Billy Joe Shaver Falls, Smashes Face, Hospitalized – Still Makes Show in Long Beach

Photo: Sandy Carson
Photo: Sandy Carson

There may be nobody tougher to ever write a song or perform on stage in this history of country music, or have as many stories to tell than Billy Joe Shaver. And now he’s got another good one, and even more scars to show.

The country music Outlaw legend was scheduled to headline the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival on Saturday, September 17th when he ended up in the hospital after falling as he walked into a nearby restaurant, smashing his face on the ground. Apparently Shaver stepped into a hole, which caused the the 78-year-old’s knee to buckle sideways. The incident happened about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Shaver’s forehead was split open and his nose broken according to guitarist and road manager Jeremy Woodall, so they took Shaver to the hospital, with the festival being the last thing on their mind. Shaver has been hospitalized multiple times in the last couple of years, including as recently as April for a heart condition.

Yet the show must go on, even for a beaten and bloodied up Shaver. After getting stitches and medical care, Billy Joe Shaver and his band were en route to Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach. Shaver was swollen, bruised, and sore, with what appeared to be blood still on his denim shirt (see below), but soldiered through nonetheless. According to one festival worker, Shaver was still on an IV when he first showed up on site. The band stayed in California until Monday for Shaver to rest up.

“Dude’s about as tough as I’ve seen,” Jeremy Woodall told KWTX. “He’s OK … He’s tough and we’re back on the road.”

At one point it had been mis-reported that Shaver had fallen off the stage at the Long Beach fest, but this was later debunked. Shaver is expected to make his next live show at the Main Street Crossing in Tomball, TX on Thursday, September 21st.

From getting his fingers lopped off by a saw, to skirting by manslaughter charges for shooting an assailant in the face, to once almost shooting himself and barely missing, Shaver has skirted by death and suffered great personal trauma, but still keeps kicking.

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