Archive for May, 2008

Willie Nelson and the Armadillo World Headquarters

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

photo by Jim Richardson
By Rush Evans

The room held about 1,500 people, most of whom would just sit on the big floor in front of the stage covered with sections of carpet pieced together. The place caught on fairly quickly as the little haven where the anti-establishment types could feel at home, and develop what was becoming their hedonistic music/ pot/beer-based lifestyle. “The lifestyle itself was an accepted art form in Austin and people set out to outdo everyone else with their own maximizing of daily pleasure,” says Wilson.     

And it wasn’t long before that lifestyle had a soundtrack to accompany it. Willie Nelson had already hung around Nashville for a decade and had written some country classics before trekking down to Austin to see what it was all about. Before Willie’s first Armadillo show, the Austin American-Statesman’s Townsend Miller wrote in his country music column of the appearance of Nelson on a psychedelic poster and wondered about that night’s inevitable collision of rednecks and long-hairs, the two warring camps that shared no common ground in any other place in the United States in the 1960s or ’70s. Only in Austin could the music bring the two together.

Almost as soon as the joint opened, a new brand of country/rock music began to be associated with it and its bohemian city. Musicians began to converge on the city where they could get a fair listen: Jerry Jeff Walker, a New York veteran of the psychedelic band Circus Maximus; Doug Sahm, a native Texan who’d spent several years as a rock star in San Francisco fronting the Sir Douglas Quintet;, Michael Murphey, a rocker with country roots and a difficult to categorize sound, along with dozens of other musical misfits. And then Willie Nelson abandoned Nashville and returned to his Central Texas stomping grounds.

Willie inadvertently found himself to be the leader of an outlaw musical movement that had nothing in common with what was going on in Nashville. It was later dubbed “redneck rock” or the “cosmic cowboy” sound, a new mix of traditional folk, tejano, blues, pop, psychedelia, you name it. Whatever it was, it wasn’t quite country and it wasn’t quite rock. Simultaneous with this new genre came new, creative practitioners of established sounds like the blues, with bands like The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Paul Ray And The Cobras setting up shop in town.

Bring back the Armadillo?

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

photo by Steve Dobson

Could the Armadillo World Headquarters Live Again?
City weighing options for property on Barton Springs Road

by Jean Kwon

City leaders are looking at redeveloping the former site of the Armadillo World Headquarters for music-related uses. The site, a little over an acre at Barton Springs Road and South First Street, is a surface parking lot for city government operations at One Texas Center.

The city may eventually take bids to redevelop the two sites, say city officials. Dallas-based Forest City Enterprises originally expressed interest in redeveloping One Texas Center’s parking lot, city officials say. Forest City is one of five firms that recently submitted bids to redevelop the Green Water Treatment Plant; a developer for the plant will be chosen next month.

McCracken says redevelopment of the former Armadillo World Headquarters site poses an opportunity to bolster the live music sector. The Armadillo was Austin’s flagship live music venue in the 1970s and is credited with kick starting the city’s claim to fame as the now-trademarked Live Music Capital of the World.

Founded by musician and Threadgill’s owner Eddie Wilson, the Armadillo hosted performances by the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, ZZ Top and Bruce Springsteen. Frank Zappa, Freddie King and Commander Cody recorded live albums there before it went bankrupt and closed in 1980. (more…)

The Tao of Willie (A guide to the happiness in your heart)

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

By Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin

National icon Willie Nelson has evolved over the years from country music outlaw swimming against a whiskey river to a Zen-like figure of wisdom and contentment.  In this autobiographical collection of life advice, one of America’s truest hearts reveals the spiritual and practical lessons learned from decades of ahrd knocks and good bounces.  With stories that will make you both laugh out loud and look deep within yourself, he shows us how the WIllie way — and the way of the Tao — can also be your way.

I found it on ebay: a Willie Nelson Shirt

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

starting bid:  $9.99

Musicians for Peace

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Amy and Willie Nelson

Music is such a powerful medium, and when it is used to spread peace in the world, it can touch so many people.  Willie Nelson and daughter Amy Nelson wrote, ‘A Peaceful Solution,’ last year, on Willie’s tour bus on his way to play the Coachella concert in California.  But they didn’t just write this beautiful song about peace, they immediately offered it to anyone to record, free of charge.  And for those who don’t sing, they said those folks could use one of Willie’s recordings of the song as a soundtrack for a video about peace:

There is a peaceful solution. It’s called a peace revolution.
Now let’s take back America.
There’s a war and we’re in it, but I know we can win it.
So let’s take back America.

It’s a dream, so believe it.
Now get ready to receive it.
And let’s take back America.

And when the war is over and we’ve won it
let’s remember how we done it so we don’t have to do it again.

There is a peaceful solution. It’s called a peace revolution.
Now let’s take back America.
There’s a war and we’re in it, but I know we can win it.
Now let’s take back America.

