His reputation as a country music legend, and one of the best country voices of all time, is well established. His reputation as a bit of a loose cannon is pretty well established too.
Obviously, we all know the story of Jones driving a riding lawn mower to the liquor store after his wife at the time hid the keys to all of his cars to keep him from drinking. But you know there are hundreds more wild stories about the Possum out there just waiting to be told.
I recently heard Tracy Lawrence tell a story from his days of touring with George Jones about how Tracy quickly learned you didn’t want to stand too close to Jones:
“I learned real quick not to get too close to him because George, if you were walking beside him, especially if you were on his right side, you’d be walking along everything fine having a conversation, he’d just take his hand and he would backhand you right down the cod and he would say “take a bow son.”
I mean, it would double you over right there in hall, man. And he’d just laugh.
So you learned to kind of guard yourself when you was close to him because he’d catch you off guard and pop you, boy.”
Imagine getting nut-checked by George freakin’ Jones.
Well that reminded me of another classic story about the Possum, and the time that he grabbed another country legend by the… well, by the private parts.
Except this time, it was all over a woman.
According his 1996 autobiography I Lived To Tell It All,Jones says that he had gotten it in his head that his then-wife Tammy Wynette and Porter Wagoner had been seeing each other romantically.
Of course, the irony is that George himself essentially stole Tammy from her previous husband, Don Chapel.
Ripe with jealousy, ol’ George decided to confront Wagoner about it – in the bathroom at the Grand Ole Opry of all places.
Now I guess this is worth mentioning, but apparently Porter Wagoner had a reputation not just for his flashy Nudie suits, but also for being… blessed downstairs. Yup, ol’ Porter allegedly had a hog on him.
So Jones decided that he wanted to see for himself.
As the story goes, an angry and jealous Jones walked up behind Wagoner while he was using the urinal at the Grand Ole Opry, reached around, and got a big ol’ handful of Porter Wagoner’s manhood.
According to Jones’ recounting of the incident in his book:
“One of the worst things I ever did was against Porter Wagoner.
Tammy and I were playing the Grand Ole Opry. The show is run in segments, and Porter was the host of our segment.
My mind became extremely altered when I mixed liquor with diet pills, and I often got very aggressive and hostile. Flat-out mean. I was drinking and taking pills when I saw Porter head for the men’s room at the Ryman Auditorium.
I had gotten it in my head that Tammy and Porter were seeing each other romantically. I followed Porter into the rest room and saw him standing at the urinal. I walked up behind him and shouted, ‘I want to see what Tammy’s so proud of!’
Then I reached around and grabbed his dick. I twisted hard.
Porter began to jump and wave his arms. His sequin suit made him a blur of shimmering silver. He doesn’t move much onstage. He moves a lot when you pinch his penis.
He peed on himself and had no change of clothes. Somebody said he missed his next segment and Ernest Tubb had to substitute.”
However, Jones also denied even remembering that the confrontation happened, which he says in his book happened “I was drinking and taking pills.”
When asked by Rolling Stone if he really grabbed Porter Wagoner’s hog at a urinal, Possum replied:
“Well, I don’t remember that to this day, but he told me about it.”
Jones also called the incident one of the worst things he’s ever done drunk, and in 1997 he even appeared in Company’s Comin’: A Salute to Porter Wagoner with a message for his friend:
“Hey Porter ol’ boy, I’m gonna tell ya, we’ve been down many highways and byways together. And I’ll tell ya what, a couple of ’em we’d probably like to forget about both of us.
But I’ll tell ya what, you don’t need no rockin’ chair and I don’t either. And good buddy I’m gonna tell ya, ride on for 50 more.”
Sounds like they buried the hatchet…
Yet, another hilarious story from the colorful career of the great George Jones.