by: Daniel Clifton
SPICEWOOD — While he worked alongside Willie Nelson for more than three decades as a roadie and then a stage manager, Randall “Poodie” Locke’s real contribution to the world was probably how he helped out young musicians or just anyone who needed a little assistance.
“He just took care of everyone,” said Louie Long, who knew the man simply as Poodie for two decades. “He affected so many people over the years, we just wanted to keep that going.”
Long and several other of Poodie’s friends are keeping that legacy going with Poodie’s Party, set for Saturday, Oct. 1, at Willie Nelson’s Cut-N-Putt. Proceeds go to the Helping Hand of Spicewood Crisis Ministry and the Pedernales and Spicewood fire departments and their auxiliaries.
Poodie joined Nelson’s crew in 1975 as a set-up and load-out man, but he eventually worked his way up to stage manager. He worked with Nelson for 34 years, becoming known as the “King of the Roadies.”
“There were some places I think Poodie was more known than Willie,” Long said with a laugh.
He added that Poodie, who passed away in 2009, helped many an up-and-coming band or musician, either through his venue, Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse in Spicewood, as a booking agent, or just as a great supporter of live music.
Poodie, who was once voted the “Prettiest Baby in Waco,” and served in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, passed away in May 2009. After his death, Long and several other of Poodie’s friends would gather, play some music, share stories, and just remember the man.
“But then I opened my mouth and said, ‘Let’s go bigger,’” Long recalled.
That led to the creation of Poodie’s Party, aka No Bad Days Music Festival and Golf Tournament, which celebrates its third year this time around. The event features a four-person golf scramble on Willie Nelson’s Cut-N-Putt Golf Course, 807 Paisley Drive in Spicewood (Briarcliff), plus a music festival with quite a lineup.
The golf tournament’s first wave tees off at 9 a.m. with the second wave hitting the nine-hole course at 1 p.m.
The music festival, which is also at Cut-N-Putt, gets going at noon and keeps rolling until 6 p.m.
The golf tournament is limited to 22 teams, or 88 golfers, and often fills up quickly, but you can always check and see if there’s a spot open. The cost is $75 per person.
The music festival is $20 per person with no admission for kids 13 and younger. It’s a BYOB event, but you can also bring a chair.
The musical lineup includes The Troubadillos, Bobby Boyd, Jimmy Lee Jones, Lucas Johnson, Ru Coleman, Andrea Marie, Bad Rodeo, Paul Logan, Extreme Heat, and the Peterson Brothers.
Long said several of the acts, such as The Troubadillos, Bobby Boyd, and Jimmy Lee Jones, have performed at the previous two festivals, but he does that on purpose because of those musicians’ connection with Poodie. Long himself is a member of The Troubadillos.
But keeping to Poodie’s mission of helping promising musicians, the lineup features several younger ones such as the Peterson Brothers out of Austin and Lucas Johnson of Spicewood.
“You’re hearing a lot about Lucas (Johnson) right now,” Long said. “That’s because he’s good. He’s going somewhere.”
All the musicians donate their time for the event.
“They’re doing it to honor Poodie and (the donations are) in Poodie’s name,” Long added. “He was quite a guy, and people … want to help out when they hear about this event and what it’s for.”
Last year, Poodie’s Party raised enough money that organizers donated $3,500 to Spicewood Elementary School for the purchase of musical instruments and $3,500 to Helping Hand of Spicewood Crisis Ministry, which assists area residents who are going through difficult times. This year, along with the ministry, organizers are adding Pedernales and Spicewood fire departments and first responders along with their auxiliaries to the recipients.
“We keep it local,” Long added.
Though it’s only in its third year, Long said he and the other organizers (B.B. Morse, Bill Crow, and Bill Noble) plan to keep it going.
“We’re looking for many, many more years,” Long said. “We want to remember Poodie, but he was always so giving, and this is a way we can keep giving back to the community in his name.”
Go to poodiesparty.com or look up Poodie’s Party on Facebook for more information.