Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Willie asks you to vote #WilliesReserve

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

“What the heck is the deal with Texans boycotting Willie Nelson?”

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

www.TexasMonthly.com
by:  David Courtney

Q: What the heck is the deal with this boycott of Willie Nelson thing I’ve been seeing pop up on my social media accounts recently? Did I miss something?

Colt Johnston, Los Angeles, California

A: Well, hello there! My, it’s been a long, long time. How are you doing? The Texanist hopes you’re doing fine. How’s your new love—

Whoa! Please excuse the Texanist—he was lost in song for a moment there. And what a song! The Texanist bets he’s listened to that one a million times, and it still gives him goosebumps.

So, okay, you asked the Texanist a question, didn’t you? Right—Willie Nelson, social media, boycotts. Got it. OK, here’s the deal: the topic at the heart of your query, the news stories about all those upset Willie fans calling for people to stop listening to his music, is a great big load, nothing more than another minor road rage event on a desolate shoulder of the information superhighway.

Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, Fox News, HuffPost, People, and a slew of other outlets reported on the supposed kerfuffle. But beneath the eye-grabbing headlines— “Willie Nelson Fans Furious Over Announcement That He’ll Headline a Rally for a Dem Candidate,” “Willie Nelson is Playing a Political Concert for Beto O’Rourke. Some Fans Are Abandoning Him”—virtually all of the articles noted that the surprising thing about the reaction was that there was a reaction at all, which is exactly what surprised the Texanist and caused this thing to get stuck in his craw.

All Willie fans know that he’s been a first-rate country act since way back in the 1950s, having written and recorded enduring classic upon enduring classic; and that he bucked the Nashville system and moved to Austin where he grew his beard and hair and started cavorting with the hippies; and that he pioneered the “outlaw” movement in country music; and that he’s had ups and downs in his personal life; and that he’s created a sound and persona totally unto himself, including but not limited to having duetted with the likes of Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, and Snoop Dogg, among many others, and even going so far as to release a reggae album; and that through the years he’s become known as an avid partaker in the martial arts, golf, jogging, and marijuana. And these same fans, even the most casual among them, would surely also be well aware that Willie is known for his activism and occasional stance taking.

What Willie fan, after all, isn’t familiar with his advocacy for American farmers, via his 1985 founding of Farm Aid; his boosterism of alternative fuels, via Willie Nelson Biodiesel; his support for LGBTQ rights, via the release of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”; his endorsement of the legalization of marijuana, via his very public usage; and his allegiance to America, via his championing of liberty and the pursuit of happiness? And what Willie fan worth their salt doesn’t also know that he’s openly backed numerous politicos, D’s, R’s, and I’s, going all the way back to his support for Tex Ritter, the Murvaul-born country singer and actor who fell short in his 1970 Tennessee Republican Primary bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Al Gore, Sr? Everybody know this, fans and non-fans (if there even is such a thing) alike.

Just as most of the news reports reported, a person who knows all this would have to be crazy—crazy for feeling so outraged, crazy for feeling the least bit surprised by such an announcement. The Texanist was left completely flummoxed by the whole mystifying thing. What the disparagers were thinking, he does not know.

A few of the stories, such as a fine one penned by the Texanist’s colleague Dan Solomon for the Texas Monthly website, used the incident to comment on the current hyper-polarized state of our public discourse, which does at times resemble a broken-down heap on the aforementioned shoulder of the information superhighway. The Texanist, though, a glass half full type, has managed to find a glimmer of hope amidst the wreckage. The way the Texanist sees it, the country’s opposing sides seem to have finally, at long last, sunk all the way down and hit the rockiest of rock bottoms when it comes to the quality of our political dialogue. There simply is no level lower than the one at which folks see fit to besmirch Willie Nelson for being Willie Nelson. The Texanist welcomes the return of simple civility, mutual respect, and general level-headedness that will surely follow, preferably while that classic 1974 Willie album, Phases and Stages, a real fan favorite, plays in the background. Boy, that is a good ‘un.

For his part, Willie responded to the hubbub in the Williest of ways, with aplomb and his signature wry humor. “I don’t care—they’re entitled to their opinions and I’m entitled to mine,” he told the hosts of the television talk show The View. “I love flak. We’re not happy ’til they’re not happy.” The Twitter account for his cannabis company, Willie’s Reserve, responded to calls for the burning of Willie’s records by tweeting, “If you’re going to burn something, burn Willie’s Reserve.” And later in the week, Willie, similarly unfazed, brushed off the dustup on an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert before promoting this year’s Farm Aid Concert, Willie’s Reserve, and his brand new and aptly titled album, My Way.

Thanks for the letter, Mr. Johnston. Now, in the words of that great American icon of iconoclasm, let’s pretend it never happened and erase it from our minds. Onward and Upward!

If ya gotta burn something, burn #WilliesReserve

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

If you’re going to light something on fire, make sure it’s Willie’s Reserve ??

Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, Joe Ely & Friends rally for Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke

Saturday, September 15th, 2018


photo:  Gary Miller

https://glidemagazine.com

Legendary Texas musician Willie Nelson announced that he will headline a concert and rally in support of Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. It will be held at Auditorium Shores in Austin on the night of September 29. The concert will be open to the public, via registration at www.betofortexas.com/beto-willie, and feature musical guests Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Particle Kid, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones, and Joe Ely.
O’Rourke will be in attendance and address the crowd. This will be the first public concert Nelson has held for a political candidate.
 
“My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”
O’Rourke is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz, and has already visited all 254 counties of the state. The El Paso Congressman’s campaign has sworn off all PAC money and is being run in a grassroots fashion that includes town halls across Texas where O’Rourke can take questions from those he wants to serve and represent.
 
“Amy and I have had the amazing opportunity to talk with Willie and Annie about the kind of future we want for our state when everything we care about is on the line,” said O’Rourke. “We are grateful to have Willie’s support as we continue running this race the right way: no PACs, no corporations, no special interests — just the people of Texas coming together to do something absolutely incredible.”
 
O’Rourke recently appeared as a guest at Willie’s July 4th Picnic, where he joined the band onstage to play guitar and sing during the final medley of songs. A recap of their set has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
 
The September 29 concert will be held on the shores of the Colorado River with a backdrop of downtown Austin. Registration for the event is www.betofortexas.com/beto-willie.

Willie Nelson will headline concert and rally to support Beto O’Rourke on Sept. 29, 2018 in Austin

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

photo:  Gary Miller

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Legendary musician and Texan Willie Nelson will be headlining a concert and rally supporting Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.

This will be the country singer’s first “public” concert held in support of a political candidate, a spokesperson for Nelson said. O’Rourke will be in attendance and speak at the concert.

“My Wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto, and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” said Nelson.

“Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

O’Rourke previously appeared with Nelson as a guest at the singer’s 2018 July 4th Picnic.

The concert will be held from 8-11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Auditorium Shores on Lady Bird Lake. In addition to Nelson, featured performers include Leon Bridges, Carrie Rodriguez, Tameca Jones and Joe Ely.

The rally will be open to the public. Anyone interested in attending needs to register at betofortexas.com.

Texas Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke plays Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

  • photo:  Sam Sodomsky

https://pitchfork.com

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic Texas congressman running for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat, once played in a punk band with At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Yesterday, he showed off his musical chops once again, playing guitar with Willie Nelson during Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin, as Consequence of Sound points out. Along with Margo Price, members of the Head and the Heart and Asleep at the Wheel and more, they played Nelson’s stoner anthems “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” and “It’s All Going to Pot,” as well as the hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Check out a video of the performance below.

In his campaign announcement, O’Rourke promised to resist Trump and “fight when necessary against a president who is focused on building walls, or conducting military immigrant round-ups.”

The Democrat running against Ted Cruz was previously in a band with At the Drive-In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala.

Don’t Blame Me

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

 

 

WIllie Nelson, Ann Richards, Bob Bullock at the Raw Deal

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

www.mystatesman.com
by:  Michael Barnes

In 1976, Eddie Wilson left his grand experiment, the Armadillo World Headquarters. Four years later, the seminal 1970s Austin music-food-and-drink venue that he had founded at Barton Springs Road and South First Street closed for good.

As Wilson tells it in his marvelous new memoir, “Armadillo World Headquarters,” he next discovered an open spot at 605 Sabine St. — a half-block off East Sixth Street — that rented for $125 a month.

“The name of the joint was the Raw Deal,” he writes. “The modest-to-the-point-of-crude concept was that it would be a beer bar that also sold some stuff to eat.”

It was no Armadillo, but the Raw Deal attracted a storied clientele of artists, politicos and just plain barflies who epitomized a key strata of 1970s Austin cultural history. (Send your memories and images of both places to mbarnes@statesman.com.)

With permission, here is an excerpt from the book that relates some of the more colorful and renowned customers who elbowed the bar at this grand old greasy spoon:

“Among my regular customers, Ann Richards was one of my favorite people to talk to. She and another well-known and powerful Texas politician, Bob Bullock, were very close to each other before they became non-friends. Bullock was state comptroller when I had the Raw Deal and was later elected lieutenant governor and served two terms. With the knowledge that, on occasion, I had special T-shirts printed, one day Ann came to me and asked if I might have some made in honor of her friend Bob.

“Bullock was in the middle of a campaign, and Ann wanted a T-shirt that would pay tribute to his notorious raging temper and mean-spiritedness. What about something that incorporated an image of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin? The more we talked about it, the more perfect it sounded.

“I called (artist) Micael Priest and asked him to create a drawing of Idi Amin wearing his military cap, standing tall behind an old-fashioned cash register, ringing up sales tax. I specified the words ‘Idi Amin for Comptroller’ should appear in large lettering. I sold dozens of the shirts to Bullock’s friends and enemies both — even to members of his staff. Once he found out about the T-shirts, sales immediately stopped. On election day, Bullock sailed to victory, but that was no surprise.

“In 1973, when Bullock was still the Texas secretary of state, he had been a regular at the (Armadillo) beer garden. He was politically ambitious, and it was known that he was thinking about running for either state comptroller or treasurer. Bullock’s daily companion was Ed Wendler, a significant political operator on a more local scale. Wendler was a lawyer who represented developers, a yellow dog Democrat street activist who favored pressed blue jeans. Feeling ballsy one afternoon, I stopped by their table to ask Bob if he’d made up his mind which office he planned to seek.

“‘Yup, just now, and you’ll be the first to know,’ he said. ‘I’ve learned that my liberal friends don’t trust me enough to want me as treasurer. I’ve also learned that they don’t know what comptroller means, so I’m going to take that one and shove it up their (expletive).’

“Later that day, as Ed and Bob were visibly approaching their limit, Bullock waved me over again. He wanted to know if I saw Willie Nelson regularly. At the time I did, and told him so.

“Bullock wanted me to ask Willie to play a fundraiser for his campaign. Then he went on to remind me that he had grown up in Hillsboro, the town next door to Abbott, where Willie had grown up. Willie would come to Hillsboro on the interurban bus, and when he got off the bus toting his guitar, Bullock and his buddies would give Willie a hard time.

“They’d make Willie take his guitar out of his case and sing a few songs under the implied threat that if he refused, they’d beat him up. Bullock seemed to think that was hilarious. Apparently, no one had told him that Willie was generally pleased to sing and play guitar for anyone, anywhere, at the drop of a hat.

“I said I’d be glad to pass along the request.

“I saw Willie a few days later and relayed Bullock’s request. Willie wanted to know what I thought of Bullock’s politics. I told him that Bullock had a future in whatever political arena he chose. Then Willie asked if there was anything else I thought he should know. The only thing I had to add was what Bullock had told me about when they were growing up, which I told him.

“Willie listened thoughtfully, scratched his chin, cocked his head, and said, ‘Would you mind telling Mr. Bullock from me to go (expletive) himself?’

“‘No, I don’t mind at all,’ I said.”

 

Willie4Pres

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

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Save 20% on Willie for President souvenirs, with code:  Willie4Pres.  Sale ends 11/9/16

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“When they go low — we get high.” — Willie Nelson

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

theygolow

Vote Early! Vote Often! #WillieNelsonforPresident #campaignsong

Monday, October 17th, 2016

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#WillieNelsonforPresident

Willie Nelson launched his run for President  with the most honest campaign slogan by a candidate ever:

“Remember, we’re not happy ’till you’re not happy.”

With a sure-to-win motto:

“Vote early; vote often”

He has released more from his political platform:

“If I’m elected I will abolish crime .  I will make everything legal”

The famous song writer has penned his new theme song for his campaign, too:

The Monkey’s Dead (Turn the Crank):

The monkeys dead, the show is over, the town is fixed, the mayor’s queer
Turn the crank
And they are putting all their money in our bank so we should all stand around holding hands giving thanks
The monkey’ s Dead, The show is over, the town is fixed, the mayors queer
Turn the crank

 

Feel the Willie – Willie For President

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

feelthewillie

Thanks, Brad Wheeler.

Willie Nelson for President

Monday, September 12th, 2016

williewilliepres

and he’s got a good campaign slogan already

happyunhappy

 

Willie Nelson for President #FeeltheWillie

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

djangowill3

“We’re not happy, ’till you’re not happy”

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Willie Nelson for President

Friday, July 8th, 2016

presidentshirt

www.greenrushdaily.com
by: Ab Hannah

Wllie Nelson may be running for President. The music making activist’s merchandise shop has recently added several “Willie For President” items to their inventory. This is only weeks after Nelson’s camp announced they were hiring employees for his up and coming weed brand. The jobs he created while developing the “Willie’s Reserve” marijuana brand, may be one of the achievements Mr. Nelson can boast about if he does indeed run for president. In fact, this isn’t the only part of Nelson’s track record that may be brought to light if he does run.

In 1990, Nelson had his assets seized and found himself deep in debt after making some unwise investments in the 1980’s.

However, only two years later he was able to repay his outstanding $32 million dollar debt after the success of his album The IRS Tapes: Who’ll buy my memories?

Further additions to his credentials include his position as co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or better known as NORML, which favors the legalization of marijuana in all 50 states and has been one of the leading advocates in the battle for legalization. NORML has assisted in making marijuana enforcement the lowest priority for many local law enforcers.

This led to the freeing of police resources to combat more violent and dangerous crime. Anyone looking for a presidential candidate with a plan for cannabis reform may be interested in voting for Willie Nelson during the next election cycle.

The man who once rescued his guitar from a burning ranch would likely do more for his fellow man. Nelson is no stranger to charity.

In fact in 2001, following the September 11 attacks, he participated in the benefit telethon leading other celebrities in a sing-along of the song “America the Beautiful.”

Willie Nelson is a patriot and has also been politically active since the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries where he raised money for and appeared at events in support of candidate Dennis Kucinich’s campaign.

One year later Nelson and several other business partners formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel, a company marketing vegetable oil as fuel for diesel engines, reducing the waste and burning of fossil fuels.

Nelson is also a known supporter of the LGBT movement and has written letters against the confinement and mistreatment of animals.

He’s proved himself as an activist who cares about issues that matter, he’s successfully brought himself out of debt which this country could use, and he’s a successful business person.

According to his track record, Nelson might be better qualified for the position of the president than many of the candidates running in during this year’s election. If Trump can get as far as he has, there’s no reason Willie Nelson can’t also compete during the next election cycle. Let’s hope he’s running.