Bee Spears Interview


Bee Spears, A. J. Knight
photo by: Mark Boone
by AJ Wright

You know me, can’t pass up an opportunity to peek behind the scenes to see whom I can shine the spotlight on for All About Chicago.

Our Out of the Shadows interview was with “B” longtime “family member” and bass guitar player for country singing legend Willie Nelson. The interview took place on September 14, 2005 during a benefit concert in Millennium Park, for After School Matters, a program of the city of Chicago. “B” gave AAC insight into what it’s like to be on the road with Willie Nelson.

AAC: Hello B, can you tell us what instrument you play and how long you’ve been with the Willie Nelson Band?

B: I play the bass guitar, and I’ve been with Willie since the earth cooled; (laughs). I’ve been with the band for 37 years.

AAC: We know that you’ve just completed touring 104 cities and have many more to go including an upcoming concert for Farm-Aid in Tinley Park, Illinois this Sunday, can you tell me about that?

B: We’ve been doing Farm-Aid for the past 20 years. The concert helps farmers who are in dire need of financial support due to a catastrophic event. We try to raise money to help those farmers keep their farm and to assist them by lobbying on their behalf. The money raised will help with equipment, crops and other necessary items.

AAC: Tell us about the concert scheduled for Sunday.

B: The Sunday, September 18th concert will help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in addition to getting the message out about Farm-Aid This will be something we will continue to support.

AAC: Tell us about some of the band members.

B:   Willie’s two sons tour with him; they are Lucas, he’s 16 years old and plays the guitar, and Micah, 14 who plays the drums. His daughter Lana, his eldest child, tours with the family; she doesn’t play an instrument but keeps things running smoothly as the bus coordinator among other duties.

AAC:   B, Willie is 72 years old and had been at this for a long time; any talk of retiring?

B:   From What? This is what we do! We play music and golf! (Laughs).

AAC:   What time do you have for golf with all the touring that’s done each year?

B:   We are out on the road everyday; we get one day off. But we try to rap up the tour around November so we can spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family.

AAC:   Anything we should know about Willie?

B:   Willie is working with a group down in Waco, TX in the development of Bio-Diesel fuel for our economy.

AAC:   Yes, I think I saw that on television during a highlight of his career. How can we find out more about what Willie is up to, does he have a Web site?

B:   Yes, it’s

AAC:   One final thing; will he be wearing his trademark black T-shirt? Does he always wear black?

B:   Willie will be wearing his black T-shirt, and he very seldom wears white ones.

AAC:   Thank you B. I enjoyed the interview and I look forward to seeing you Sunday at the Farm-Aid concert.

B:   You bet! See you there.

That rapped up my interview with B and I was able to enjoy the concert from my exclusive seat behind the stage. The concert lasted about an hour and Willie ended it by sharing with the crowd a song he wrote while experiencing throat problems on tour.

That tune — “I’m Not Superman!”

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