Archive for February, 2010
Luck Films Presents: Willie Nelson and Family, and Ron Blackwood and the Blackwood Quartet at Carl’s Corner, Texas (12/16/2009)Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Luck Films has released another video from the December 16, 2009 concert at Willie’s Place Theater, Carl’s Corner, Texas. Willie Nelson invited Ron Blackwood and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet onstage to sing the gospel set, including, “I’ll Fly Away.”
Feb. 13, 1984
by Chet Flippo
Is it true that when cowboys die, they go to Texas? Tonight is cowboy heaven for sure — as two forever young good ole boys named Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson smile and press the flesh and inch their way through phalanxes of ecstatic fans on their way to the bandstand. Out front, a couple thousand of the faithful are whooping it up and pouring down the Lone Star beer at Austin’s Opry House, a true shrine of C&W. It was here that Willie put modern Country on the map in the early ’70s when he gave up on Nashville’s establishment and drifted on down to Austin to forge an alliance between hippies and rednecks.
Hordes of both — now almost indistinguishable, what with their pierced ears and long hair and pounds of silver and gold jewelry and flowered shirts and skintight jeans (and that’s only the men) — are starting their “Willie” chant. Even though the concert footage has already been shot at the Opry House for Songwriter, the movie that Willie and Kris are filming here, Willie got cabin fever after awhile and decided he just had to do a show. Since he now owns the Opry House, along with a lot of other prime Austin real estate, it wasn’t too hard to set up. Austin can never get enough of Willie, especially since he now spends most of his time in Colorado or on the road. He is still a holy man in Texas.
Backstage, Willie, still in his “Doc Jenkins” black garb from the day’s shooting, smiles his guru smile and shakes the hands of preppies in blazers and bikers in leather and grandmothers in shawls and little children and clean-cut jocks and guys who look suspiciously like dope dealers and businessmen wearing suits and left-over ’60’s hippies and farmers and former University of Texas coach Darrell Royal. They are smiling at each other so much that, if you didn’t know better, you might think this is a mob of some kind of babbling religious freaks. But no, they’re just Willie fanatics.
Willie embraces Kristofferson, who is still wearing the black outfit of the “Blackie Buck” character in the movie. Kris and Willie are the old pros of progressive C&W and their lined faces and salt-and-pepper bears show a lot of years of being rode hard and put up wet. But, as a bystander points out, they fearlessly — and recklessly — went up against heavy odds in fighing Nashville’s establishment.
“And, bah Gahd, we won, didn’t we, Willie?” rasps Kris in his window-rattling rumble of a voice, hugging Willie amid the chaos. “Yeah, Kris, I guess we did,” Willie says quietly. Then he and his band hit the stage to plead: “Whiskey river, take my mind.”
The crowd erupts and doesn’t stop. It’s an old-fashioned hoedown with dancers and drinkers twirling and swirling thorugh hours of Willie and Kris, and Kris and Willie stripping down to black T-shirts and dripping with sweat by the time they turn Amazing Grace into a Country Mass — hundreds of europhoric worshipers jumping to their feet and pointing their fingers heavenward and singing along witha Texas sermon from Matthew, Mark, Kris and Willie. And not one fight. Remarkable for a honky-tonk.
“God, Willie’s great,” Kris says a few minutes after the show, back in his modest suite at the Ramada Inn, as he picks his way through stacks of toys for his children and calls room service to order himself some rabbit food and volcano water.
Ten years ago, when they were really living the lives of Doc and Blackie, Kris and Willie existed on shots of tequila and more shots of tequila, with the occasional night out on shots of Jack Daniel’s. They were living right out there “on the border,” as Kris sings in this movie. And they were slogging through the drugs-and-alcohol diet thought essential to capture the exquisite pain of country music.
No longer. Kris pulls off his T-shirt to reveal that he’s healthy now, rippling muscles and all that. Coherent. Sane. Everything that he is not in Songwriter. Doesn’t drink or drug anymore. Runs 10 miles a day. Plays golf with Willie. Eats right. Is writing songs again after a long drought.
“Yeah, things are going real good,” he says with a satisfied sigh from his easy chair, boots up on the table. “I got married. Wasn’t no big thing, but yeah, we got a little boy now. My wife’s named Lisa. She’s a lawyer. She was in law school at Pepperdine when I met her. We had a little boy on the seventh of October — Jesse Turner Kristofferson. ‘Jesse’ for an old football coach I had and ‘Turner’ for [band member] Turner Stephen Bruton.
“Wille’s got a great philosphy — about running, about golf, about everything. Kick it back to where you can enjoy it, you know? I’t like, if youre’ running too hard and you’re miserable, then ease off a little bit. He runs for pleasure, not to drive himself. I swear to God” — he laughts at the notion — “being around Willie is like being around Buddah. He gives off these positive attitudes. Next thing you know, you’re acting like him.”
He laughs again, shaking his head in wonderment as he pushes his room service tray aside. He turns and trains the full force of his intense, sky-blue deep-set eyes on his visitor and says seriously, “I’ll never be like him. I’ll never be able to walk directly from the golf cart to the stage. But I’ll never again put myself through the angst I used to. This film as changed my life as much as A Star is Born did. That was a real turning point because I saw that I had potential as an actor. It was enough to clean me up, to quit drinking, you know. And this move has justified my getting cleaned up. You always hope that working with friends will work, but working with Willie is a real bonus because the chemistry on the screen is so good. This has turned out to be the best experience of my life.”
This dvd is for sale; it’s a great concert:
Lisa, from Texas, sent this picture of the Free Willie Nelson van she spotted in New York.
Today, Ron, the owner owner of the van, responded:
“It’s mine. The idea is the outside is painted like an orca (Free Willie) the inside is old warm cowboy, Americana (Willie Nelson) hence the Free Willie Nelson.
Thank you for your kind remarks about the Free Willie Nelson. Unlike every other vehicle parked in the streets of manhattan the Free Willie Nelson gives back to the community with a nice deck on the rear where people can sit and smoke, eat a snack, sit in the sun and watch the world go by, or chat.
Often my friends come by and we sit inside and jam. It’s worth noting the Free Willie Nelson is the same size as my apartment, there by doubling my living space. Unlike my apartment it costs about $800 per year to own and it transports up to sixteen people out to the Mermaid Parade, Floyd Bennett Field, Dead Horse Bay, Wood-stock or away from ground zero on that terrible day.
This summer we are talking about putting on a rooftop garden.
I know that not everyone is going to get it or like it but if you take a man in the street pole, except for the people who want the parking spot, most all really like it.
This is a ride for the nomadic spirit, the open road and a romantic time in our history when people weren’t afraid to boldly just go.
Again, it’s not for everyone.
If you want to take pictures of the inside just E-mail me and I’ll set it up or just show up during the hours the street is being cleaned.
Why the fence? The white picket fence is an American dream icon and in this application are the teeth of the whale.”
Thanks, Ron! This pictures has shown up on the internet from time to time, and I love getting to hear your story. I think the roof garden is a great idea. If I lived in NYC, I’d come hang out, for sure.
4th of July, Coveleski Park, South Bend, Indiana
|February 27, 2010||Las Palmas Race Track||Mission, TX|
|February 28, 2010||Majestic Theater||San Antonio, TX|
|March 11, 2010||The Pageant||St. Louis, MO|
|March 12, 2010||Ameristar Casino||Kansas City, KS|
|March 13, 2010||Black River Coliseum||Poplar Bluff, MO|
|March 14, 2010||Peoria Civic Center||Peoria, IL|
|March 15, 2010||Embassy Theater||Fort Wayne, IN|
|March 16, 2010||Overture Hall||Madison, WI|
|March 18, 2010||LaCrosse Center||LaCrosse, WI|
|March 19, 2010||Shooting Star Casino||Mahnomen, MN|
|March 20, 2010||Fox City PAC||Appleton, WI|
|March 21, 2010||Genesee Theater||Waukegan, IL|
|March 23, 2010||Grand Theater on Artsblock||Wausau, WI|
|March 24, 2010||Rialto Square Theater||Joliet, IL|
|March 25, 2010||Northern Lights Theater||Milwaukee, WI|
|March 26, 27, 2010||Mystic Lake Casino||Prior Lake, MN|
|March 28, 2010||
7 Flags Event Center
|April 15, 2010||Grove of Anaheim||Anaheim, CA|
|April 17, 2010||Country Thunder Fesitval||Florence, AZ|
|April 22, 2010||Dos Amigos Cantina||Odessa, TX|
|April 23, 2010||Whitewater Amphitheater||New Braunfels, TX|
|April 24, 2010||Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater||College Station, TX|
|May 8, 2010||Seneca Allegany Casino||Salamanca, NY|
|May 14, 15 2010||L Auberge du Lac Casino||Lake Charles, LA|
|July 4, 2010||The BackYard||Austin, TX|
|July 25, 2010||Pier Six Pavilion||Baltimore, MD|
|July 28, 2010||Radio City Music Hall||NYC, NY|
|July 29, 2010||CMAC||Canandaigua, NY|
|July 30, 2010||MGM Grand Theater Foxwoods||Mashantucket, CT|
|August 3, 2010||Filene Center at Wolf Trap||Vienna, VA|
|September 11, 2010||Cannery Casino Hotel||North Las Vegas, NV|
|September 14, 2010||Hanford Fox Theater||Hanford, CA|
|September 16, 2010||Puyallup Fair||Puyallup, WA|
|September 20, 2010||The Catalist||Santa Cruz, CA|
|September 26, 2010||Harrahs Rincon||Valley Center, CA|
Please note, , always check with venue, or www.WillieNelson.com to confirm any thing listed here.
Willie Nelson, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel performed on the David Letterman show last year, on February 16, 2010. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re in for a treat.
Micah Nelson posted on FaceBook about their show tonight:
We will be playing The Mint Feb 27th, and would be ever so delighted if you joined us for the fun. So…Tickets are $10, $13 at the door.
Please see/ call/ email/ tweet/ telegraph us for tickets (the sooner the better for all you lazy kids out there, the show may sell out).
February 27, 2010
6010 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, California
Micah Nelson is busy. Here’s some ways to try to keep up: