MTV Story on Cash Video
The rest of the video is a haunting portrait of a clearly fragile Cash juxtaposed with archival glimpses of a hale and hearty hell-raiser hopping trains, visiting his abandoned childhood home and taking walks with his family. The intercut footage came from several boxes pulled from Cash's private collection and lent to Romanek, who spent weeks combing through hundreds of hours of tape. "I've gotten letter after letter from people saying that the video made them weep and they can't stop watching it," Romanek said. As further proof of its success, the perennially cool but commercially hard-to-pigeonhole Cash is suddenly in rotation on MTV2 and VH1 and the song has crept onto the playlist of Los Angeles alternative rock tastemaker station KROQ-FM.
"I'm most proud of the fact that it's causing this visceral, emotional reaction," Romanek said. "That's the whole reason to make any sort of film. You don't often have the opportunity to do that with a music video because that's not usually what you're being asked to accomplish."