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The day the music died: Vintage ads of pop stars selling shit

‘When You’ve Heard Lou, You’ve Heard It All’ Lou Rawls advertising career covered insurance and booze.
Musicians have long depended on patronage from the rich and powerful to sponsor their careers as artists. As far back as composers such as Haydn or Mozart, who earned his keep with a string of patrons starting with Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg. It’s the same today with pop stars taking the cash offered by brands like Coke and Pepsi to pay for their tours or alimony or undisclosed bad habits.

While some stars promote things they believe in—guitars, charities—there is always a longer list of those who would sell out for some unbelievably low rent shit—Rod Stewart pimping shoes, Elton John peddling pinball, the Yardbirds shilling toiletries. Occasionally, there are those who are smart enough to use the brand to sponsor their ambitions, like Lou Rawls who sold Budweiser but used the brand to sponsor his telethons. Neat, but not all of the following are in that category.
When Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck sold perfume in sexist sixties ads: ‘She’s among the Yardbirds. She goes for groups. They go for her. She has her own group too. Named after her. Miss Disc. A very ‘in’ group indeed…’
Late 1960s, Dave Brubeck attempts to convince the gullible to buy Sears-Kenmore products in ads for magazines like Better Homes and Gardens.
Rod the Mod was once famous for his sartorial elegance, but here he is dressed as if Walt Disney puked on him.
More mighty musos shilling for money, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Willie Nelson’s majestic, skunky-smelling tour bus is for sale on Craigslist
09:02 am


Willie Nelson

Inside the bus…

This phenomenal 1983 Eagle Bus “was built for Willie Nelson in the 80’s,” according to an advertisement posted in the East Texas Craigslist four days ago. It says “WE LOVE WILLIE” above the windshield, and both the exterior and the interior look more or less exactly what you might suspect Willie Nelson’s tour bus would look like. It’s got interior stained-glass windows and velvet curtains, for God’s sake. The man understands traveling in style.

Based on the sheer number of calls they’ve gotten, “Alan,” the kindly gentleman who put up the ad, reckons the price for Willie’s bus is probably set too low. But the price will stay at $29,999, a figure they arrived at by comparing it to other buses of the same make and year already on the market. “The owner doesn’t really need the money,” says Alan.
Willie Nelson
Alan listed the bus as a favor to an older friend who isn’t as tech-savvy. That friend does business in and around Texas region, so when he heard that a vehicle rumored to be Willie Nelson’s old tour bus was being sold in Alabama, he went and checked it out. This friend bought it “three or four” years ago and has used it frequently ever since. Having had his fun with it, he’s looking to sell.

The bus is one of two identical custom-made for Willie, and it had three owners before its current owner. The interior is in tip-top condition (the pictures prove this), and the only problem with the exterior is a couple spots of peeling clear coat. The generator was serviced three years ago, and electrical system has been well maintained over the years.

The advertisement did not supply details as to the various secret places you can hide your weed—that will be the new owner’s task.
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Rather than debase myself with the obvious “On the Road Again” gag, here’s a rousing banjo-pickin’ clip of a different Willie Nelson tour bus: this one is the 1986 Eagle ‘Entertainer’ Motor Coach.

via The Village Voice

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Willie Nelson’s ‘audition tape’ for ‘The Hobbit 2’
12:46 pm


Willie Nelson

Happy birthday, Willie Nelson! The esteemed country great (and IMO great American) turns 80 years old today. In celebration, here’s a video of Willie’s “audition tape” for The Hobbit 2.

Lose that hambone Sir Ian McKellen guy, please.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Crazy’: Willie Nelson tokes up for Marriage Weed-quality
03:12 pm


marriage equality
Willie Nelson

Country music’s outlaw icon and great American artist Willie Nelson, was asked about his take on marriage equality for Texas Monthly magazine:

Texas Monthly: For better or worse, you’ve also grown into a reputation as something of an authority on marriage itself.

Willie Nelson: I’ve been there and back a few times. It’s not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody?

Texas Monthly: But to be clear, you think everybody should be able to get married?

Willie Nelson: Absolutely. I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like.

Texas Monthly: A lot of people think this battle echoes the fight for civil rights in the sixties.

Willie Nelson: It does. It’s about human rights. As humanity, we’ve come through so many problems from the beginning to here. I guess it finally had to come around to this. This is just another situation, another problem. We’ll work it out and move on.

Texas Monthly: And what do you think they’ll say when they look back on this?

Willie Nelson: We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this.

BOOM! Score one for the red-headed stranger!

Texas Monthly invites readers to use Willie’s boss weed-equality avatar themselves. The design was created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop.
H/T Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Handmade felted rock stars

Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin hangin’ out
Oregon -based artist Kay Petal makes these whimsical sculptural needle-felted rock star dolls. Kay says, “Using single, barbed felting needles I sculpt wool fibers into solid felted wool characters with heart and soul. My characters are soft and flexible yet strong and durable.”

And guess what? Kay will even make one of YOU! You can contact her on the website Felt Alive for more information.
Johnny Cash
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Uneek Doll Designs

Oscar Wilde
Handmade miniature character dolls of famous artists, authors, historical figures and actors by Etsy seller Uneek Doll Designs. Each doll measures around 4 1/2 inches tall; all the clothes and costumes are handmade and they retail for $30.00 - $36.00. I never thought in my life I’d stumble across a Noel Coward doll or Harper Lee doll!

