Archive for September, 2006

Farm Aid 2006 Draws 25,000

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

CAMDEN, N.J., Sept. 30 (UPI) — This weekend’s Farm Aid event in Camden, N.J. saw 25,000 fans raise $1.1 million in ticket sales, while artists promoted the purchase of family farm foods.

A Farm Aid news release said Saturday’s event, which was presented by Silk Soymilk, broadcast a message of support for both the annual fundraising event and family farms throughout America.

“The Farm Aid concert brings us all together to support family farmers, one of our most valuable resources,” said Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson, who also performed on Saturday. “Everyone deserves access to good, family farm food all of the time. I’m proud to be on stage with my friends sharing that message with Camden, Philadelphia and the nation.”

Performers at this year’s event included Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and several others, all of who support the good food movement.

The release since the first Farm Aid benefit concert took place in 1985, the annual event has helped bring attention to the decline in American family farms and help such families maintain their land.

Join Farm Aid

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

FarmYard Membership

A FarmYard membership is a great way for Farm Aid’s greatest fans and supporters to get exclusive deals and opportunities!

  • 10% discount on all merchandise in our online store
  • Access to members only section of our online store with great items like autographed guitars
  • Chance to purchase concert tickets before the general public. Members have the chance to purchase up to two tickets based on availability. Tickets are NOT guaranteed to each member.
  • Year round access to members-only web site.
  • Quarterly drawings for free autographed items like t-shirts and program books
  • FarmYard Membership Kit, with FarmYard mouse pad. 
  • Memberships are $20 for one calendar year and are a tax-deductible donation to Farm Aid.

Dave Alvin and Calexico on e-town

Saturday, September 30th, 2006


E-Town is taping at the Boulder Theater this next Monday, October 2.  Dave Alvin and Calexico are guests at this show presented by Boulder’s radio station 97.3 KBCO.  Show starts at 7:00 p.m., but get there early, so you can sit up close, and plus, I’ll be there early and you can keep me company. 

Here’s what e-town says about it on their web site:

Great Western sounds will fill the Boulder Theater as etown welcomes Calexico for their first visit and celebrates the return of Dave Alvin. Calexico, the Tucson Arizona based eclectic rockers led by Joey Burns and John Convertino are known for drawing wide influences like Morricone spaghetti Western, surf, twang and 50’s jazz into a sound that evokes cinematic grandeur.

Dave Alvin swings back to etown in support of his acclaimed new release “West of the West, Songs from California Songwriters.” On this collection, Alvin, a consummate writer himself, sings a love letter to his native California. He takes songs by writers as different as Merle Haggard, Jackson Browne and Tom Waits and makes them all sound like one person wrote them. More intriguingly, they all sound like the writer might have been him.


Willie Nelson inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame 1993

Saturday, September 30th, 2006


Since the mid-1970s Willie Hugh Nelson has emerged as one of the most versatile, enduring, and influential talents in late twentieth-century country music. As a vocal stylist, songwriter, bandleader, and even occasional movie actor, Nelson’s long commercial reign (20 #1 hits and 114 chart singles between 1962 and 1993) has been outstripped only by his boundless energy as a performer and songwriter. Since the mid-1950s, his recorded output has been so vast as to confound all but the most dedicated discographers.

Oh, I’d rather be at Farm Aid

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Willie Nelson and Neil Young open up Farm Aid

Willie Sings the Blues

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

I’m happy to see Willie’s schedule opening up into the next year, with this announcement that Willie will perform with Wynton Marsalis on Friday and Saturday nights, January 12, 13, at the Allen Room  in New York City.  Here’s the blurb: “He’s got the right to sing the blues.  As folk legend Willie Nelson told the great B. B. King and the late, great Ray Charles, “Gentlemen, I think I’m the only one here who actually had to pick cotton.”  Country outlaw Willie Nelson and Crescent City son Wynton Marsalis come together on two stellar evening in the Allen Room to demonstrate soulfully why the blues should be our national  anthem. Tickets are pricey, but worth every penny of it!

Newsweek Magazine (8/14/78)

Friday, September 29th, 2006


August 14, 1978
King of Country Music:  Willie Nelson
by Pete Axthelm

His rough, red-bearded face has been lined by years of tequila nights and Bloody Mary mornings, but the clear eyes sparkle as if each song, each cheer and each success is happening to Willie Nelson for the very first time.  Surrounded by a merry band of pickers and pranksters, he travels the hard miles and one-night stands; but like the cowboys he celebrates in songs, Nelson can seem pensive and alone in the wildest of crowds.  Willie has always carried himself with a kind of fierce innocense, defying those who would corrupt or label him.  And now, to his whimisical delight, it is all paying off.  At 45, the old outlaw has become music’s “in” phenomenon.  The night life, Willie Nelson'[s life, has become a good life indeed.

