Archive for the ‘Buses and the HoneySuckle Rose’ Category
by: Jon Blistein
In the Eighties, Willie Nelson and his Family Band toured the states in a caravan of four decked-out buses. One of those custom rides, a 1983 Silver Eagle dubbed “Me and Paul,” will be featured on the first episode of Great American Country’s new show, Celebrity Motor Homes (think Cribs on a bus), but a special preview of Nelson’s chariot is available to watch now.
The main area, where the band would’ve hung out, boasts stained-glass windows and seats, sofas and curtains all made out of red-crushed velvet. A marquee that can display the name of the bus, or a number of other phrases or names (including “John Denver”), sits up front above the driver’s seat. The bus also features a kick-back area that comes complete with a bar stocked with the band’s house bourbon, “Ole Whiskey River,” and rolling tray for, as Perkins puts it, “the various musicians who roll their own cigarettes.” Nelson even had a private lounge added, where passengers could relax and play a couple hands of poker.
Celebrity Motor Homes premieres Wednesday, November 26th at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Great American Country. Along with Nelson’s bus, the debut episode will include a look inside the motor home of Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson and the Plain White T’s tour bus.
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Two living legends, Godfathers of Outlaw Music, together on one stage for One Night Only.
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by: Ryan Lakich
A piece of Texas music history will soon be on the road again, thanks to some entrepreneurial Texans. Taylor Perkins, founder of Austin Restaurant Week and Vintage Innovations, and Michael “Stix” Tashnick have purchased Willie Nelson and the Family Band’s former tour bus, which they will turn into a mobile museum of sorts for superfans.
It all started with a Craigslist ad posted last month auctioning off the 1983 Eagle tour bus, which was previously owned by Willie Nelson Family Band drummer Paul English. Christened “Me and Paul,” after the popular album and song, the bus was sold by Tom O’Leary of Whitehouse, Texas, for more than $80,000.
Perkins operates Vintage Innovations, a company that restores and rents vintage trailers and buses. Through that outlet, fans can charter the bus for festivals and concerts, as a living tribute to his legacy (and a pretty sweet ride in general).
Although the bus currently features iconic exterior murals, interior velvet curtains and stained-glass windows from Nelson’s era of travel, Vintage Innovations plans to hire local artisans to completely restore the bus to its original glory.
“We are nostalgia geeks, and when I found the opportunity to own something this cool, I had to move quickly,” Perkins said. “This was something we couldn’t pass up. We are excited to give fans a chance to experience a taste of life as Willie lives it.”
Perkins and Tashnick plan to give a little something back to Nelson in the process Vintage Innovations will donate portions of the bus rental fees to Farm Aid, the charity organization co-founded by Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to assist American family farms.
“We felt this was a great way we could give something back to Willie, who has done so much for our state and the people in it.”
AUSTIN, Texas — — The iconic Willie Nelson Family Band tour bus that spurred a frantic worldwide bidding war will return to Texas highways as a mobile piece of music history, thanks to a pair of Austin entrepreneurs.
Taylor Perkins, founder of Austin Restaurant Week and Vintage Innovations, and his business partner, local entrepreneur Michael “Stix” Tashnick, made the winning bid to obtain the 1983 Eagle tour bus made for Paul English, Willie’s best friend and Family Band drummer. Nelson and English whiled away countless hours together inside that brown-and-silver bus, originally called “The Scout” and later named “Me and Paul,” after Nelson’s renowned album and song.
Perkins and Tashnick purchased it from owner Tom O’Leary of Whitehouse, Texas, recognizing its value as a rolling tribute to Nelson’s musical legacy and uniquely Texas heritage. Fans will be able to charter the vehicle, which has been kept in perfect running condition, for festivals, concerts and other events. Vintage Innovations, which restores and rents vintage Airstreams, buses and other classic vehicles, will donate part of “Me and Paul’s” rental income to Farm Aid, the charity co-founded by Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to support family farms.
“We are all huge Willie Nelson fans and have been our entire lives,” says Perkins. “We felt this was a great way we could give something back to Willie, who has done so much for our state and the people in it.”
The bus’ instantly recognizable, mural-adorned exterior and dark-wood interior, complete with red velvet curtains and stained glass, are still mostly original; Vintage Innovations has hired Bob “Daddy-O” Wade and other local artisans to fully restore its splendor, assuring fans will experience total immersion in the vibe of Willie. Of course, it will retain every ounce (and maybe even some seeds) of the inimitable character that could only be imbued by Nelson and his bandmates.
“We are nostalgia geeks, and when I found the opportunity to own something this cool I had to move quickly,” Taylor says. “This was something we couldn’t pass up. We are excited to give fans a chance to experience a taste of life as Willie lives it — on the road again.”
