Willie, weed and me - KMOV.com

Willie, weed and me

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The day after Thanksgiving, Willie Nelson was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana after 6 ounces of pot was found on his tour bus. This should come as no shock since Willie Nelson is a long time advocate for the legalization of marijuana and is even a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), advisory board. I had a chance to meet Willie Nelson once and see for myself if he is a partaker of pot.

In the early 90's I was working in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Willie was scheduled to perform at a local club. At the time, he owed millions in back taxes to the IRS and we thought it would make for a good story to talk with him about his tax troubles and his career. We drove to the club, found his tour bus in the parking lot and knocked on the door. A man who looked like an older version of Willie, answered the door and we made our request for an interview. We were told to wait and after a couple of minutes the same man told us that Willie was ready to talk to us.

We went aboard the tour bus and met Willie and his publicist. But before we could set up to do the interview Willie told us that his huge tax bill meant he couldn't afford to hire a production crew to put together a slick commercial to sell his latest cd, which he hoped would earn enough money to pay off that bill. So he asked if we'd videotape him making a pitch for people to buy the cd and then leave him the tape so he could use it to make a commercial. He had a legal pad in front of him with, what looked like, a script. We weren't about to tell Willie Nelson, "no" and risk not getting our interview. So we agreed to do the videotaping and he did it in one take.

After we ejected the tape and gave it to him, then put another one in the camera, we proceeded to do our interview. He was a very gracious and patient interviewee. After we concluded our interview, Willie told us how grateful he was for our help and started giving us souvenirs. He autographed a couple of cds, signed a photo and gave us each a "Red Headed Stranger" bandana. I never saw the commercial he planned to make using the videotape that we shot, but I did see something else. After we said goodbye and turned to walk off the bus, I spotted a half-smoked joint in the ashtray.

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