and the Live Sex Show
Panama Red Plays Roosendaal
to Amsterdam, Buffy
Nashville, TN, February 13, 2002
I was sittin' in the Longhorn with my friend Captain Midnight this
afternoon when we heard the news. The Captain is the skinny guy
in the picture on the cover of Honky Tonk Heroes. He's also my host
and long-standing friend here in Nashville. He and Waymore were
Waylon was the first
Nashville "star" I met when I first came to town, although
at the time there was just a few of us who knew that he really was.
All of us, Waylon and Shaver and Midnight and Tom T.'s brother Hillman
and me used to hang out at Bobby Bare's little Return Music office
on 19th Avenue.
One of the reasons we
hung out there was because there was a pinball machine that paid
out that, if you got desperate, you could take a telephone book
and hold it up to the side of it and beat on it with this big glass
ashtray they had around there, and it would rack up games which
you could then cash in for money to eat on. Waylon never had to
do it, except just out of cussedness, but there was plenty of times
that machine bought me a couple of Burger Boys from across the street.
In fact whenever I think
of Waylon, it's mostly in connection with pinball machines. Numerous
times, after Waylon had managed to get 'em to let him make records
his way and it had started to pay off for him, he and I hung out
all day long at JJ's playing the machine there, just the two of
us, not saying a word, for about eight hours and about eighty of
Waylon and I never had
much to say to each other, for no particular reason, I guess there
wasn't much to be said. I have never been good at ego strokes, and
I am by nature a shy and taciturn person. But maybe that was the
reason why whenever I saw him he'd say "Hey, Hoss," and
we'd silently enjoy the Dr. Snapp buzz and grind our teeth and just
play the pinball.
When Patty's and my
house on Granny White Pike burned down, the first thing that I remember
was getting a check for two hundred bucks from Waylon, back when
two hundred bucks was a lot, to us and to him. He never mentioned
it to anyone, not even to Midnight, who was a true confidante. And
later that same week, Jessi gave me a copy of The Power of Positive
Thinking, and the next day I got two solid weeks of sessions.
Being in close proximity
to Waylon a few times over a few years doesn't mean I think I knew
him any better than anybody else who liked his music. We never got
personal. I never worked with him. So any opinion I have about his
legacy or whatever is just about as uninformed as anyone else's.
But there is this truth:
he was The Hoss. He was a big ole robust vibrant in-your-face cowboy
singer, and the world is bereft of a unique and original.
So now I'm sitting here
in the Sweetheart Penthouse. Me and Patty are hanging out with Captain
Midnight, who is fielding calls from well-wishers, and attempting
to absorb the reality reflected by the news. Every once in a while
he wanders into the office here, and looks at the mementoes on the
walls: his platinum record (the FIRST platinum record for a Nashville
record) awarded to him for his participation on Wanted: The Outlaws
(Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser),
the cover of Honky Tonk Heroes, numerous pictures of Midnight with
Waylon, Midnight with Roger Miller, Midnight with Kinky and Roger
Friedman and Kacey Jones, Midnight with his beloved wife Scout,
now departed for three years. He shakes his head sadly and walks
back into his bedroom to take another call. The earth rolls on.