A legend in country music, but one who was never afraid to speak his mind and get into some crazy shit. He’s one of the best to ever do it, of course, and knew good music when he heard it, seeing as he single-handedly saved Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger album from being tossed out by a record executive in the 70’s.
Beyond the music, though, people loved him for his outlaw spirit and don’t-give-a-shit attitude. And, on more than one occasion, he was known to do some flat out wild stuff that no country artist today would ever think about doing.
Like the time he rode Buddy Holly’s motorcycle in a hotel room.
Yeah… he really did that.
Buddy and Waylon were really close friends, and Waylon actually got his start playing bass in Buddy’s band on Buddy’s “Winter Dance Party” tour in 1959 before he had his own solo career.
Buddy Holly was tragically killed in a plane crash that same year, and it haunted Waylon for most of his life.
Before he passed away, Buddy purchased an Ariel Cyclone motorcycle and his father kept it until the year 1970. Eventually, his dad sold the bike and years later, in 1979, two members from Buddy’s band The Crickets tracked it down and bought it for Waylon as a birthday present.
#OTD in 2000, Waylon Jennings held a moving sale, where he sold a motorcycle previously belonging to Buddy Holly. This motorcycle is now on display at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas. pic.twitter.com/eTH1Ex802x
Of course, he was absolutely thrilled to get such an incredible gift, and when he saw it for the first time sitting in his hotel room, what option did he have other than to fire it up right there?
In his book, Waylon: An Autobiography, he told the story himself:
“I walked into my hotel room after the show and saw it sitting there. What else could I do?
I swung my leg over it, stomped on the kick starter, and it burst into roaring life. First kick.
It was midnight, and it sounded twice as loud bouncing off the walls of that hotel room. I knew Buddy wouldn’t mind.”
I’m sure buddy wouldn’t mind, but what about every other guest staying in that hotel? Waylon was one of a kind. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more to that story and he took it for a spin down the hallway and gave a few rides while he was at it.
Waylon Jennings owned a 1959 Ariel Cyclone motorcycle that had belonged to his good friend, Buddy Holly. 🆒 pic.twitter.com/mp7Ymo2Zc9