Bill Murray Recalls How John Prine’s Music Helped Lift Him From A Depressive Episode

The family of John Prine confirmed the legendary singer passed away Tuesday night after a battle with COVID-19. Prine had spent over a week in intensive care after he developed pneumonia in both of his lungs. Musicians across genres, like Big Thief and Joan Baez, have offered their tribute to the songwriter by covering some of his iconic tracks. Celebrities like Stephen Colbert have given their condolences to Prine’s family following the news of this death. Now, Bill Murray shares how Prine’s music has had a lasting impact on his life.

In a video posted to Twitter, Murray explained how listening to Prine’s music helped lift him out of a depressive episode:

“So, once upon a time, it was the first time in my life I was, not what people call ‘clinically depressed,’ but a real bummer to be around, like, a real downer to be around. And I just couldn’t get myself to having any fun and I thought to myself, I remembered something my friend Hunter S. Thompson said during kind of an addled state he said, ‘We’re going to have to rely on John Prine for a sense of humor.’ Which I thought was one of those addled things that you say.”

But Murray followed Thompson’s instructions and put on Prine’s lengthy record Great Days. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘Who the hell put him in charge of a sense of humor,’ as I’m going way into this record,” Murray said. “But, there it was, this song ‘Linda Goes To Mars.’ And I heard the song and I went, ‘Huh.’ And that was the beginning of the return.”

Watch Murray speak about the importance of Prine’s music above.