Archive for June, 2008

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Willie Nelson at the BackYard.

The greatest song ever written

Monday, June 30th, 2008

When people ask me which of the songs Ive written are my favorites, “Still is Still Moving” always comes up near the top of the list.  The band and I play it at almost every concert, and I’ve recorded it countless times, as well, so you have got to figure the song means something important to me.

Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the song is me.

Whether you look at the song from the point of view of ancient philosophies or from the modern knowledge of quantum physics, there is great motion in all stillness, and true stillness at the heart of all action.

The early Chinese philosophers referred to hits in the concept of something called wu wei, which suggests fulfilling every task with the least necessary action.  Two notes are not required when one will suffice.  Twenty words may not say something better than ten, or one.  For me, that word is stillness.

No matter how still I am, the world around me is abuzz with activity, and the world within me as well.  Modern physics tells us that the atoms in our body ” and all the particles and forces that make up those atoms ” are never at rest.  While our bodies and the world around us seem solid, that physical appearance is merely an illusion, for each of our atoms is comprised primarily of empty space.

If your life in this modern world seems to pass you by at the speed of light, perhaps you could consult Einstein, who proved that the faster we travel, the more time is compressed.  That’s right, the faster we go, the less time we have.  So what is your hurry?

This may not mean much to you, but it must be quite traumatic for the atoms.  Would you like to hear an atom joke?  I didnt think so, but here is one anyway:

A neutron went into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?”

The bartender says, “For you, no charge.”


The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart

The Tao of Willie Nelson
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin

Willie Nelson’s Banana Chocolate Bread

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Nora B. posted this at

“I have no idea why this recipe is associated with Willie Nelson. I got it from a friend in San Fransisco and she’s not sure either if Willie ever made this bread or if it really was some kind of famous secret recipe…”

Willie Nelson’s “Famous” Banana Choc Bread

3 really ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar (mix of white & brown sugars to make about 1 cup)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips (white &semi-sweet)
topping: extra brown sugar

1.   In a large bowl, mix bananas with eggs and stir till well combined. Place your sifter containing the flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon above the bowl, sift, and mix well. Briefly stir through 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into the batter. Do not over-mix.

2.   Pour batter into a non-stick cake/loaf pan. I used a round 8” springform pan. Sprinkle with the extra brown sugar and the remaining chocolate chips.

3.   Bake at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes to cool before removing the cake from the pan and serving.

Willie Nelson and Family, in Bayfield, WI

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Thanks to Beanie, for sharing her pictures.           
I think Willie’s wearing her sombrero in this one.

Joe Nick Patoski signs, ‘Willie Nelson: An Epic Life” 7/1/08

Monday, June 30th, 2008


Willie Nelson: An Epic Life 

Joe Nick Patoski ( signs his remarkable book, ‘Willie Nelson: An Epic Life’ tonight at 7:00 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, Sunset Valley Village, 5601 Brodie Lane. Free.

For more info and directions: 

The Libertarians invite Willie Nelson to their convention

Monday, June 30th, 2008

[Ron Paul has ended his run for president, this time.]
by Mary Ann Akers

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) may have ended his presidential campaign, but the libertarian gadfly isn’t exactly going quietly into the good night. Not without a lot of smoke, anyway.

Paul, the only presidential candidate currently on the New York Times best seller list (8 weeks in a row), is not only planning a book event during the Republican National Convention in September, he’s planning a one-day shadow convention that could well be the wildest party of the entire week. Especially if a certain famous pot smoking, bandana-wearing, long-haired, libertarian-leaning country star accepts Paul’s invitation to perform.

Yes, you guessed it: Willie Nelson.

The Paul campaign, which has morphed into a grass-roots movement called the “Campaign for Liberty” — is on pins and needles (and roach clips) awaiting Nelson’s response.

“We would be thrilled if Willie Nelson could come and he has an open invitation to join us,” says Paul spokesman Jesse Benton.  (Benton, by the way, prefers that we refer to Paul as the politician who would “get rid of the federal ban on marijuana” rather than as the “pro-pot politician”.)

Besides inviting Nelson, who is unconfirmed, Benton says the Ron Paul shadow convention decided to ask MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson to be the emcee. And Carlson, a longtime libertarian, has accepted.

“When Ron Paul calls and asks you to emcee you don’t say no,” Carlson tells The Sleuth. “I’m sure it’ll be a good time and I love the libertarians.” (Sources say even Carlson, a responsible father and husband these days, would likely toke up if Willie showed up to perform in Minneapolis.)

Others you might see at the Ron Paul convention include such longtime friends of the congressman as Barry Goldwater, Jr., and Pat Buchanan.

Paul decided to have his own convention since he hasn’t been invited yet to have a speaking role at the real GOP convention. And he isn’t holding his breath for an invitation, either. “He has not been invited to speak and we are not expecting that invitation to come,” Benton says.

As for the Ron Paul convention, Benton says it “isn’t a protest or anything negative about the Republican convention. It’s going to be a celebration. We want to celebrate limited government and constitutional liberty.”

The Honeysuckle Roses

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Beanie, from Minnesota, drove across the border to travel to beautiful Bayfield, Wisconsin, and see Willie Nelson and Family in concert last Thursday, June 26th.  She took this great picture of the Honeysuckle Rose III and IV, and gave this review of the show:

“Willie Big TENT REVIVAL!!!!  That’s what I call this one.  The Big Top Chautauqua is an outdoor venue set up in a big revival style tent, complete with church pew seating!  The tent probably holds no more than 250 to 300 seats and is a wonderful intimate venue.  All this set atop a downhill ski hill, what a great way to use such a spot in the summer months!  It certainly reminded me of the big tent revivals my parents took me to as a child when they passed through my small hometown.

This crowd was ready to receive our Willie and his blessings of beautiful music!!!!  First on was 40 Points and they played songs from their new CD.  Lukas played his great electric guitar licks behind his back and with his mouth, WOW!

When Willie came on stage the place erupted, and this crowd was ready for action.  They were not as reserved as the WI Dells crowd.  You could tell Willie really drew energy from the fans cheering and singing along with him.  Many hats were tossed on stage and Willie appeared to wear them ALL.  Including, yours truly!!!  I found a goofy looking sombrero at a yard sale and saved it for this event.  I tossed it up front when I got a brief chance to get a bit closer and waved and held up my “beanie Loves Willie” sign to him.  The crowd cheered and at the end of the show he wore it and he really looked it over carefully and a bit perplexed put it up top his head.  The crowd just roared, cuz he looked so amusing!!!

For music he really mixed it up as he did in the Dells.  I especially liked him singing Billy Joe Shaver’s “Georgia on a Fast Train” and the instrumental “Annie”.  Of course no concert would be complete without the sing along and that fit right in here with “I’ll fly away” and “Will the Circle be Unbroken”. 

After the show I saw the woman who caught the sombrero that Willie wore.  She was beaming from ear to ear.  I told her, hey that is the hat I threw on stage, glad you have that now.  She asked me if I wanted it back, and I said absolutely not, that is your hat from Willie and I am happy you have it now.

We were all filled with the Willie spirit in that revival tent, and the circle will not be broken!!!”

Ralph Buckley’s Cry for a Peaceful Solution

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Ralph Buckley has added his own inspiration to ‘A Peaceful Solution,’ the song written by Willie and Amy Nelson.  You can see him sing his version at the Willie Nelson peace research institute at  This song has been recorded by so many different artist, all who felt inspired to lend their talents to the cause of peace.  If you and your band, or you and your guitar would like to record this beautiful song, for free, visit http://WillieNelsonprilcom to find out how to do it.  Jay and Liz, who manage the site, report that they send ever video to Willie to watch, no matter where he is on tour.  I think that is so sweet that Willie reviews all versions recorded.  And, if you aren’t a singer/musician, you can make a video using one of the recorded versions as a soundtrack, and submit that to the site.

Ralph says:

Peace is often misunderstood. Peace is not only represented when armies lay down their weapons.

Peace to the individual is more about the mind. Peace of mind. When you become content with the ‘state of mind’ that is termed has “now”. That rare moment when you no longer are concerned about tomorrow or worried about the consequences of yesterday.

Peaceful consciousness and quantum physics along with hyper dimensional physics has shown us that consciousness can have an affect upon matter.

In a moment of ‘pure consciousness’, a group of people meditating can literally have an affect upon violence and terrorism. The power of people coming together and focusing their consciousness has proven to be a source of unlimited energy and potential.

Watch Ralph’s video at the Willie Nelson Peace Research institute here:

Willie Nelson and Famiy to Play Foothills Fall Festival in Maryville, TN (10/12/08)

Monday, June 30th, 2008


By Steve Wildsmith

Prepare yourselves, Blount County residents there’s a Red-Headed Stranger coming to this year’s Foothills Fall Festival.

Willie Nelson, one of the most beloved and notorious country music icons of the last 50 years, will close out the concert portion of this year’s festival, which takes place Oct. 10-12 at Theater in the Park along the Greenbelt below the Blount County Courthouse in downtown Maryville. Tickets to the three-day event — which also includes sets by classic rockers Foreigner and country stars Josh Turner, Jason Aldean, Jason Michael Carroll and Billy Ray Cyrus — go on sale July 18 for $35.

This year’s entertainment selections were a result of a combination of things but had a lot to do with requests from guests,” said Jane Groff, events coordinator for the City of Maryville. “We are excited beyond words to have Willie Nelson, an American icon, closing out another incredible weekend of performances. Nelson has been near the top of many of our festival guests’ wishlists for years.

As always, the Foothills Fall Festival will introduce some of the hottest new performers in country music as well as seasoned favorites. We are most excited about offering all this entertainment for the same low price of $35 for three days.”

Foreigner led by founding member, guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones was one of the kings of arena-rock groups in the 1970s and ’80s, charting such hits as “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Jukebox Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” “Double Vision” and more. Although original singer Lou Gramm left the group in 2003, the band found an able replace in singer Kelly Hansen, formerly of the classic rock outfit Hurricane. Other members of Foreigner 2008 include Dave Pilson, former bass player for metal group Dokken, and Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Saturday brings a trio of male country artists who have handfuls of hits between them. Cyrus, who rose to fame with his smash hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” has also charted such songs as “Some Gave All” and “Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” and he’s found success recently with his daughter, Miley, in her “Hannah Montana” TV and movie ventures. Aldean’s two albums � 2005’s self-titled debut and 2007’s “Relentless” — have charted several hits as well, including “Why” (which reached No. 1), “Amarillo Sky,” “Johnny Cash” and “Laughed Until We Cried.” Turner, whose debut album “Long Black Train” spent more than 40 weeks on the Billboard country charts, has had three Top 10 singles — “Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me” and “Firecracker,” the former two landing at No. 1.

In addition to Sunday night’s closing performance by Nelson, the evening will feature a set by Julianne Hough, an actress, singer and dancer who exploded on national television as part of ABC-TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.” The 19-year-old recently signed a country music deal with Universal Music Group Nashville and is pursuing a career as a singer. Carroll, whose 2007 album “Waitin’ in the Country” rose to No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, will then warm up the crowd for the festival’s grand finale — Nelson.

Nelson rose to fame during the so-called “outlaw country” movement of the 1970s after making a name for himself as a songwriter for others during the 1960s. Ever since, he’s remained an iconic part of American popular culture, as both a performing artist and as an actor. At 75, he remains one of the most prolific popular artists of recent years, having released, since 2003, four live albums, two greatest hits collections, a four-CD boxed set, three collaborative records and nine studio albums.

This year marks the ninth Foothills Fall Festival to be held in downtown Maryville. Past festivals have featured such acts as Alabama, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Gretchen Wilson, Bo Diddley, KC and the Sunshine Band, Darryl Worley, Aaron Tippin, Gin Blossoms, Sister Hazel, Little Big Town, The Wreckers, George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Ann Womack and more. 

“We definitely encourage guests to purchase tickets as soon as possible,” Groff said. “The sellout last year surprised many and left them without tickets.”

Tickets, which go on sale July 18, will be available at the Maryville Municipal Center, Blount County branches of First Tennessee and GreenBank and through Tickets Unlimited (charge by phone at 656-4444 or order online at A limited number of reserved seats will be available through Tickets Unlimited, and more information about reserved ticket sales, including seating charts, will be available via the website on Tuesday.

The 2008 Foothills Fall Festival
WHEN: Oct. 10-12
WHERE: Theater in the Park, along the Greenbelt below the Blount County Courthouse, downtown Maryville, Tennessee near the intersection of Highways 321 and 129.
HOW MUCH: $35 for a three-day pass, starting July 18
CALL: 273-3445

Friday, Oct. 10: Foreigner
Saturday, Oct. 11: The Hammers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jason Aldean, Josh Turner
Sunday, Oct. 12: Julianne Hough, Jason Michael Carroll, Willie Nelson

Refunds for Council Bluffs Show

Monday, June 30th, 2008


Fans who tried to attend the June 27th Willie Nelson and Family Show in Council Bluffs which was cancelled due to the bad storm, can get full refunds for their tickets.

Guests who purchased their tickets online or by phone will automatically receive a full refund to their credit card today. Tickets purchased with a credit card at the Harrah’s Gift Shop were also be automatically refunded.

Guests who purchased their tickets with cash must bring their tickets along with a receipt to the gift shop today to receive a full refund. There will be no refunds given to guests who received complimentary tickets.


Monday, June 30th, 2008

JoJo and RailRoadLady made the trip to Thackery, OK to see Willie on Saturday, and took this picture.

One Hail of a Ride in Council Bluffs, Iowa (8/27/08)

Sunday, June 29th, 2008


Willie Nelson fan, Dianne, of Iowa attended the-concert-that-wasn’t in Council Bluffs last Friday.  Tornado-strength winds, hail and rain hit the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, killing two young folks, taking down trees, tipping over vehicles, knocking out electricy, causing extensive damage in general — and cancelling the Willie Nelson and Family Concert scheduled that night.

Willie, who rode the storm out in the Honeysuckle Rose IV, was not injured, although his bus barely missed a falling light pole.  One of the band members bus had a window damaged by hail.  Willie did not go on, of course, and left immediately after the storm for Oklahoma for his show Saturday night.

Dianne sat in her car while the storm raged, and then took these pictures of the aftermath.  Thanks, Dianne, for your on-the-spot reporting and picture taking, and sharing them with us.

The soundboard was destroyed.

Chairs were flipped all over the place

Oh-oh; hope no one took shelter in
the port-o-potties 

“Scooterville” and the merchandise tents weren’t spared, either.  The storm came on so fast, their tents were turned over and everything got wet.  Ruth, Scooter’s right-hand-gal, (assistant sounds so boring, doesn’t it), was injured by the hail.  While everyone took shelter, she tried to save the product, until she was forced to take shelter under a bush, the only shelter still standing near her.  Dianne, another fan, and security personnel helped secure the spot while Ruth went to first aid for treatment.  Fortunately, she is okay.  The shirts were soaked; I don’t know what all they lost.

a cup full of hail

a hat full of hail

The Willie Nelson Billboard Story

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

This portrait of Willie Nelson was painted by Spicewood, Texas artist David Zentner earlier this year.  It was painted on plywood and is to be placed on the large road sign along I-35 at Abbott, Texas, which identifies Abbott as Willie’s hometown.  This image will soon appear on a whole new line of souvenirs/memorabilia being offered by Willie Nelson Souvenirs-N-Stuff of Abbott.

Willie Nelson Souvenirs-N-Stuff
by Don Holland
American Country
November 1984

Howdy folks.  I want to tell you of one of the biggest events in the history of Willie’s hometown of Abbott and to let you know how you might become a part of this historical event.

As you know, Abbott is Willie’s hometown and he is as proud of Abbott as the town is of him.  Of course, Willie has grown in stature so much that his popularity exceeds all territorial boundaries and extends throughout the entire world.  In fact, it was Willie’s fans that put street signs upon the Willie Nelson Road here in Abbott.  Thus, I know that you love him and his music or you would not be a fan.  It is for this reason that I have chosen to write this column urging your assistance.

As some of you know, a huge billboard was erected at the juncture of Abbott City limits and Interstate Highway 35.  The sign was set in place in May, 1982.  It consists of Artwork hat was painted directly onto the plywood panels that make up the sign.  Since then, however, it has gotten dirty and faded somewhat.  This, coupled with the very light original coloration, makes it difficult to see the sign from the highway.  In view of this, Dave Zentner painted a large portrait of Willie on plywood — the actual dimension are 6′ tall and 4′ across at its maximum points.  At first, we had thought of putting the original up on the billboard.  However, it is just too good to be subjected to the weathering of the elements.  This, you can see for yourself by a quick glance at the photograph on this page.  however, I have come up with a plan to save the original while at the same time allowing the work to be displayed and its beauty shared.  That is what this column is all about as you will now see.

To have the Zentner painting reproduced and put up on the billboard will cost $4,000 per one estimate  So — you can readily see that a lot of work needs to be done to raise that kind of cash.

I have thought about how we might best raise the money and I have reached certain conclusions which I will share with you.Â

First, the project needs to be a project of Willie’s fans.  Willie appreciates and most certainly deserves the recognition, and I happen to know he likes the painting by Zentner.  He would be proud to see it on the billboard here at Abbott.

Second, folks who help raise the money to get the picture up should receive something of value for their labors.  While contributions will not be turned down, the primary method of raising cash will be through the development and distribution of an enter new line of souvenirs and memorabilia bearing the Zentner image of Willie.

Third, a portion of the dollars generated in providing ans with these items will go toward the Billboard Fund.

You may help us raise the needed cash for the Billboard Fund by ordering the Billboard Fund Package now.  This consists of several items all bearing the Zentner image of Willie — some items being made up now include T-shirts, bandanas, photos, and more.  Also, several miscellaneous Willie Nelson souvenir items are included.  A check-off list of the items and their retail values will be in the kit so you know the prices of each.  Further, plans are to add several more items as we go along and these will be made available to you at thta time.  We now take Visa and Mastercard and Carte Blanche charge cards.  If you want to charge your order, just give us your card number, the expiration date and the name that the account is in. While orders for select times from the kit will be honored, only those perosns who have the full package will be permitted to participate in and enjoy the full benefits of our fund raising program.  Also, such persons may be asked to help on the 2nd Annual Willie Nelson Birthday Week Celebration here in Abbott during the last week of April, and stellar performers will be appropriately honored at that time.

The rest is up to you.  Just send in the order form along with your check, money order or charge info for $9.95 and we will get it in the mill.  As always, your satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back.  That’s the way we all expect it and that’s the way it is.  For info, the regular mail order value of each individual item in the kit total almost $60.00 — 15% savings passed on to you.

Thanks, Willie

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Last September, Willie Nelson and Family played a concert to benefit the Peru Catholic School (to help them build a playground.)  The students made over 100 posters and cards which they displayed, and gave to Willie.  Budrock, Willie’s lighting director, took pictures and sent them to me.  This is only one of them — see the link at the top right to watch a slide show of all the cards.

Willie Nelson’s, ‘Gospel Truth Collection’

Sunday, June 29th, 2008


Four months after releasing Moonlight Becomes You, a collection of pop standards on the small Houston-based Justice records label, Willie Nelson is putting out another unexpected record on another independent record.

This time, the musical maverick travels down the gospel road with Peace in the Valley, the first installment in a three-record series titled The Gospel Truth Collection,  issued by Promised Land Music.

The Nashville-based label was formed to complete and market gospel recordings that almost got lost in the shuffle of Willie’s Internal Revenue Service troubles.  The project, which features both Nelson and his son, Willie “Billy” Nelson Jr., got its start in 1987, says Bob MacDonald, a partner in the label.  “It really was started by his son.  He wanted to be a gospel singer.”

When the IRS and tragedy struck Nelson in quick succession, the project went in limbo.  In 1991 the IRS confiscated most of Willie’s possessions as it sought $16.7 million in back taxes, penalties and interest.  Among the stuff the bureaucrats hauled away was the unfinished gospel project.

“It was recorded but it was not mixed, it was not mastered, it was not packaged and there was no name for it,” MacDonald says.  “They took the actual reel-to-reel tapes.”  We had nothing to work with,” he says.  “We were stuck.”

When Billy Nelson died on Christmas day in 1991, it looked for a time like the Nelsons’ gospel project wasn’t going to happen at all.  In the fall of 1992, however, the IRS returned Nelson’s tapes, and Nelson phoned MacDonald and brought him and producer Grant Boatwright to Texas to revive the project.

The first CD includes a 16-page booklet telling the story of the project and relating it to events and influences from the earliest days of Nelson’s career.

“If you ever wanted to know why Willie would do a gospel album,” says MacDonald, “All you have to do is read the liner notes and you’ll wonder why it took him so long.”

Peace in the Valley is being marketed via television rather than through retails stores, though MacDonald says it differs from the cheaply packaged retreads often hawked by TV ads.  Promised Land is also completing a video for the first single, “My Body’s Just a Suitcase for My Soul,” featuring film of Billy Nelson in the studio recording his vocals.

Over the years, completing The Gospel Truth Collection has become more than just a job for MacDonald and others involved with Promised Land Music and VMI, Inc., MacDonald says.  “It’s a personal project for everybody,” he says.  “It has become a part of our souls.”

— Bill Hobbs
     New Country
     June 1994