Billy Joe Shaver Recalls The Night Waylon Jennings Got Stiffed By A Venue Owner: “That Club Blew Up”

Waylon Jennings country music
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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Waylon Jennings will forever be one of the greatest outlaw country singers of all time.

Granted, he thought the outlaw title was “the dumbest thing he I heard,” and once famously said the most outlaw thing Willie Nelson ever did was double park on Music Row. But we’re talking about a guy who did things his own way with no regrets, and if the corporate country music machine out in Nashville, or anybody in general pissed him off, he was gonna let ’em know.

Nevertheless, he was a cornerstones of the outlaw country movement, whether ol’ Waylon liked it or not.

This story from Mike Judge’s Tales from the Tour Bus videos perfectly encapsulates how much of an outlaw Waylon really was.

In the late ’70s, Jennings transitioned from this clean cut and clean shaven country singer, to the black hat, long haired and bearded country boy outlaw, which many of his friends say was induced by his increasing struggles with substance abuse with cocaine in particular, and his growing weariness of the people in Nashville.

Around that time, fellow country artist Billy Joe Shaver recalled a story about how Waylon always kept some dynamite in the back of the tour bus, just incase it was ever needed. What would you need dynamite for is anybody’s guess, but I suppose it’s better to be overprepared than under.

One night, they were playing a show in this barn venue where Shaver said it was packed to the brim, and people were hanging from rafters just to get a good look at arguably the hottest country singer of the time.

Everything was going as planned, until after the show when they were all waiting to get paid… and didn’t. As time rolled on, nobody came out of the barn to pay them, and sure enough they realized they were the last people on the site.

Shaver recalled:

“So we waited and waited and waited, Waylon’s having a fit. Then all of a sudden everybody started leaving… And everybody left. Wasn’t nobody in the place. It was just empty. And Waylon said, ‘You know, we’ve waited long enough.’ So we get back in the bus…”

Needless to say, Waylon was getting fed up, and he disappeared for a minute and came back, and they all just decided to take off. Sure enough, as they were leaving, the back half of the barn exploded, more than likely from the dynamite Waylon was keeping in the back of the bus.

“All of a sudden that whole ***-end of that club blew up.”

Check it out:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock