Thank you Ashley Morales, with the Scooterville crew, for sending another great photo of Willie Doll on the road. That guy gets to go everywhere.
Scooterville, Willie Nelson’s traveling merchandise show, has the best collection of cds and vinyls anywhere. They even had the Bear Family Collection: It’s Been Rough and Rock Traveling. Check it out the next time you are at a show.
I always enjoy getting to visit with Scooter Franks and his crew at Scooterville, Willie Nelson’s traveling merchandise store. They have become friends and I look forward to catching up. Scooter and his family have been selling Willie Nelson merchandise since Willie’s early days in Texas, when Willie and his band were playing mostly weekends. The brothers had other jobs, but the weekend gigs worked out.
Then, as Willie became more popular, he started getting booked on Thursday nights. Still, the Frank brothers stuck with them, juggling schedules so they could keep their full time jobs, and just drive all night to get back to work on Friday. Scooter told me this story and he said, when Willie started getting booked to play Wednesday, they knew he had a shot at it. That and his work ethic, how much he wanted to play, how much he respected performing for his fans, and his desire to succeed. The Frank Brothers had other bands they sold merchandise for, but juggled it with Willie’s shows, until Willie started getting so busy. Scooter said he and his brother got together with Poodie Locke, who was working for Willie and for another artist, and they talked about how they were going to decide: keep their jobs or quit and follow Willie. The rest is history, I guess.
Another time, Scooter told me a story of how when Willie started to get really big, he was approached by a large marketing company who wanted to take over Willie’s merchandising, saying that they could make Willie more money than the Frank brothers. Willie reportedly said, “Where were you when they were selling shirts out of the trunks of their car?” Loyalty is one of Willie Nelson’s most endearing qualities.
And here’s a funny story. Scooter said after his first child, his daughter Lisa was born, he was talking to Willie on the bus, telling him how excited he was to be a dad.
“She’s beautiful,” Scooter told Willie, “she doesn’t look anything like me.”
“That happens when you’re on the road sometimes,” said Willie.
Don’t forget to visit Scooterville, next time you are at a Willie Nelson and Family show. As if you could! They have the greatest collection of Willie Nelson merchandise (cds, books, shirts, posters, pins, license plates, bandannas, hats, and so much more) than anywhere else in the world. This data is from my own personal study, but they have unique things that you can never find anywhere on line or off line or underground. And they always keep getting new things, too. Word to the wise, shop before the show, or after the opening act, because Scooterville has special posters and shirts printed up for events, but they are limited in number, and they go fast. I have been disappointed, my self, when I finally make it back to their travelling store, and the poster for that night’s event is gone. I kick myself.
And the folks there are the best.
While there’s lots of places to buy Willie Nelson paraphanalia and souveniers, from Walmart to the world wide web, “Scooterville” stands alone. The travelling Willie Nelson Store has been following Willie Nelson and Family around for decades, and it has albums and shirts and books,hats, license plate holders, pens, key chains, so many things you can’t get anywhere else except at a Willie Nelson show. And you won’t find a better collection or variety of Willie Nelson cds anywhere. So, next time you go to a show, make sure you stop by. And go early, because they usually sell out of the poster or tee shirt created for that night’s show. Don’t wait ’til after the show. It’s worth the wait in the long line! And say hi to Scooter and Ruthie, Francine, James, JW, Jude, and whoever else you might run in to. They are the nicest folks.
I’m going to paraphrase, but I read story about Willie Nelson’s loyalty to those close to him, and their loyalty to him. When Willie started getting national recognition and becoming so popular, he was approached by major marketing company who wanted to take over his merchandising. They promised they could make more money and represent his image better. And so the story goes, Willie said, “Where were you when we were travelling in vans and selling out of our trunks?”
I got to visit Scooterville when I went to see WN&F in Texas last week. So many cool things! Make sure you stop by and say hello when you get to a show, and see all the great Willie Nelson & Family merchandise. Largest collection of unique, one-of-a-kind souveniers. And the folks are so friendly there!