More here: facebook.com/VintageInnovations
Rental information: Vintage Innovations, 512.750.2845, firstname.lastname@example.org
by: Jason Newman
UPDATE (5/4): The bus sold for more than $80,000, according to seller Tom O’Leary.
Willie Nelson fans hoping to emulate the perpetually itinerant country singer can now buy a tour bus belonging to the singer’s crew.
Rolling Stone has confirmed the vehicle’s authenticity, with a spokesperson for the singer confirming that the bus belonged to Nelson’s longtime drummer Paul English.
The owner, Tom O’Leary, purchased the bus on eBay in 2010 “on a whim,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I’m not especially a Willie Nelson fan,” O’Leary says. “I mainly just thought it looked cool. It needed quite a bit of work when I got it and I did it all myself: fuel systems, electrical, floors, plumbing.”
O’Leary says he only uses it twice a year, “mainly for NASCAR races and hunting trips” and that “it’s just time for someone else to enjoy it for what it is.”
“Due to the extremely high demand and the amount of offers being thrown at us for this bus, we have decided to take offers all the way to 12:00 AM central 5/3/2014 for this bus,” reads the ad. As of press time, the current offer is $65,000.
The rear of the bus features a drawing of a bald eagle with outstretched wings with the text, “Looking back at myself.” There is also a sign that says “We love Willie” on the front of the bus where the bus’ destination would normally go. The ornate vehicle also features stained glass windows, red velvet curtains, a framed portrait of Jimmie Rodgers and Native American artwork. As the ad notes, the 1983 bus gets seven miles per gallon and has “four air conditioning units on the roof with heat as well.” As Village Voice, the outlet that first spotted the ad, notes, the bus had three owners before O’Leary bought it.
Johnny Temples, one of Nelson’s bus drivers in the Eighties, told the Dallas Morning News that the bus was named The Scout and was one of four buses on the tour, “along with Willie’s iconic Honeysuckle Rose, the crew members’ Warrior and the band’s Red-Headed Stranger.” The bus was later renamed Me & Paul after the 1985 Nelson album of the same name. “Willie rode that bus when he played dominoes,” Temples told the Morning News. “But that was not his personal bus.”
In 2011, Nelson’s 1986 Eagle 1 tour bus sold for more than $43,000 ($47,580 Canadian).
A 1983 tour bus belonging to a band member of Hill Country resident and country music legend Willie Nelson sold for $80,000 over the weekend after it was put up for sale on Craigslist by its Dallas-area owner.
The bus was owned by Nelson’s longtime drummer Paul English and had an original sale price of $29,000 that quickly attracted interest and media coverage all over the Internet, driving its price higher. Rolling Stone reports current owner Tom O’Leary bought the bus in 2010 “on a whim”and used it to travel to NASCAR races and hunting trips.
“I mainly just thought it looked cool,” he said. “It needed quite a bit of work when I got it and I did it all myself: fuel systems, electrical, floors, plumbing.”
The bus named Scout was one of four Nelson and his crew used on tour and reportedly clocked seven miles per gallon of eco-friendly fuel.
Yes, that bus for sale in Tyler drove on a Willie Nelson tour. But it was Paul English’s ride
Willie Nelson’s publicist can’t confirm, only because “I promised to give him a break,” but Florida Coachcan: The bus for sale on Craigslist is indeed a Willie Nelson tour bus … technically. But despite what you may have read elsewhere, it wasn’t Willie’s.
Says so right there on the plaque pictured below and in the seller’s slideshow: “This coach was designed for Paul English of the Willie Nelson Band.” Which is almost good enough: The Fort Worth-born English has been Nelson’s drummer, tour manager and best friend since the mid-1950s. But Florida Coach’s Johnny Temples, who drove those buses during the ’80s, wants to be clear: The Scout, as it was called, was one of four buses on that tour, along with Willie’s iconic Honeysuckle Rose, the crew members’ Warrior and the band’s Red-Headed Stranger.
Eventually, the bus you see here was rechristened Me & Paul, so named for the 1985 record of the same name.
“Willie rode that bus when he played dominoes,” says Temples, “but that was not his personal bus.” The bus actually remained in Florida Coach’s fleet till 1989, when the company sold it down the long road that’s finally led to Tyler.
A friend sent the want ad yesterday, a few days after the bus hit the Internet’s open road, and surely it’ll be gone sooner than later. The seller, a feller named Alan, told The Village Voice he’s selling it for someone else — a gent without much tech savvy who doesn’t really need the money, but, based on the amount of almost-offers so far, figures it was probably priced too low.
That may be true. Buses that have been part of Nelson’s tour convoys show up for sale from time to time, and this 1986 Eagle I sold at auction for $47,580 in 2011. And: “As you’d imagine, THC residue and weed stems were all over the place.”
But of course. Clearly, priced too low.