Autographs in the Rain

I very recently had the pleasure of interviewing the ever-enigmatic Kinky Friedman for a magazine feature. He has released an album after a forty-year hiatus, CIRCUS OF LIFE. I want to share two stories with you.

First, he talked about a phone call he got from Willie Nelson at 3 am. Kinky was in Texas and Willie in Hawaii. The conversation went like this according to Kinky.

Willie: “Hi, Kinky. What are you doing?”

Kinky: “Watching Matlock.”

Willie: “Kinky, that’s a sure sign of depression Turn it off. Turn off Matlock and get busy writing.”

And, so he did.

COLJPG

On this album, I found a tribute song to Willie, “Autographs in the Rain.” Kinky stated that he’d seen this happen many times. People would be lined up for autographs and when the rain started. the fans didn’t leave and neither did Willie. And, while I couldn’t find a photo of Willie signing in the rain, I did find one of him signing a woman’s boob. 🙂

Willie_Signing_Boob

Everyone loves Willie. And the main reason for that is he has always taken time to connect with his fans. He understood that if those people didn’t pay their money and spend their time to come and see him, he wouldn’t have much of a career. And, he’s always been sincere about it. Many of today’s artists have forgotten that or they are just paranoid to get too close to their fans.

I have met Willie personally on three occasions. Once, Rick and I even had dinner with the band backstage. I was awestruck!

I love Willie Nelson. He is now 85 years young and eventually, his journey here will end. That day will break my heart. Here are a few personal photos of the graciousness of Willie Nelson.

Willie and Rick_1 (2017_11_16 21_30_48 UTC)
Willie Nelson and Rick Sikes reunited after 40 years. And Willie remembered.
Willie signing Guitar_1 (2017_11_16 21_30_48 UTC)
Wilie signing Rick’s 1964 Martin D-35. I still have it and it is a prized possession.
Willie Group Pic
Group picture = L-R Rick Sikes, Willie Nelson, Jan Sikes, Kay Shields Perot
Willie_Nelson_Knight (2017_07_16 13_56_44 UTC)
Willie taking a look at my sister, Linda Broday’s, first published book!
Willie & Rick_1
Willie talking to Rick Sikes after a show. He was exhausted, but still took time to visit.
Willie & Jan_1
Jan Sikes and Willie after the concert. Look at the sweat under Willie’s arm. He was exhausted and I don’t know where my smile was. I think I was just feeling his exhaustion.

And, then last, but certainly not least, I want to share a pen and ink drawing Rick did of Willie. I thought he captured the essence of Willie Nelson perfectly!

3A-Rick_Art

I can’t say why I was particularly drawn to share this with you. Perhaps it was the conversation with Kinky that sparked it. The feature article will appear in the July issue of Buddy Magazine.

43 thoughts on “Autographs in the Rain

  1. Jan thanks for sharing. Oh that print Rick free is phenomenal. The best concert I ever went to was a Willie one at Billy Bob’s in 1988, he sang for over 3 1/2 hours. I set right up front I could kittetakky reach out and nearly touch his foot. I’ll never forget that. I grew up in Waylon & Willie and still listen to them today.
    Love you Jan thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad my post sparked a great memory, Tonya. What an awesome experience for you! Thank you for sharing that memory with me. Please know prayers are being said for you and Rob and I am so sorry for your loss. Love you. Hugs!

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      1. Thank you Jan, that means the world to both of us. As Rob told me this morning, she passed doing what she loved, visiting with his Aunt & Uncle and just enjoying life. So I think him telling me that, he his drawing comfort that she was really enjoying life when she passed. Love you s d thanks for the prayers, they are so appreciated.

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  2. I love Kinky I used to run into him in El Paso quite often and usually at Kiki Restaurant and Bar. His favorite Mexican restaurant in El Paso. He’s such a character and so is Willie. Thanks for sharing it brought back some great El Paso memories when my first husband was alive.

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  3. Love the drawing of Willie and your blog about Kinky! I love Kinky’s whole attitude toward life and Willie’s too! It’s no wonder they are friends. I have great memories of Kinky at Kiki’s in El Paso. He frequented there often as did my husband and I.

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    1. I thought Rick really captured Willie’s essence in the drawing. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I agree. I love Willie’s attitude about life. One of my favorite books is “The Tao of Willie.” And, yes, Kinky shares some of the same simple philosophies.

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  4. What amazing memories and pictures you have of Willie Nelson, Jan. I love Rick’s drawing. I think you hit on why Willie Nelson is so popular across music genres, we are huge fans of him, too.

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful photos and memories, Jan. Willie has a huge fan base here in Oz, especially here in the country town I now live in. I’ve long been a fan, and just love the sketch Rick did of the man. How lovely to have memories like these.❤️️

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  6. I love Willie, went to his very first Fourth of July picnic in an open field in the Hill Country in 1973. Went back to see him at Billy Bob’s this past November with my college roommate who I saw him with the first time. I’ve always loved his music, all of his music, you can tell by the wording of his songs that he’s a poet, as well as a musician, at heart.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment, Hebby. How cool to have been at Willie’s 4th of July Picnic in 1973. I won’t ask for details. 🙂 I agree that he is a poet that speaks from his heart!

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  7. Wow! Jan, those are amazing photographs, and the drawing Rick did is outstanding. I can just imagine how precious that guitar must be to you. I’ve never met Willie Nelson or seen him in concert, but he sounds like a humble and gracious person. Treasure those memories!

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  8. Hi Jan. What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures. Willie Nelson is one of the rare people I feel is truly “genuine” (my word for my reaction, which would take at least a page to explain). Such a treasure. Huge hugs!

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  9. I have tears in my eyes. He is a very, very special man and entertainer. The joy never seems to wear off for him. A lot of old entertainers have a blank look in their eyes when you ask for an autograph. They’re in the wrong business. You have to reach out and make each person feel special and thank them for coming. It’s the same with authors. I try to always show gratitude to each person who buys a book or wants my autograph. Two ladies on the airplane when I flew to Dallas in May asked me to sign their bookmarks. I was honored. I think I made their day. One of my greatest treasures is the picture you got of him holding the book I had autographed for him. It’ll be a very sad day when they lay him to rest and I’ll probably bawl my eyes out. He’s been a part of my life for around 50 years. But he’s not gone yet, thank goodness!

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    1. Very well said, sister. And you are so right. Entertainers need to remember that without fans, they have no careers. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love you!

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  10. Of course, better late than never – always applies in the blogging world. These blogs are there for eternity. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the post.

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