There was a peace resolution
and a peaceful revolution
and the peaceful solution saved America

Willie has made several beautiful recordings of the song, and you can listen to them here:

Hear Willie sing it A cappella. WMA file format

Hear Willie sing it A cappella. MP3 file format

Hear Willie sing it Reggae style. MP3 file format

Hear Willie sing it Jazz style. MP3 file format

Hear Willie sing it Live. MP3 file format

Hear the Willie Nelson Family sing it. MP3 file format

Mark Wilderspin is the most recent artist to submit his version of ‘A Peaceful Solution, and you can hear his recording at

The Willie Nelson peace Research Institute was started last year and has become a source of inspiration for living in peace, and inspiring others to live peaceably, too.  At the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute site, you can learn how you can submit your own version of the song, too.

In a more perfect world

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

This would be our next President, pictured here with his advisors.

See Paula Nelson at the Shady Grove in Austin (6/5/08)

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Paula Nelson, George Devore and Landis Armstrong will open for Mickey and the Motor Cars at the Shady Grove, in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, June 5, 2008.  Their acoustic set starts at 7:00 p.m.  For more info:

For more info on the Paula Nelson Band tour, visit their website at

Best wishes to RailRoad Lady (Jan)

Saturday, May 31st, 2008


Heartfelt wishes go out to Jan, aka RailRoadLady,  who is in a Fort Worth hospital for problems related to her kidneys. 

If you have been to a Willie Nelson concert in Texas, you have probably heard Jan call out , “Willie, are you still going to marry me?”  And he answers back, “You’re next.” 

We love you Jan, and hope you recover quickly; I look forward to seeing you in Texas in July.

And the crowd goes crazy, when Willie Nelson hits the stage

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Denver for Dafur selling VIP tickets for Willie Nelson’s Red Rocks show

Saturday, May 31st, 2008


Denver for Dafur are selling VIP tickets to the Willie Nelson concert at Red Rocks on August 26th, which will occur during the Democratic Presidential Convention in Denver.

Denver for Dafur is made up of four Colorado locals  working to stop the killing in the Sudan:  Rutt Bridges (son of Jeff Bridges), Brittany Morris (daughter of Chuck Morris), Ben Gelt (son of Susan Barnes-Gelt) and Teresa St. Peter. They hope to be a big presence at the Democratic Convention and have several events planned for the week.  They have 200 VIP tickets to sell to Willie’s show,  and you can get more information by e-mailing them at for tix and info. They are hoping that Willie will meet with them before the concert, but nothing has been confirmed. reported that the group members, in their 20s and 30s, are also organizing a dramatic reading of Winter Miller’s play “In Darfur” in the afternoon of Aug. 26.  Winter’s friend Mia Farrow is deeply involved ” she’ll be reading or organizing some big names (think “West Wing”) to come in her place.  Also, Denver native Don Cheadle will receive an award during the week, for his help in focusing on the issue.

Let ’em Run

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Big Stars Lend Support to Save Wild Horses

Some big-name entertainers have entered the campaign to save one of the largest remaining herds of wild horses. Singers Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are among those who are urging horse lovers to express their support for preserving the Virginia City herd.


Country singer Lacy J. Dalton is the person who recruited her show biz pals to the fight.

Country singer Lacy J. Dalton was in Las Vegas to perform at the campaign kickoff for Judge Don Mosley, and while music is never far from her mind, Dalton finds more and more of her time devoted to wild horse issues.

Dalton established the Let Em Run Foundation, devoted to preserving and protecting the large herd that lives in the mountains around Virginia City, which is where she lives. The herd was formed when stray horses from Comstock mining camps mixed with wild horse bands more than a century ago. Earlier this year, the state of Nevada announced it plans to round up the animals — supposedly for their own good.

“The Dept of Agriculture’s new director, Tony Lesperance, announced they would round up all the horses immediately because the horses are starving, they’re sickly, there was no grass and the department can no longer afford to feed them. Those were four huge lies,” she said.

Dalton says the Virginia City herd is not starving or sickly, that the range has more grass than ever, and that the state has never spent a dime to feed the animals. In February, the department sought nearly $60,000 to pay for the roundup and removal of 200 horses.

“Whether they will spend it for a roundup that doesn’t need to happen, I don’t know,” said Dalton.

To help put pressure on state officials, Dalton enlisted the help of some musical heavyweights. Country superstar Willie Nelson has been broadcasting his appeal on satellite radio and the Internet and has been joined by someone from the other end of the musical spectrum.

Rap star Snoop Dogg is asking his fans to call Carson City and ask the governor to drop the plans for a roundup. Dalton hopes to one day create a northern sanctuary for wild horses where the animals could live free and serve as a tourist attraction, to be viewed from afar by visitors who’ve never seen a wild horse on the range. Once the horses are rounded up, many of them end up in foreign slaughterhouses where they are butchered for meat. She and her friends don’t want to see that happen to the Virginia City herd.

“I’m relying on all of you to call Governor Gibbons, as if he needs more pressure. The divorce isn’t enough,” she said.

State officials say the planned roundup is on hold — for now.

