Archive for the ‘billboards, signs’ Category

Willie Nelson for President

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival (Detroit) (7/8/2017)

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Thanks so much to Ashley Morales, for these great photos of billboards from last night’s Outlaw Music Festival in Detroit.

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

WIllie Nelsons 4th of July Picnic 2017

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Thank you Janis, for taking time to take pictures and send them to me today from Willie’s picnic.  That’s kindness.

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Monday, July 3rd, 2017


Willie Nelson at Battery Park (June 10, 2017)

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Thanks so much, Phil Weisman, for finding this photo.


Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Drivers in Austin should be forgiven if they think Willie Nelson has been moonlighting on a highway crew. Messages on electronic traffic signs will soon broadcast country-and-western-themed alerts, such as “SAFETY IS ‘ALWAYS ON MY MIND’ / SHARE THE ROAD” and “ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD / PLEASE DRIVE WILLIE SLOW.”

The whimsical messages are part of a new safety campaign from the Austin Transportation Department, which in January asked people to submit short poems about driving sober, not texting, and being aware of traffic conditions and construction crews. More than 300 responded, and this week the department announced 15 winners who’ll have their messages blinking on the city’s dynamic-message signs later this year. Aside from the odes to the local music legend who’s perennially on the road again, there are shout-outs to state pride (“DON’T MESS WITH TEXTS”), regional cinema history (“DAZED AND CONFUSED? / STOP STARING AT YOUR CELL PHONE”), and bull-riding idioms/country crooner Vern Gosdin hits (“THIS AIN’T YOUR FIRST RODEO / SO BUCKLE UP!”).

This kind of officially sanctioned silliness follows similar campaigns employing large signs on state highway systems. “There are several state departments of transportation that have used lighter, humorous, impactful messaging to engage roadway users—for example, the Arizona DOT, Iowa DOT, and Massachusetts DOT,” the latter which also played with local flavor, says Jorge Riveros, division manager at the Austin Transportation Department.

Austin hopes that placing such a campaign in the more unusual setting of a municipality—and referencing regional language and lore—will draw more eyes to safety concerns. The city needs all the help it can get on this front: Traffic deaths have been rising over the years, leading to a record number of 102 people being killed in crashes in 2015, a jump of 62 percent from 2014. Though the toll was slightly less grim in 2016, Austin wants to head off future surges in road fatalities, planning redesigns for historically dangerous intersections and adopting its first Vision Zero action plan last spring with the goal of rubbing out traffic deaths and major injuries by 2025.

“Overall, this campaign felt like it could deliver a fresh take, and specifically shake up some of the operational messages that Austin travelers might have been accustomed to seeing,” says Riveros. “Injecting some levity may get roadway users to think about some of the safety and operational choices that they are making, and if we can make the roadways safer in Austin, then we as an organization can say that we are getting closer to doing our job to keep all users safe at all times.”

Marissa Monroy, the transportation department’s public information and marketing manager, says that the contest also revealed the kinds of things Austin drivers are most concerned about: “Popular messages included using your blinker, putting away your cell phones, not drinking and driving, sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians, being cautious around road work, not ‘blocking the box,’ not littering, always wearing a seat belt—and just being nice to each other.”

For those curious about the jokey alerts that didn’t make the cut, there are a few good ones, including “Buckle up buttercup,” “Use shoulder only in queso emergency,” “Your seat has an ‘eject’ button/It’s called not wearing your seat belt,” and “If you can read this, slow down so you don’t hit the person in front of you reading this.”

Willie Nelson & Family, Radio City Music Hall (NYC) (8/25/08)

Friday, March 24th, 2017


Willie Nelson at the Palomino

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Thanks to Lisa Guilin, for sharing these classic photos, from the Palomino

The sign outside the squat rental hall reads Le Monge, an odd faux-French touch for a North Hollywood neighborhood that never had any pretensions, not even when music’s elite came cruising past the liquor stores and auto body shops lining this stretch of Lankershim Boulevard. Back then the low-slung building was the Palomino, aka the Pal, a honky-tonk that would reign for more than 40 years as L.A.’s top country spot. Now it’s just a banquet facility that’s seen better days.

The Palomino

During the Pal’s prime, from the early 1960s through the mid-1970s, such country icons as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Hoyt Axton, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Charley Pride, and Ernest Tubb played the foot-high stage, sweating under the hot lights, the audience inches from their feet. Emmylou Harris sang with a band that included Elvis Presley’s guitarist James Burton and his pianist Glen Hardin. The Flying Burrito Brothers, who were fronted by country-rock artist Gram Parsons, entertained on Monday nights. (The hard-living Parsons, whose mix of country, blues, and folk influenced a generation of musicians, was beaten up one night by a group of rowdy marines.) The crowd was just as star studded. Jerry Lee Lewis was a fixture. Linda Ronstadt had a boyfriend, Jerry Brown, who was let in for free but insisted on paying the cover. Liza Minnelli was a fan of Tony Booth, the leader of the house band, the Palomino Riders. Hugh Hefner often arrived with his teenage companion, Barbi Benton.

The Pal was born in 1949, the baby of Hank Penny, a renowned radio and TV personality, bandleader, musician, and songwriter. He and business partner Amand Gautier had owned a successful club and were looking to start another. Penny happened upon the Lankershim building. The rent was cheap at $200 a month, and it didn’t bother the pair that the previous three tenants had failed. But the place’s name, the Mule Kick, didn’t sit well with Penny, who subsequently dubbed it the World Famous Palomino. He erected a massive neon sign, a rearing bronco balanced in an upturned horseshoe, which was visible for miles against the Valley’s night sky until its dismantling in 1995. Penny ran a respectable club, insisting that cowboys remove their hats when they entered the building. If they refused, Tiny, the enormous bouncer, escorted them out. By all accounts the club was a hit, but Penny had taken on so many outside commitments that he decided he had to let it go.

The club’s second owner, Tommy Thomas, was the Palomino’s P.T. Barnum. He and brother Billy took over the lease in the early ’50s and bought the building soon after. Thomas spent nearly a decade casually hewing to Penny’s model, save with a greater emphasis on the drinking. In 1959, his only local competitor, the Riverside Rancho, closed. A much larger venue, the Rancho had maintained a stranglehold on the country music headliners. Now Thomas owned the premier stage. He chose acts not because he loved their music—he wanted performers who could fill the house. He knew better than anyone in the business how to take a cultural obsession and turn it into money. Inside, posters advertising the night’s lineup were hand drawn with fluorescent paint and illuminated by little black lights. They would be replaced regularly, but the staples accumulated, the walls so thickly studded with sharp metal that it was unwise to lean against them. In those days just about everyone at the packed club smoked. When the back door opened, smoke billowed out in waves that made it look as if the building were on fire.

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Austin City Limits

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Willie Nelson Road

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Willie Nelson at the Palomino (August 8, 1971)

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The Palominophoto:  Jasper Dailey

An exterior view of famed nightclub The Palomino with country star Willie Nelson on the marquee on August 8, 1971 in Los Angeles, California.