to rope. It was hilarious watching them.
I think he taught the stagehand well. Look at what he roped in!
I'm so glad Evon was taking pictures because now we have these to help remember the experience.
Another one of those moments with Director Chris Cain telling his actors what he wants from them in the next scene.
There were some great photos taken of George and his Ace in the Hole Band, and they follow.
This is bass man, Terry Hale, an original Ace, talking with George.
The cameras sure love George.
Director Chris Cain with George. His son is Dean Cain, the actor. Dean was in George's "Carrying Your Love With Me" Video. He rode George's motorcycle in it, and the blonde behind him on the Harley is Norma. That video was directed by Chris Cain.
A few moments during a break when the fams were allowed to use their cameras. When they were actually shooting the film there were no cameras allowed because of the flashes.
The Great Ace in the Hole Band with George, an awesome photo.
Now that's what I call relaxing.
A great shot of George with actor John Doe on the drums, and Rick McRae on the right.
Benny and George talking.
Every now and then George would look right over at us and make a face and then grin.
Ain't he something!
During the final take of "I Cross My Heart" George was directed to sit down on the edge of the stage at the top of the stairs, in front of the booth that Harlie and her family sat in. He was singing beautifully and then the Director yelled "Cut." George stood up and walked over by the Director - right in front of us - and said in a low voice as he rubbed his backend "I burned my butt." He had been sitting on the lights that ran around the edge of the stage. (I said something that was heard by him... and I am not gonna repeat it here, but he did grin.) Anyway, they refilmed it and George was not sitting on the lights this time. He sung the song all the way through, it was the final take, and it was beautiful and we were all in tears. At one point when he came to the "You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete" line he looked over. I couldn't believe it, he's in thefinal take for the movie. and he looked over and sung that line. I will never forget it., he took my breath away. That's the way you see that part of the song in the music video. He never ceases to amaze me with the way he treats his fans.
It was the final take, it was flawless, and at the end George looked around, satisfied that we were all in tears. He knew he had chosen the right song for that final scene of the movie. I will never forget that experience. Writing about it has brought it all back like it happened yesterday.
I think George was amused with his fans... and I know we were infatuated with him.
The Gibson Dove Guitar that George had was a stage prop. He played around with it during a few breaks
At times George would look over at us, watch for a minute, and smile at us. I think we were looking pretty tired around about 5 a.m. I looked around and there were some fans who had their heads down and were sleeping.
The spotlight was so strong, you can see here that it totally washed out George's black jeans and shirt.
One of the outdoor scenes, shot during a portion of the film that was left on the cutting room floor. I liked this picture so added it here.
Another one of the outdoor scenes, standing by the truck that picks him up and takes him towards home and Grandma Ivy during his "little walk" away from the stress of being a singer and celebrity.
A great shot of the length of his thick wavy hair, and his pony tail. They pinned that thing in every day and George was uncomfortable with it he said. I sure loved seeing him wearing his hair longer.
Dusty in his stage outfit. The Dusty jacket and the cashmere hat were loaned to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
During his final "Cowboy Rides Away" two year tour in 2013 amd 2014 George loaned these items along with Entertainer of the Year trophys, and other career items to CID Entertainment to include them in the VIP room at each concert city as part of the VIP ticket experience. Fans were able to view these items up close, which made it very special.
I don't know what it was about this shirt, but I loved it. It's not one you would expect to see him in, but he sure wore it well, as he does everything else!
A great shot of the shirt and of George. I liked the Dusty mustache and beard, he looked awesome in it. I have to add here that the scene after the barber shop of him crossing the street and going into the cafe is one of my many favorite scenes in the movie. What a purty face that man has, and what a gorgeous wavy head of hair. He had grown his hair a little longer for the filming as I said earlier because they had to pin that pony tail in. Amen.
I went without a lot of things in my personal life to go to the George Strait Team Roping in June, and then a few weeks later to go to the final filming of "Pure Country" in Vegas. I am glad I took the opportunity to go. It has been one of those experiences that live with you forever. To see George doing this, and in front of us for so long, well, it was wonderful.
George was on the CMT show "Nashville Now" with Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase for almost an entire hour just before the Nashville Premiere of "Pure Country." That was a special show. What a great hour with George, it was just wonderful. He was excited, and I think hopeful that everything would go well and that the picture would be accepted, and not be a failure. He didn't need to worry, it was top grossing film #6 which at the time was just great for a Country Movie with a County Music Star. It was a success - as it turns out a staggering success for George's career.
When the movie premiered in Minnesota on October 23rd of 1992 I had free tickets to the first showing. I had won them from a late night DJ at K102 after I called and told him about my experience. He said "If anybody should go to this premiere it should be you." He sent me the tickets and I am eternally grateful.
When I first saw George up on that big screen I was speechless. It was later that I let out with a few screams.. on the way home, alone in my car. I couldn't believe how photogenic George was, and how good he was. I managed to get a movie poster from the theatre manager on the way out, and I still have it.
I went many more times to see "Pure Country" up on the big screen. There were several awesome scenes that I knew just wouldn't be the same on a television. I was sooo right. I went to see it over 50 times, the last time at night in the dead of winter at -22 degrees. I was the only one in the theatre, and watched it twice. I spoke out loud my favorite lines, and sung along, and had a great time. Now you know one of the reasons I'm called "Straitfever."
Along with a lot of other people I had hoped that George would do another movie someday, because he did so well on this - his first one -- which was a first for a Country Music star at the time. George was setting only one of many records he would set over the years. The album "Pure Country" would turn out to be one of the top selling albums of his career, and it brought George Strait to the attention of alot of people who hadn't been aware of him before. Alot of them didn't even like Country Music at the time - and were totally roped in by George after one view of "Pure Country." The exposure lifted his career to another level, and things haven't been the same since. Believe me, I know.
The cameras really do love this man, he photographs so well. George is a handsome man at any age but there is so much more to George Strait than looks. There is some wonderful special something about this man that people are attracted to, and drawn to. I thought if someone offered him a script for a western where he could ride and shoot he just might do it. Alas, it wasn't to be... and as George has said in an interview in 2005; "Ol' Dusty Died... poor thing... yep." George's sense of wit and humor is still healthy.
"You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete and as long as there's a breath in me I'll make yours just as sweet.
As we look into the future it's as far as we can see, so let's make each tomorrow be the best that it can be...
I cross my heart, and promise to give all I've got to give to make all your dreams come true
In all the world you'll never find, a love as true as mine. A love as true as mine."
I hope that you have enjoyed my "PC" Memories. I sure have enjoyed reliving them as I completed this page.
My warmest thanks to George, and to Dusty, for an awesome, wonderful experience. ~ Linda RETURN TO: