Willie Nelson’s New Guitar Strap (oh, I wish I still knew how to macrame)

photo by Jan Janner
Willie Nelson at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo 3/4/08
by John T. Davis

For the first time in my experience (except for when Trigger was in hiding after the IRS seizures of Willie’s property), Nelson wasn’t wearing his famous woven red-white-and-blue guitar strap on stage. The distinctive item — for decades as much a part of his persona as his bandana or long hair — looped around his neck, rather than over the shoulder as most straps do.

But Tuesday night, he was playing Trigger with a plain leather strap. Poodie Locke, Nelson’s longtime stage manager, said the woven strap had begun hurting his neck. “We had to buy him the softest (new) strap we could find,” Locke said.

20 Responses to “Willie Nelson’s New Guitar Strap (oh, I wish I still knew how to macrame)”

  1. Willietattoos(Dee) says:

    Oh, no! I hope it’s lined with lamb’s wool!

  2. MissTex says:

    Bless his heart…we have no idea what Willie goes through to entertain us. BUT I’m glad he does.

    Willie, I hope your neck gets better. I don’t care what your guitar strap looks like as long as you can keep on making that sweet music!!

  3. Willietattoos(Dee) says:

    Amen, MissTex, Healing thoughts headed your way, dear Willie.

  4. LindaLee says:

    I agree, Pat.

  5. Chris says:

    Check out the following website for custom macrame items, adjustable guitar straps also, just not posted on site yet. http://www.septemberschild.com

  6. LindaLee says:

    Thanks, Chris.

  7. Greetings!
    My site is up and running and I would like to announce that the guitar straps are finally here!
    Take a look: http://www.septemberschild.com
    Custom orders are encouraged
    Thank you, I look foward to hearing from you….
    Elena Springett

  8. LindaLee says:

    Thank you. Your work is beautiful. The guitar straps are nice! Willie has been using his guitar strap; part of the time at least. I know he switched off for a couple shows with the leather one.

  9. I would just like to know how your famous guitar is but togather.

  10. I would really kike to know how the strap is put togather?

  11. Dallas Miley says:

    Willie’s strap was made by Richard Blocker in 2003.

  12. Dallas Miley says:

    My dad, Richard Blocker, wove Willie’s red, white & blue guitar strap. He made the strap when he lived in Gainesville, Fla. in 1993. He would spend a Lot of time with a friend of his & Willie’s, Donny Moore (O’Berry) & worked on it while there. Dad died in Belguim in 2009. He left me his 1973 Fender Bass & I would like to ask Willie to do something that would help our wounded men & women coming back from Afganistan & Iraq. I would ask that he sign the guitar with the words “My good friend, Richard Blocker” & sign it. The guitar would then be sold & all money received be donated to the “Wounded Warriers”. This would help thousand’s that need it desperately. What I would like to get from it is that my dad would be rembered for a very long time. I never met my dad until I was 30 year’s old because my parent’s divorced when I was less than a year old. I grew to know him as a man that would help anybody in any way. To know that his guitar will help so many is what he would want to do.
    Dallas Miley AT1 USN Ret.

  13. Matt Crunk says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, Dallas, But Willie Nelson has been wearing that same strap since at least the mid-1970s. I saw him with it in concert in 1980 myself. If your dad made one for him, it was a copy of what he already had.

  14. Johnny Waco says:

    I first noticed Willie’s red, white & blue strap around 1976. I figured it was because of the Bicentennial. His earlier macrame strap was narrower and, as I recall, light brown. His first red, white and blue strap was also slightly different, for if you look you’ll notice that there were three rows of red but four rows each of white and blue. It seems to me that the current version with four rows of each color apprearred around 1978…maybe around the time of the film “Honeysuckle Rose”. He has used several different ones since then, and, just like Waylon’s five leather-covered Telecasters, each one is very slightly different (the “tails” in the back of some of Willie’s straps have been longer than others, as well). I have no doubt that what Dallas Miley has stated is true and that one of his straps was made by Richard Blocker, and I don’t know who made Willie’s other straps through the years. His daughter told me they had been made by fans, but I have never asked Willie, and he often isn’t extremely detail-oriented in such things.

  15. Johnny Waco says:

    I can provide photos of Willie’s various straps and Waylon’s various guitars if anyone is interested (I own one of Waylon’s leather-covered guitars…the one he used on the last Highwaymen tour))

  16. Dallas Miley says:

    I was with my dad in ’03 at Donny Moore’s house in Gainsville, Fla. while he was weaving that infamous strap. Willie played some rodeo one evening in Texas & both him & Donny called me that morning & told me to watch the show that night (I’d never miss a show anyway). When Willie came on stage that night, he said that he would like to thank his friend, Richard Blocker for his new strap. I had never met my dad due to my parent’s getting a divorce when I was very young and I took everything he said with a grain of salt. I guess they had information that my dad’s name would be mentioned on the show and wanted to make sure I watched it. It might not of been the origional strap but knowing that my dad made it makes me wonder if I would of better if I had been off with him instead of my mother for all those years. I have his ’53 Fender bass with the Peavy amp. my dad played for many years and all it is, is memories of my past that I knew nothing about. Mybe in the near future I’ll be able to set down with Willie & share a bowl. I’d like to find out how him & my dad met each other. Donny had a recording studio in Nashville & I’m just assuming since Donny & my dad were friend’s, thats how they met. I’m sure you’ve heard about it means when you assume, I’ll go with what I know, not what I assume. Nice to get back with you about what you posted and thank you. From a retired sailor, Fair Winds & Following Sea’s.

  17. Landon says:

    Willy I’m only 16 years of age but I enjoy your music but a good while back my grand mother told me a story about the old yarn barn they had in smithvill tn and she said you had walked in and got the red wight and blue gitar strap she had made

  18. Landon says:

    Sorry it was actually a police officer and willy had a store and my grand mother made it for him and

  19. Anonymous says:

    My dad was a Rosie with Willie on tour and when Willie got his red white and blue strap he threw the other one to my dad and I still have it today up in a display case

  20. Ashley Fry (Coe) says:

    My mother was a long time friend of Willie’s back in the day…her name was Linda (he called her “Linder”) and she is the one who made the famous red, white, and blue strap. She passed away at 60 years old in 2004.

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