Twenty years after he wrote “The Night Life” and other country classics — only to have them recorded by others because his own haunting, unusual voice was deemed unsuitable by record executives — Willie is now singing not only his own hits but ones that he didn’t even write himeself.  His new “Stardust” album, an evocative country-blues treatment of ten old standards, has topped the country charts for two months — after supplanting a wonderful No. 1 album that Willie did with his outlaw friend Waylon Jennings.  His Western epic, “Red Headed Stranger,” remains on the charts three years after it smashed all the old rules about what a country musical album was supposed to be.  With his hard-edged poetry and intensely personal blend of country, rock and gospel sounds, Willie has crossed over to the pop charts and reached out to enbrace a widening audience of good old boys, young rockers and almost anyone else who can see beyond narrow categories onto a brand of music that sometimes seems very close to magic.

“The nice thing about what’s happening now,” says Nelson, “is that I’m doing pretty much what i’ve been trying to do for 25 years.  During a lot of those years, I wondered if anybody out there was listening.  But now, the word seems to have gotten around about me.”

The message began to get out about 1973, when Nelson threw a Fourth of July picnic in Dripping Springs, Texas, and 50,000 of his friends showed up.  Soon he was being hailed as a great synthesizer who could bring together rock groups and country stars, as well as hippie and red neck fans.  Nelson’s music ws described in catchall phrases like progressive country and redneck rock.  But when ever the trend spotters throught they had him pinned down, Willie slipped away.

Just when people began to call him an avant-garde poet, this country genious turned back to old-time melodies like “Blue Eyes Crying in th Rain” and “Georgia (On My Mind) — and merely became more popular than ever. (more…)

Can you feel that Farm Aid Energy?

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Oh boy, Willie has to be getting ready to go to New Jersey, for Farm Aid.  Maybe he’s already out there.  I heard he was in Hawaii, with his family.   He must have flown, or maybe met up with the buses somewhere.  Don’t forget, they are webcasting it at their site:

 BRIAN KERSEY / Associated Press

They do call it the Garden State, after all. So though “green vegetables” may not be the most common word-association answer to “Camden,” this year’s Farm Aid benefit concert will be at the Tweeter Center in the city recently named the nation’s poorest and most dangerous.

That means that Saturday, the Farm Aid four – Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, who perform every year – will be spending the day in New Jersey singing on behalf of family farmers, along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Gov’t Mule, Arlo Guthrie, Steel Pulse, and polka king Jimmy Sturr, among others.

Nelson founded Farm Aid in 1985 in a charitable effort to help keep struggling farmers on their land. The Boston-based organization has raised more than $29 million with annual concerts whose locale shifts every year, but never to the Northeast before this weekend. These days, Farm Aid concentrates on supporting healthful, environmentally friendly food, and helping growers connect directly with consumers though local farmers markets.

Here’s what to expect from a sampling of the 16 acts, from the big four on down.

Willie Nelson. Nelson was charged in Louisiana earlier this month after 1.2 pounds of marijuana was found on his tour bus. That’s no blow to his image: Nelson’s fondness for organic greenery has been mythologized in such tunes as Toby Keith’s “Weed With Willie.” It does, however, create a smoke screen that makes it easy to forget what a genius interpreter of American song this 73-year-old is. His two 2006 albums can remind us: You Don’t Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, which came out in the spring, and Songbird, a rocked-out collaboration with young buck Ryan Adams, due next month.

Neil Young.Passionate and prolific: Those are the words that best describe Young. At 60, he’s still committed to a handful of causes like Farm Aid that he cares about deeply. And with an output that stretches from Buffalo Springfield to this year’s protest album, Living With War, the man can assemble quite a set list.

John Mellencamp. Farm Aid charter member Mellencamp doesn’t always get his props. But if you’re going to list the major American voices of the rock era, this Hoosier belongs right at the top along with Bob Seger and Tom Petty. What’s really impressive is the way he continues to mature and explore over more than 20 albums.

Dave Matthews.Matthews has always managed to defy description, from his craggy voice to his exotic music, part pop, part jam band and part jazz fusion. And he’s one of the few artists who has remained an ardent activist without turning his songs into stiff manifestos. He’s a funky man of conscience.