Pablo Picasso

Edith Head
More dolls after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
If Willie Nelson can sing his way out of jail, how about other pot offenders?

When I read this, my first thought was “I wonder if everyone currently serving prison time for cannabis possession in America will be able to sing their way out of jail?” Good for this judge and good for Willie Nelson. This just goes to show what a mockery of justice the marijuana laws are in certain states. From Spinner:

Surprise, surprise—Willie Nelson was busted with a personal amount of marijuana on his tour bus last fall. Of course, it probably would’ve been a much bigger surprise if the search turned up nothing, but in this day and age, where many touring musicians have doctor recommendations allowing them to legally “medicate” in home states such as California and Colorado, not many people care. Especially when there are natural disasters, political upheavals and even revolutions to deal with.

Indeed, that’s kinda the stance that even the prosecutor in Nelson’s case seems to be taking. TMZ reports that the prosecutor would be willing to let Nelson’s punishment fit an increasingly popular perception of the crime—rather than let him face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, if Nelson sings ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’ inside the courtroom, then all will be forgiven and the 77-year-old country singer will have to pay just a $100 penalty.

Both Nelson and the presiding judge must accept the terms for this to happen, but our guess is that Nelson’s expert attorney—Joe Turner, who got Nelson’s previous marijuana charge dropped, in 1994—is tuning up the guitar. Let freedom sing!

Willie Nelson is 77-years-old. There is no way in hell that any “law” is going to come between Willie and his “Willie Weed” (which I have personally sampled and it’s great). Shouldn’t they just issue him some sort of honorary “get out of jail free” card for when he’s touring, good in any state in America?

Below, the American icon sings “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” on the CMA awards show in 1975:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Willie Nelson busted for pot (again)
10:33 am


Willie Nelson

The Associated Press newswire reports that Willie Nelson was—once again—arrested for possession of marijuana. What’s the fucking point of this? Chances are that virtually anytime Willie is in that tour bus, he’s got a joint burning. Most Americans would not be surprised to hear this, either. He’s Willie Nelson. You expect him to smoke pot. He’s not shy about it and never was. So the officer smelled pot, it’s his job, blah, blah, blah… who cares? It’s stupid. Willie Nelson is 77-years-old. He had six ounces on him. Chances are this American icon doesn’t give a shit what the law of the land is, has NO INTENTION of stopping smoking and… why the hell can’t they just leave him alone? The guy is an American ICON. Can’t they just give him a doctor’s recommendation letter that works in all 50 states and be done with this harassment of a legend? He’s Willie Fucking Nelson and he just wants to get stoned. Have a little respect!

SIERRA BLANCA, Texas (AP)—A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says country singer Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas.

Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks says the bus pulled into the Sierra Blanca, Texas, checkpoint about 9 a.m. Friday. Brooks says an officer smelled pot when a door was opened and a search turned up marijuana.

Brooks says the Hudspeth County sheriff was contacted and Nelson was among three people arrested.

Sheriff Arvin West didn’t immediately return a phone message left at his home Friday, but he told the El Paso Times that Nelson claimed the marijuana was his. The singer was held briefly a $2,500 bond before being released.

Nelson spokeswoman Elaine Schock declined to comment when contacted via e-mail by The Associated Press.

Well. here’s my comment. Hands off Willie… and his stash! Who’s getting hurt when Willie Nelson sparks a joint? This is ridiculous.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Other E.T. : Ultra Hot Picking From The Ernest Tubb Show

Wonderfully raw clips from The Ernest Tubb Show circa mid-60’s via my pal Jeff Copas, music aficionado and bassist of Sixteen Deluxe

...but my family has some deep country roots - I’m distantly related to Cowboy Copas (a Grand Ol Opry vet, who died in the plane crash with Patsy Cline), and my grandparents were Dust Bowl refugees, transplanted Texans who lived in the not-yet Silicon Valley, and country music was always playing in their house, a double-wide mobile home on the edge of some fruit orchards in San Jose, which seemed mostly rural then.

They had “Sunday Morning Coming Down” painted on the tire cover on the back of their Econoline van, in tribute to Johnny Cash, who they considered to be a Great American (he was). For relatively successful and somewhat urbane ex-hillbillies like them, Ernest Tubb was like a crazy old uncle that you love but are slightly embarrassed by, because he was just a little *too* country, and reminded them a little too much of the hard life they worked so hard to escape.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’d never heard of Leon Rhodes before tonight, because it’s obvious he’s one of the greatest guitarists to ever draw breath, but I’d say these two clips make a persuasive argument that the Texas Troubadours, at least around this era, were far more in line with the sophisticated Bob Wills/Western swing branch of country (jazz for honkies, essentially) than the humorous, podunk novelty tunes Tubb is more commonly associated with (rightly or wrongly). Rhodes’ delayed guitar effects, combined with his jazzy runs, makes me imagine Jerry Garcia, zonked on Owsley somewhere circa ‘66, catching this on television and exclaiming “oh, wow, man!”. And those green hats? Decidedly psychedelic.

I gasped out loud when the background singers first appeared in the below clip. Not to mention Willie Nelson. Copas again : “Ah, the casual elegance of a thirty-something Willie Nelson: wardrobe by J.C. Penney, hair by Brylcreem, and talent bursting at the seams.” Great stuff !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment