Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Willie Nelson, “Whiskey River” (Austin, TX) (September 6, 1990)

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

What Willie drives

Sunday, September 6th, 2020
by: Anne Cavaciuti

Willie Nelson has driven a fleet of cool, collectible, and eccentric cars. Let’s take a look at the many cars the country outlaw has driven.

Country star Willie Nelson is best-known for crooning twanging tunes in his gravelly voice, crusading for the legalization of marijuana and, notoriously, getting busted for smoking pot in his car. Not just any car, mind you: that 1994 arrest happened in a Mercedes-Benz—that’s right, the outlaw, counterculture, balladeer-of-the-people Willie Nelson was driving not a pick-up, but an elegant Mercedes. He still favors the German brand today and has for decades past (in an interview with Texas Monthly, Nelson’s drummer Paul English remembers Willie pulling a trailer behind his little Mercedes coup way back in the 1960s). It turns out Willie Nelson appreciates not just a good toke, but also a fine automobile.

Or, better put, automobiles, plural. Willie Nelson has driven a fleet of cool, collectible, and eccentric cars. In fact, the man loves the auto industry so much that he’s created something of a second career for himself as a celebrity spokesperson in car commercials for manufacturers like Subaru and Volkswagen. And his passion is such that he’s even tried to change the industry for the better—Nelson made a splash in the media in the early 2000s for his investment in, and advocacy for, biofuel, going so far as to rely on biofuel for his tour bus and his new Mercedes (as well as his wife’s Volkswagen Jetta) and, in 2004, launching his own biofuel brand, BioWillie. Alas, that particular dream has already come to an end—withering due to high costs and waning consumer interest, BioWillie had to sell its fuel plant in 2014. But that doesn’t mean Nelson’s love for cars has died along with it.

Let’s take a look at the many cars country outlaw Willie Nelson drives and has driven, out on the road.

The 2006 Mercedes E-320

The 2006 Mercedes E-320 CDI runs, famously, on a turbocharged 3.2-liter, six-cylinder, 201 horsepower diesel engine, which barred this model of car from sale in at least five states when it was introduced to the US market, including New York and California, due to emissions regulations. But Willie Nelson doesn’t have to worry about that.

As the New York Times reported, the Mercedes Willie Nelson drives doesn’t emit noxious diesel fumes, but an entirely different intoxicating smell: that of peanuts. Or french fries. Or whatever he’s decided to load up the vehicle with—Nelson tricked out the once eco-unfriendly car to run on biofuel. Clearly, though, as much as he loves the environment, Nelson loves to drive a smooth, elegant, and powerful luxury car.

The Flashy 1967 Ford Mustang

The 1967 Ford Mustang fastback was once the star of Willie Nelson’s fleet of pony cars—that is, until the IRS seized most of the outlaw country singer’s personal belongings back in 1990, the flashy Mustang along with them. Of course, like many of the cars Willie Nelson drives, this one had plenty of custom work done: it was painted orange and black in honor of Oklahoma State’s colors, the exhaust ports were filled in the lower rear valance, and the front bumper fangs were removed, among many other modifications. It’s estimated that the car cost over $200,000 to build. Vicari Auction recently sold the Mustang to the highest bidder back in 2016.

The Rockin’ 1983 Tour Bus

Willie Nelson’s 1983 Eagle tour bus, affectionately dubbed “The Scout,” is definitively from his pre-biofuel days: the gas-guzzler got a whopping seven miles per gallon. But in keeping with the rest of his collection, the Scout had plenty of personal touches, including a leather-tufted dashboard, landscape murals painted on the sides, and a giant bald eagle painted on the rear; a sign in the front, where the bus’s destination would usually be placed, proclaims “We love Willie.” The interior, which sleeps eight, “depending,” according to the bus’s subsequent owner Tom O’Leary (who picked the find up on eBay, of all places) is fitted with stained glass windows and draped in red velvet. Dallas Morning News quoted Nelson’s former bus driver Johnny Temples as saying the country crooner enjoyed playing dominoes while comfortably ensconced in the Scout, which was one of four tour buses in his caravan back in the ’80s. O’Leary ended up selling this personalized monster on Craigslist for $80,000 in 2014.

The 1981 Rolls-Royce Golf Cart

And this brings us to perhaps the most custom, bizarrely modified, hilariously personalized steed in Nelson’s automotive stable: a 1981 golf cart decked out with Rolls-Royce trimmings. Willie named this prized position, as well, which he dubbed “The 19th Hole.” His ex-wife Connie gifted him the red-and-white electric golf cart, whose light aluminum frame was outfitted with a Rolls-Royce grille, white fiberglass top, full windshield, red velvet seats embroidered with his name, and a generous wet bar with buttons for various liquors (the “W” could dispense either water or whiskey). The golf cart was also seized in the 1990 IRS raid and came back up for auction in 2012.

Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack, “Mendocino County Line”

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Willie Nelson in Texas Monthly

Friday, August 28th, 2020

Good job, Janis from Texas! Prioritizing the Texas Monthlys with Willie Nelson ont he cover. It’s really the only magazine they need to carry this month.

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Monday, August 24th, 2020

Thanks to Phil Weisman for finding this great photo. I love the black and white photos.

Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson, “Seven Spanish Angels”

Monday, August 24th, 2020

Willie Nelson’s Pednerales Golf Course

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
by: Zephyr Melton 

Pedernales Country Club isn’t the most famous course in Spicewood, Texas, a distinction that belongs to nearby Austin Golf Club, nor does this modest nine-holer boast its neighbor’s pristine conditioning. In a sense, though, they’re a duet, each branded by a local Lone Star legend: AGC was codesigned by Ben Crenshaw, and PCC is owned by the Red Headed Stranger himself, Willie Nelson.

The club, located 30 miles northwest of Austin, opened in 1968 as Briarcliff Yacht and Golf Club. A decade later, the place was deep in red numbers — in the non-golf, losing-money sense. Nelson purchased the bankrupt property in 1979 for $250,000.

“I’ve always wanted a golf course where I could set the pars,” he quipped at the time. 

Along with a name change — Pedernales is the Colorado River tributary on which the course sits — came a change of tune. Out went the country club vibe and in came, well, something more befitting a megastar of outlaw music. Nelson commissioned a 54,000-square-foot complex on the property’s highest hill for his living quarters and encouraged the rest of his entourage to live and play throughout the grounds. He turned the club’s restaurant into a recording studio, where the output has included Pancho & Lefty (1983), his chart-topping honky-tonk LP with pal Merle Haggard, and tracks for Neil Young’s sublime Old Ways.

When Nelson — an avid player — wasn’t making music, golf was always on his mind. But his own financial woes saw the club seized by the IRS in ’91. His compadre, longtime UT football coach Darrell Royal, tried to buy Pedernales for safekeeping, but the feds foiled the plan and sold it to an outside investor. Nelson is among celebrity leaders in bounce-backs, however, and with help from another friend he repurchased the place a year later. 

DSC_0764 by you.

Today, Pedernales is open for daily-fee play, and its owner’s renegade spirit can be seen in one of the club’s many cheeky rules: “No more than 12 in your foursome.” If you’ve got the money, honey, we’ve got the tee time. 

booker T

Photo: Christina Fajardo

Booker T Jones and Willie at Willie’s Golf Course and Recording Studio.

Willie Nelson and Paul Simon fight to protect Texas Hill Country

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

The Texas Hill Country is a gift from Mother Nature. Sprawling over 986 square miles in the heart of the state, it is a wonder of rolling grasslands, pastures of pecan, mesquite, desert willow and oak. Fields of bluebonnet, the state flower, line the highways.

Read article here.

Willie Nelson featured on KUTX 98.9 Celebration of Armadillo World Headquarters

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
by: Erin Geisler

Month-long celebration includes daily features, online content and one-hour oral history

AUSTIN, Texas – July 29, 2020 – The Armadillo World Headquarters – the venue that helped put Austin on the musical map – opened 50 years ago and KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience, is marking the anniversary with a month-long celebration.

Every day in August, KUTX 98.9 will highlight music from the eclectic range of artists who performed at the Armadillo World Headquarters, along with stories from the people who made the iconic venue what it was.  

A one-hour oral history, “Back Home to the Armadillo,” will air on KUTX 98.9 at 6 p.m., Aug. 15. The oral history features interviews with Willie Nelson and Armadillo World Headquarters staff Eddie Wilson, Mike Tolleson, Jim Franklin and Micael Priest. It includes fans talking about what the Armadillo meant to them and how it shaped Austin as a music incubator and destination. The special, produced by KUTX’s Art Levy, will be available as a podcast Aug. 17. will feature in-depth stories from KUTX’s Jody Denberg, Jeff McCord and Levy on some of the most memorable shows and artists, including Freddie King and Bruce Springsteen. Fans can turn to KUTX’s social media channels, Facebook and Instagram, to see original concert posters and photographs from the Armadillo World Headquarters – many of them courtesy of the Austin Museum of Popular Culture archives.

The Armadillo World Headquarters, located at 505 Barton Springs Road, opened on Aug. 7, 1970 and, for 10 years, the club was at the forefront of Austin’s live music scene. It hosted some of the most influential performers of the last 50 years, including, Herbie Hancock, the Velvet Underground, Dr. John, Devo, Bill Withers, Bette Midler and many others. The ‘Dillo, as it was often called, closed Dec. 31, 1980, and was replaced by a 13-story office building.

“The Armadillo World Headquarters laid the groundwork for the vibrant, diverse Austin music scene we enjoy today,” said KUTX Program Director Matt Reilly. “It’s where Willie got the hippies and rednecks together. It was quintessentially Austin: weird, adventurous and free spirited.”

Levy spent the past year interviewing Armadillo artists, patrons and staff, and digging through archives to create the “Back Home to the Armadillo” oral history. The hour special features the music of dozens of Armadillo performers, including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bruce Springsteen, Freddie King, The Clash, Frank Zappa, the Ramones, the Runaways, the Pointer Sisters, Jerry Jeff Walker, Count Basie, the Police, Joan Armatrading and more.

“Austin wouldn’t be called the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ if it weren’t for the Armadillo,” said Levy. “In a lot of ways, the opening and closing of the Armadillo speaks to Austin’s past, present and future as a live music destination.”

“Back Home to the Armadillo” was produced with assistance from Jeff McCoy, Ann Liefeste, Nick Marcotte, Eddie Wilson, Mike Tolleson, Jim Franklin, Jesse Sublett, Danny Garrett, Cole Hunt, Lydia Fortuna and the Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

KUTX’s month-long celebration of 50 years of the Armadillo World Headquarters is made possible with support from Silicon Labs.

About KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience
Named “Best Radio Station” in the Austin Music Awards poll six times since it launched in 2013, KUTX 98.9 is the destination for new music from the artists driving the sound of Austin today – from new and local artists, to music that has stood the test of time. Programming includes more than 300 live, one-of-a-kind performances in Studio 1A each year; the Austin Music Minute, the KUTX Artist of the Month and the KUTX Song of the Day, as well as KUTX Live events that connect music fans to local and national talent. More at

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
genaro molina_

photo: Genero Molina

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Willie Nelson & Family, Minnesota Zoo (July 16, 2013) (SOLD OUT)


Fresh from the 40th anniversary installment of his temperature-defying Texas 4th of July Picnic and the big Twister Relief Concert in Oklahoma, Willie Nelson doesn’t play many summer gigs as intimate as the one he’s offering here. The 80-year-old American music icon has lost some members of his previously resilient Family Band in recent years, but he impressively keeps on ticking — and picking.

His jazzy, ruggedly elegant acoustic guitar skills are often more a focal point of the shows nowadays in lieu of his other bandmates, although longtime harp-blower Mickey Raphael’s unmistakable work remains integral. Everyone wonders: Might this be ol’ Willie’s last stand in the Twin Cities? Probably not, but it could be one of his more memorable visits. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Minnesota Zoo, sold out.) Chris Riemenschneider


Willie Nelson talks music with Toby Keith, “Don’t Let the Old Man In”

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Willie Nelson talks with Toby Keith, along with his daughter & SiriusXM host Paula Nelson and producer/co-writer Buddy Cannon, during a Virtual Town Hall to celebrate the release of his album First Rose of Spring on his exclusive SiriusXM channel, Willie’s Roadhouse. Hear more from Willie’s Roadhouse on our app! Click here for your trial subscription:

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Willie and Lukas Nelson

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

photo:  Gary Miller

Willie Nelson’s, “First Rose of Spring”

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Willie Nelson, “Imagine”

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020