Townes Van Zandt was one of the best country songwriters the world has ever known. He was also a human wreck, as illustrated by this harrowing Houston Press article about the legal rights to his musical output.
A battle over his music has raged for years in public and in private, one that has taken its toll on all involved, including an ex-wife, three children and the man who says he spent a small fortune producing Van Zandt when no one else would. This fight, over what some say are mere pennies and others claim are millions, has ruined many friendships, forced several lawsuits and grows more acrimonious each year. To wade into this story is to get drenched in muck. Every few months, it flares up as more Townes Van Zandt CDs appear on the market—some legit, some of dubious origin. It is over these dozens of albums—and who owns them, and who collects the money made from their sales—that the squabble has, over the years, escalated into a nasty little war.
Link via Ken Layne.