Dave Thomas book, “Picnic: Willie’s 4th of July Tradition is available now!

Dave Thomas talks about writing “Picnic: Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Tradition”

From the sixth chapter:

As Robert Earl Keen launched into his newly revved-up version of “The Road Goes On Forever,” the first empty beer can flew into the air. Then another. Then a dozen more. Then hundreds at once, all rising and falling until the area in front of the stage looked like an old-fashioned popcorn popper. A not-quite empty can flew over the stage, leaking Shiner beer. 

“I remember the police talking about how Robert was about to whip the crowd into a frenzy,” said Doc Mason, the Picnic’s chief medical officer. VelAnne Clifton, Luckenbach’s manager at the time, remembered it well: “About three or four thousand Aggies went apeshit.”

Reflecting on it twenty-five years later, Keen still sounded a little awestruck. “I don’t know what’s really happening at this point.”

In the months before Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic first came to historic Luckenbach, the community had feared that it would be too rowdy. Gillespie County Sheriff Milton Jung had diplomatically handled neighbors’ concerns, given notice to Picnic producers on what he expected, and worked with Luckenbach to make sure they were ready. So far, the Picnic had unfolded with little drama. But as Jung watched the crowd react to Keen, his own deep-seated fears came back. “Yeah, I figured that’s when all hell was gonna break loose.”–

Pre-order Dave’s book “Picnic: Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Tradition” here on Amazon.com

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