For the first time in my experience (except for when Trigger was in hiding after the IRS seizures of Willieâ€™s property), Nelson wasnâ€™t wearing his famous woven red-white-and-blue guitar strap on stage. The distinctive item â€” for decades as much a part of his persona as his bandana or long hair â€” 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, Nelsonâ€™s longtime stage manager, said the woven strap had begun hurting his neck. â€œWe had to buy him the softest (new) strap we could find,â€ Locke said.