In Defense of Willie Nelson


Think green!

In January country music legend Willie Nelson rolled into Kenansville, North Carolina to play a show at the Duplin County Events Center. But after the cops got a whiff of his famously marijuana-friendly tour bus, the show did not go on. There is an upside, however. As The Jacksonville Daily News reports, thanks to the harsh bust, Willie and Family now have an unlikely new champion: State Sen. Charlie Albertson, who just cut a song defending the outlaw singer. As The Jacksonville Daily News writes:

"It just looks like a special effort was made to go on that bus and cite them with marijuana," said state Sen. Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin.

The song, called "Leave the Man Alone," refers to the Jan. 28 citations issued to six members of Nelson's band on either possession of marijuana or possession of non-tax-paid alcohol….

In the song, Albertson said that the law heard that "the outlaw was in town" and "took turns sniffing" around Nelson's bus.

"It was over before it started," the song says, referring to the concert. "The law had busted Willie's band."

Albertson sings that the event hurt the reputation of Duplin County. "Why don't they leave the man alone? Let him write and sing his songs," the song concludes.

Why indeed. After all, Willie is one of Reason's 35 heroes of freedom:

One of the great crossover artists in popular music, the Texas legend pulled off a Martin Luther King Jr.-like achievement by uniting hippies and rednecks in a single audience. An inadvertent hero to tax resisters everywhere, Nelson brought the battle against puritanism to the very roof of the Carter White House, where he famously smoked dope to relieve his—and our—national malaise.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Ballots and Bullets Edition

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  1. The desert’s quiet; Cleveland’s cold
    And so the story ends, we’re told.

  2. Who was looking for Johnny Cash songs the other day? I have an ad for his last recordings in the right margin.

    1. “American VI: Ain’t No Grave” on iTunes

  3. I agree with Albertson. As a celebrity, Nelson both deserves and doesn’t deserve special considerations.

  4. either possession of marijuana or possession of non-tax-paid alcohol….

    WTF? They had moonshine on the bus?

    1. I was guessing it was from a different state.

  5. I love the idea that Willie has a moonshine still on his bus.

    1. Wood fired or electric?

      1. Wind powered.

        Livin’ on the road my friend, is gonna keep you high on weed;
        Smokin’ mary jane for hours as roadies separate the stems and seed.
        You weren’t the piggies’ only bust but their favorite one it seems.
        You began to spit when pulled their shit, like a ‘possum that’s been treed.

        1. I forgot the title:
          Piggy and Willie

          1. I forgot the title


  6. Willie got busted previously (in 2007, IIRC) with a pound of weed. I guess he and his friends knew the law in the state they were in – he a nd three others each said it was their own personal pot. Because of this, they all were only cited for misdemeanor possession. Ha ha ha ha.

    1. Penguin,

      Willie’s famous retort to that bust “Thankfully it wasnt spinach or I could’ve killed somebody”

      Bust happened during the great unwashed organic spinach scare of 2007.

  7. My Dad was on Willie’s bus at a festival a couple years ago. Dad said he didn’t partake, and I said, “Oh, yes you did.”

  8. (Dean Dillon – Hank Williams Jr – Gary Stewart)
    Waylon Jennings & Ernest Tubb & Hank Williams Jr.

    Now they say Hank Jr. has strayed away
    From all them songs that put his daddy in an early grave
    But his daddy would be proud if he could see Bocephus now
    Why don’t you leave that boy alone, let him sing his song?

    Oh, Waylon has been known to play half time
    He been known to get out of his mind
    Don’t know whether he’s right or wrong
    He’s got a string of hits about two miles long
    Why don’t you leave that boy alone, let him sing his song?

    Why don’t you leave them boys alone let ’em sing their song
    You know they’re gonna do whatever they want.
    If you don’t like the way they sing who’s gonna cast the first stone?
    Why don’t you leave them boys alone, let ’em sing their song?

    — Instrumental —

    Hank Williams was the king of country soul
    My dad took me to see him in Lubbock but he didn’t show
    Now the people got mad and they all went home
    The first thing we did was put his records on.
    I guess we should have left him alone and let him sing his songs.

    Why don’t you leave them boys alone, let ’em sing their song
    You know they’re gonna do whatever they want.
    If you don’t like the way they sing who’s gonna cast the first stone?
    Why don’t you leave them boys alone, let ’em sing their song?

    Why don’t you leave them boys alone, let ’em sing their song?…

  9. I do love Willie, but he’s all about some farm subsidies.

  10. Willie Story!!!

    My sister was cleaning hotel rooms in Albany, NY, during college, and Willie stayed at the hotel she worked at. Left her a bag of dope as a tip. She enjoyed half, and kept the other half as a souveneir.