Jerry Lee Lewis. Mamas, hide your daughters. “The Killer” is in town. And on his new superstar-heavy album of duets, Last Man Standing, Lewis, who turns 71 today, bends the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page and John Fogerty to his will. Goodness, gracious, there’s still plenty of life left in this man. (more…)

The Rex Foundation

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Last Saturday, I went to a Black Tie-Dye Ball, at the Fillmore Auditorium, in Denver, sponsored by The Rex Foundation. It was a fund-raiser for this San Francisco based organization, that raises money and then grants it to grassroots programs around the country.  Dark Star Orchestra was playing, and my friend Jay, of Pasta Jay’s in Boulder, was catering., and I was excited when he invited me to go along.

Jay has donated a lot of time, delicious Italian food, and energy for Rex Foundation events in Colorado. But I only vaguely knew who they were, that they were inspired by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. I been a Dead Head a long time, but since Jerry died, well, you know.

I got a copy of the Foundation’s 2005 Annual Report at the Ball, and learned a lot about them.  Like that, since December 2001 when they launched the renewal of the Rex Foundation,  they have raised $1.1 million, and granted $676,000 to 109 grassroots programs across the U. S. and internationally. Including efforts of their original orginazation in 1984 and 1995, and from 2001 to date, they have granted $8 million to over 1,000 programs.

The report also explained that the Rex Foundation was named after Rex Jackson, a Grateful Dead roadie and later road manager until his untimely death in 1976.

The Rex Foundation presents awards each year, including:

The Ralph J. Gleason Award, in memory of music journalist Ralph J. Gleason, “a major figure in the advancement of music in America in the 1960’s, whose openess to new music and ideas transcended difference between generations and styles.”

2005 Winner:  WWOZ, a community radio station estalished to serve the musicians of New

The Bill Graham Award, in memory of pioneering producer and founding Rex board member Bill Graham, hinself a refugee, this award is for those working to assist children whyo are vicitms of political oppression and human rights violations

2005 Award winner:  Mercy Corps (MC), organized to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.  The award is in support of work in Western Sudan’s Darfur region, where MC is assisting displaced

Jerry Garcia Award, in memory of Grateful Dead guitarist and founding Rex board member Jerry Garcia, this award is designed to honor and support individual and groups that work to encourage creativity in young people. 

2005 Winner;  Marsh Youth Theater:  provides high quality theater arts education to San Francisco youth with a focus on outreach to children living in the multicultural Mission District.

A sample of the 2005 Grant Beneficiaries:

Organic Farming Resarch Foundation

Sustainable Fishery Advocates

JazzMasers Workshop

Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

A Living Library
A project of Life Frames, Inc.

San Francisco Youth and Government Delegation

They have a great website at, where you can read about other recipients, get information about future events, and learn how you can get involved.

I guess their Mission Statement about says it all:

The Rex Foundation continues to embody the spirit of generosity and concern that evolved in the culture of the Deadheads and the Grateful Dead, aiming to hep secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.

Guiding Principles and Values:

  • We respect traditional wisdom cultures
  • We respect individual rights and differences
  • We are willing to take risks and trust people
  • We help people who are helping others and are trying to make a difference
  • We help people develop bold new solutions to problems
  • We benefit the broader community and the broader good
  • We practice inclusiveness and open-mindedness
  • We support organizations committed to grasssroots action.
  • We seek to identify entities doing good work that might otherwise be overlooked.
  • Our support helps beyond direct funding by boosting the visibility of the recipient’s work.
  • We want to be an agent of change, to help leverage greater impact
  • We are non-partisan
  • We promote an active, informed citizenry
  • The Foundation is an efficient conduit for supporting the community.
    Being part of the Rex Foundation is enjoyable.
  • We carry on the best of the spirit of the 60’s to create a more harmonius world.

Joke of the Day (thanks to Poodie)

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

This guy had tennis elbow, and heard about a place that had a urinalysis machine that could analyze your urine and tell you exactly what was wrong with you.  Already knowing what he had, he decided to test the machine.

The guy poured in a sample of his urine, and the machine coughed and sputtered before spitting out a card that read, YOU HAVE TENNIS ELBOW.  The guy was amazed.

He decided to play a trick on the machine.  He went home and collected urine specimens form his dog, his daughter, and his wife, and mixed them all together with his own.  Feeling smart, he went back to the urinalysis machine and poured in the mixed-up sample.