If you want more information on the Let Em Run Foundation or want to hear the audio clips from Willie Nelson and snoop Dogg:

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, by Joe Nick Patoski (New York Times Book Review)

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Lone Star Superstar
By Alan Light
Sunday Book Review

It was 1975, and Willie Nelson was about to begin a national tour of hockey arenas and other massive concrete venues. Country music had seldom been heard in spaces of that scale. His first album for Columbia Records, “Red Headed Stranger,” was about to be released, and its sound was so spare and stark that the label’s president introduced it to his executives by saying, “It’s probably not commercial and might not be made for country radio.”

Nelson wasn’t concerned. “It is my time,” he said.  Propelled by the hit “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Red Headed Stranger” became a huge, double-platinum success, and in the 30-odd years since, it has remained Nelson’s time. He has sold more than 50 million albums, won countless awards and honors and become a genuine American hero — not bad for a guy who’s also known as a pot-smoking, tax-dodging supporter of Dennis Kucinich.

On April 30, Nelson turned 75. The event was marked by the publication of Joe Nick Patoski’s much-needed, well-told biography, “Willie Nelson: An Epic Life”; a comprehensive four-CD box set, “One Hell of a Ride” (with extensive liner notes, also by Patoski); and this summer, the latest addition to Nelson’s seemingly infinite discography, a typically atypical collaboration with Wynton Marsalis titled “Two Men With the Blues.” Nelson himself honored the occasion by taking a rare day off from his never ending world tour, between stops in Copenhagen and Oslo.

Patoski, a veteran Texas music writer, has previously written books about two other Lone Star legends, Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He has now turned his attention to the ultimate Texas artist. Patoski has been thorough, conducting more than a hundred interviews and drawing on extensive historical research and an impressive familiarity with the 300-plus albums that form Nelson’s oeuvre. Nelson has long seemed the personification of “laid back,” but it is his quiet determination and unwavering focus that shine through the pages of this admirable biography. (more…)

Willie’s Place Grand Opening

Friday, May 30th, 2008


Willie announced on the Bill Mack Satellite Cowboy xm radio show on Wednesday that construction is on schedule at Willie’s Place at Carl’s Corner, and they are gearing up for a week-long grand opening celebration in July.  They hope to open before the week of concerts begin.   Thanks to Art Mann, of, for sending the lineup (so far), and subject to change.   Bill Mack asked Willie if Pauline Reese would be on the lineup, and Willie put out his personal invitation to her to play at the show.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
4:00 p.m .David Allen Coe
8:00 p.m.   Ray Wylie Hubbard

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
4:00 p.m.  David Allen Coe 
8:00 p.m.  Ray Wylie Hubbard

Thursday, July 3, 2008
10:00 a.m.  Mike Siler.
  1:00 p.m.  Heather Miles
  4:00 p.m.  Leona Williams
  7:00 p.m.  Merle Haggard
  9:00 p.m.  Ray Price
  9:30 p.m.  Willie Nelson and Family

Willie will move on to  Selma, for his Fourth of July concert, then on to Houston for a show on July 5th, but  the celebration will continue at Willie’s Place:

July 4, 2008
 1:00 p.m.  James Hand
 4:00 p.m   Megan
 8:00 p.m. Darrel McCall

Donations at all the concerts will be accepted for the Freddie Powers Parkinson Foundation.

Texas is a great place to be the first week of July, if you are a Willie Nelson fan:

June 29, 2008

Dos Amigos

Odessa, TX
June 30, 2008

Willie’s Place

Carl’s Corner, TX
July 2, 2008

South Plains Fair Arena

Lubbock, TX
July 3, 2008

Willie’s Place

Carl’s Corner, TX
July 4, 2008

Verizon Amphitheater

Selma, TX
July 5, 2008

Sam Houston Race Park

Houston, TX

Willie Nelson, in Denver (1/16/1982)

Friday, May 30th, 2008

(Photo by Larry Laszlo)

I love this picture of Willie taken by photographer Larry Laszlo, on January 16, 1982, at the Mammoth  Gardens, which is now the Fillmore Theater in Denver.  Willie was in town to promote his movie,  “Barbarosa,” which was being screened at the Denver Film Festival.  Thank you so much to Larry, who kindly said I could post it here.

Photographer Larry Laszlo lives here in Colorado and operates his studio and business, CoMedia, in Denver.  He has been taking pictures of artists and celebrities for years.  Last year his pictures taken in connection with the Denver Film Festival, including the picture of Willie above, were featured in  “Take 30”, a 192-page commemorative book written by Ron Henderson and Joey Porcelli, and designed by Judy Anderson.

You can see more of Larry’s work, along with at least one more picture of Willie, at

Larry Laszlo has been a Denver-based commercial photographer and photojournalist for better than three decades. After stumbling into corporate assignments involving the rich and famous, Laszlo found himself in demand as a celebrity photographer and so, for many years, made the circuit of high-profile events around the world, a kinder and gentler paparazzi. His work has been seen frequently in People, Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, In Style, and numerous other publications. He continues to operate CoMedia, a Denver studio serving a wide variety of loyal clientele.

Willie Nelson in Council Bluffs, IA (8/3/07)

Friday, May 30th, 2008