    1. Maybe she can get it autographed on visiting day!

  11. Willie, put down the bong and just pay your taxes.

  12. Saw him recently here in Baton Rouge. The man puts on a hell of a show.

    1. I once saw him give a top-notch free one-hour concert with a full band…in a Borders.

  13. Please people. I understand you are supposed to provide anti-drug war cover for our continued expansion of government power, but listen radio interview displaying Willie’s truly scary ideas, before you worship this anti-semite conspiracy nut
    Willie is a idiot anti-semite

    You see Willie thinks that something fishy is going on, he think their were lots of Saudis that attacked us on 9/11 and if our governemnt was being internally consistant about it’s reasons for war we would have attacked Saudi Arabia instead of liberating Iraq! Then you should not even listen to his next conspiracy theory. Please guys don’t praise this anti-semite.

    1. I’m kinda new all over again around here, I guess, and I guess I’m kinda slow too, ’cause before you wrote that, I didn’t realize how thoroughly ignored your comments should be.

      1. Oh ya Ken,
        I guess you think Israel sent holograms over to blow up the buildings too huh? do you support these conspiracy nutter anti-semites or not. Iraq was the source of terrorism, Saudi Arabia is a long time ally of the US….are you saying our best allies are terrorists?

        1. If you implicate Saudi Arabia then you probably think all sort of crazy stuff like the Bush and Kissinger associates is also close with the Bin Laden family and the CIA has lots of assets in the Saudi Wahhabist fundamentalist? am I right? face it your already a nutter.

          1. I would check my facts. The “Bush Family” and the “Bin Laden Family” are VERY CLOSE friends !!!!

        2. The Saudi government does not seem to be but a whole lot of their citizens get into that business.

          Same with many of our allies and our own citizens.

  14. Yeah! Who do they think they are? Going after Willie like he was a black man.

  15. Actually, for someone who’s familiarity with foreign affairs is probably pretty shaky (sorry willy, but lets be honest)… thats not exactly the stupidest thought i’ve ever heard coming out of a celebrity. At least he comprehended that Saudi Arabia was in fact the source of the majority of the suicide bombers (& saddam had nothing to do with it), that there were a bunch of totalitarian nutjobs running that place, and they continue to export fundamentalist wahabbism to places like afghanistan and somalia, etc. Is that so crazy? Ok, talking to Alex Jones will make basically everyone into an idiot. I mean, its shooting fish in a barrel to get alex jones+stoner cowboy = stupid theories. “little voice in your head?”

    I mean, give the guy a break. At least he can sing.

    My mom, a bona fide redneck, used to say he had a voice like sour cream and made women come in their pants.

    Thats a fucked up thing for your mom to say. Not the sour cream part.

  16. great moments… willy, johnny, and kris

  17. But yeah, Farm Aid sucked and always will…

  18. my favorite thing about willy is his not so secret jazzbo-ness

    he is the only bona fide cowboy balladeer who ever really could hang solid with tunes that involved a bunch of 9th & 13th chords & flatted 5ths… & he wrote a whole lot of killer standards himself. He’s a natural tune monster. I love his performances with Chet Atkins most especially, where he does stuff like ‘misty’ and ‘georgia’ and whatnot. He can actually hang as a guitar player with anyone, and singer with almost no peer.

    He also wrote that Patsy Cline tune? Didnt know that until now…

    Ok, he’s ‘crazy’ for believing 9/11 trutherisms. 🙂 I bet he changed his mind the next day

    1. Don’t investigate much do you Gilmore?

      You can search about 2 seconds and find youtube of him talking with Jesse Ventura about 9/11 truth over a year later. He also think JFK was NOT assasinaed bya lone gunman! He is a complete psycho conspiracy nut!

      1. If conspiracy theorists all can sing as well as willy nelson, then I’d buy their argument. maybe. My point is that I dont give a shit how crazy he is as long as he makes good music. As much as I don’t care about Miles Davis beating his wives or Picasso’s infidelity or Mozart’s attitude problems. You can judge the man or you can judge his work. One is not always related necessarily to the other.

  19. Yes, when you have strong evidence of illegal activity, such as by personal admission, it’s appropriate to investigate to get probable cause.

    That’s why it *shouldn’t* be fucking *illegal* in the *first place*.

  20. We do not need to be provided quarter for conspiracy nuts here!! We already have enough problems promoting libertarianism.

    1. After your meta-sarcasmic straw argument circles the earth and sets fire to itself from the other side, that might be the moment to change tactics and express yourself directly, not in the voice of the enemies inside your head. Just an idea. Who knows – someone, somewhere, might (sometime) like to grasp whatever the fuck you are talking about.

  21. we need more hysterical shouting downs of conspiracy nutterism. This is the number one enemy of the government! As true libertarians we should do our best to protect the government from this contageous anti-semitism.

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