It was on March 19, 1966, to be exact, after playing the O’Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre), when a shoeless Cash stumbled off stage and proceeded to overdose, only to be found in his Winnebago the next morning by his manager, Saul Holiff.
“For all intents and purposes, he was dead,” Holiff said at the time in his audio diary. (Cash survived, of course, passing away in 2003 at the age of 71.)
The reason few people know about this episode in the tumultuous life of the famous country singer is that, until now, nobody had listened to Holiff recount the story into his personal reel-to-reel machine. It’s just one of the many fascinating tales Holiff’s son, Jonathan, found in his father’s storage locker after Saul committed suicide in 2005, and which are shared for the first time in the new documentary, My Father and the Man in Black, which screens in Toronto this week as part of the North by Northeast music festival.