“John Prine was a sweet and lovely man, and I was proud to count him as my friend,” he said during his DJ set on SirusXM’s E Street Radio. “He wrote music of towering compassion with an almost unheard of precision and creativity when it came to observing the fine details of ordinary lives. He was a writer of great humor, funny, with wry sensitivity. It has marked him as a complete original.”
“His death just makes me angry,” he continued. “He was simply one of the best we had, and we will miss him.” He then played his 1971 classic “Angel From Montgomery.”
Springsteen also honored the late songwriter on Twitter on Tuesday evening, writing, “Over here on E Street, we are crushed by the loss of John Prine. John and I were ‘New Dylans’ together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the loveliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send love and prayers to his family.”
Dylan also paid tribute to Prine, calling his music “pure Proustian existentialism.” “Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs,” he wrote, via Prine’s Facebook page. “I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier junky daddy and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that.”
In 1988, Prine and Springsteen shared the stage to perform Prine’s “Paradise” as Asbury Park Press noted. Springsteen later contributed backing vocals on “Take a Look at My Heart” from Prine’s 1991 album, The Missing Years.