The Steve Earle Seal of Approval

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The singer, songwriter, actor, and novelist — whose new album, So You Want to Be an Outlaw, is out now — shares his favorite offstage discoveries.


I’ve been fly-fishing for 20 years. It’s a recovery thing. I don’t do it regularly, but I keep a five- and six-weight rod on the tour bus at all times. I have a Winston rod and a Waterworks-Lamson reel. I need something powerful since my casting is terrible when I start. It takes me a few hours to get back in the groove.


Nick Tosches blows my mind. In the Hand of Dante is one of my favorite books. They think they’ve run across a copy of The Divine Comedy in Dante’s handwriting, and Tosches makes himself a character and wants to authenticate it. I love the idea of taking something true and extrapolating it into fiction.


I don’t go on mass retail websites very often, but I buy clothes on eBay. When you find something cool and they discontinue it, you can find it there. I buy lots of Levi’s 527 jeans there, slim fit in black. They fit me in the ’70s, and they fit me now. 


I’m an HBO and Showtime guy. I saw every episode of Girls. Somebody finally got the Williamsburg hipster thing right; I trip over them all the time. The writing was great — funny but also kind of tragic. I loved when it ended that she didn’t tie up all the loose ends, because that’s not real. 

-as told to David Browne