Whoever Vandalized The Willie Nelson Statue In Downtown Austin Needs To Be Punished To The Fullest Extent Of The Law

Willie Nelson country music
Downtown Austin Alliance/KVUE/Gary Miller/Getty Images

I will not stand for this.

Over the weekend, it was discovered that someone vandalized the 8-foot-tall bronze Willie Nelson statue that has sat outside of the Moody Theater in downtown Austin, Texas since 2012. Located on the corner of Lavaca and Second Streets, it’s a beacon of greatness and fitting tribute for the outlaw legacy that Willie largely created in Austin.

After moving to Austin in 1972, following minimal success as an artist in Nashville and ready to step out of the role of a full-time songwriter, the hippies and cowboys both embraced the red headed stranger in his home state, and he found a home pioneering the outlaw movement through honky tonks and large venues alike there.

He signed as the first country artist on Atlantic Records, and in 1973, released the first of a stretch of albums that made him who he is, Shotgun Willie. While the project’s sales weren’t as great as they would have hoped, he didn’t waver and continued on this new, better path.

He moved to Columbia Records in 1975 and was given near complete creative control, leading to one of the greatest country albums of all-time, Red Headed Stranger. That was the release that turned Willie into a star.

Willie’s career was a rocket-ship from then on, and he was instrumental in getting Austin City Limits up and running, starred in numerous films, wrote 9 books, and an incredible amount of hits that are still beloved by people all over the world to this day.

So the fact that some person found it appropriate to spray paint pink graffiti on this statue of an icon, pioneer, outlaw and flat-out legend is disgusting, and they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Here’s some photos of the damage:

Fox 7 Austin reached out to local police, though they don’t have any further information on arrests, suspects, a motive, or anything of that nature as of right now.

Texas criminal mischief charges range depending on the severity of the crime, but have the capacity to be:

“Classified as a first-degree felony if the value of damage done is more than $200,000. This offense carries a potential sentence of five to 99 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.”

According to KVUE, local crews have already been out there with power washers and gotten all of the paint off, restoring the statue to its original glory. It looks like they were pretty easily and quickly able to remove it, but it’s really the principle for me…

Anyone who has the capacity to disrespect Willie Nelson in this way is someone who should not be freely roaming the streets and is, quite honestly, a danger to society as a whole.

And if you haven’t caught on yet, this is obviously super hyperbolic and (kind of) a joke, and the statue is already sparkling and looking better than ever:

I know Willie’s all about peace and love, and I am too, but this… this is just too far.

A little more on that story here:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock