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.

FISHING 

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.

READS 

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.

JEANS 

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. 

TELEVISION 

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