I met him a few times. One time before a concert in El Cajon, and there was a crowd of about 50 people. He stopped to sign autographs for all of us, even though his manager kept saying they were running late. One guy, with an annoying 4-year-old kid that kept pestering everyone, pushed his way to the front to get his items signed first. Always bad form. The kid promptly dropped his bag of toys, and they went everywhere. Nelson got down on his knees to help the kid pick them up, which seemed to take forever (and made us all think he would waste his time doing that, instead of signing autographs for us).
The next time I met him, before a concert in downtown San Diego -- it was a brief chat for a story I was writing. I didn’t get his autograph (as it would have seemed unprofessional, since I was doing an interview). The cops knocked on his tour bus, to tell him to have it moved. As the doors opened, a large amount of marijuana smoke wafted out. One cop laughed. The other cop rolled his eyes. They didn’t do anything about it. But a few minutes later, they ran across the street. You see, the play Grease was getting out, and the crowd there was waiting to meet Frankie Avalon, who sang “Beauty School Drop-Out.”
Someone standing there waiting to meet him, collapsed and died on the sidewalk.
The police came back over to the tour bus, when someone ran onto it, going past security, to get his guitar signed. It was...a rather chaotic evening.
Anyway, I thought about that when I heard this story. Willie Nelson, who has always been a great autograph signer, is going to sign masks and sell them for $200 a pop -- all for charity.
Willie Nelson’s granddaughter Noelle Ward, has a friend named Tanya Boike, who started making masks to fight Covid-19. She made a pair for the 86-year-old country crooner and his wife, but he decided to do something else with it.
He figured if he signed it and sold it, he could give her the money to buy more materials to keep making the masks. Which is a great plan, although I’m guessing people that buy an autographed mask, aren’t going to wear it and risk smearing the signature.
Today, the masks became available on FrontLine-Angels Charity auction website, and is set to run for four days.
The minimum bid is $200. With that price...you could buy a lot of pot; or a cool collectable from one of the biggest potheads in music history.