The machine began to smoke, shake, swell up, and cough.  It rattled and clanked before finally spitting out the card that read, YOUR DOG HAS WORMS; YOUR DAUGHTER IS ON CRACK; YOUR WIFE IS CHEATING ON YOU, IF YOU DON’T QUIT JACKING OFF, THAT ELBOW OF YOURS WILL NEVER HEAL. 

My e-bay Purchase

Monday, September 25th, 2006



I told myself no more posters from e-bay, but I couldn’t resist this one.  It’s so beautiful.

Star in a movie with Willie Nelson

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Here’s some good news!  Willie is making another movie:  Shoot Out of Luck.  It is billed as a comedic, action film, where cowboys tangle with big city mobsters, in a dramatic, suspenseful journey that ends with a musical celebratiion.

Willie Nelson and Randall “Tex” Cobb star in the movie which is being shot in Texas. The show is in pre-production, and the production company’s website  gives information about how you can be in the movie. Another opportunity for you lucky Texans!

Joke of the Day

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Five tips for a woman….

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn’t lie to you
4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.
5. It is important that these four men don’t know each other.

People Magazine (9/1/80)

Sunday, September 24th, 2006


People Magazine
September 1, 1980
by Cheryl McCall

Before he ever imagined the high life, the whiskey nights and the Bloody Mary mornings to follow, Willie Nelson yearned for the road and its promise of freedom.  As a Texas school boy, chopping cotton for $1.5o a day, he listened to the gospel songs of the field hands and daydreamed about moving on.  “I didn’t like picking cotton one bit,” he recalls.  “I used to stand in the fields and watch the cars go by and think, ‘I want to go with them.'”

Today, nearly four decades and a million miles later, Willie, 47, continues to heed the call of the highway.  Overtaken by success a mere five years ago with the release of his album Red Headed Stranger, he simply picked up the tempo and put his foot to the floor.  Once branded an outlaw by Nashville’s rhinestone-encrusted music establishment, Nelson has lately become an inadvertent and unassailable national monument.  No one really objected when Willie dropped a lyric from The Star-Spangled Banner at the recent Democratic National Conveniton.

Since Stranger went platinum in 1976, Nelson has added two more platinums, two double platinums, four golds and a whole atticfull of Grammys and Country Music Association awards.  Currently, with seven LPs on the charts plus his new double LP Honeysuckle Rose, Willie has taken his guitar and his low-key persona and is trying his hand at being a movie star.

As he tells it, his starring role as Buck Bonham in Honeysuckle Rose is one he could play almost from memory.  “I never did know you had to the trained to have your picture made,” drawls Willie.  “Maybe that’s the whole point — not knowing anything is maybe better than just knowing a little.  Besides, I can sympathize with Buck,” he adds. “He’s a married guy who succumbs to temptation on a potholed highway.  I’ve been that route myself.”

It shows.  On-screen, Willie projects the same earthy sex appeal and relaxed masculinity that give his life performances tension.  His face is as brown and creased as a walnut, the reddish hair and beard dusted with gray.  But the camera dimisses the etchings of age and lingers instead on the soulful brown eyes and the effortless smile.  When Nelson is teamed with Dyan Cannon, who plays his lusty wife, Viv, in Honeysucke Rose, the movie crackles with high voltage.  “Willie does it like a real person, which is what an actor is supposed to do,” says the film’s director, Jerry Schatzberg.  “He’s very natural in the love scenes because he’s had a lot of experience there.  The man’s been married three times and he knows what he’s doing.”

While Honeysuckle Rose borrows freely from the singer’s nomadic, loosely plotted existence, the unabridged script of Willie’s life story is part Grapes of Wrath, part contrified Battle of the Sexes.  Children of the Depression, Willie and his older sister, Bobbie, were raised by their paternal grandparents in dusty little Abbott, Texas after Ira and Myrle Nelson divorced.  While Bobbie learned piano from her grandmoteher, Willie was given his first guitar at 7 by his grandfather, a blacksmith who took mail-order music lessons.  When the old man died the following year, Willie kept his ear to the family’s wooden Philco radio, learning as many Grand Ole Opry songs as he could.  “He’d pick up things just like that,” says Bobbie.  “His ear is so fantastic, he doesn’t even know how good he is.” (more…)

Willie Shirt

Sunday, September 24th, 2006


Lost Highway Records, Willie’s record label, used to sell this shirt, but they don’t have it now.  If you like it, visit their web site and let them know.  I want one. 

Their site is very enjoyable, too.

There’s a link to it at the blogroll on the right.

Thanks for stopping by!