If anyone could get away with walking right up to a happily married woman, planting one right on her lips right in front of her husband, and all the associated parties would walk away with a humors story to tell instead of an account of a fist fight, it would be Willie Nelson. And that’s exactly what happened a while back when Willie ran into singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Amanda Shires—also known as Mrs. Jason Isbell.
“Willie Nelson—you know Willie’s great,” Jason Isbell told Chris Shifflet, guitarist for the Foo Fighters on the most recent installment of his revered podcast, Walking the Floor with Chris Shiflett on PodcastOne. “You know, we did a lot of shows with him two years ago, and that was a really special time. One of the early shows we were playing with them, my wife Amanda came out—she’d been touring on her own, and came and joined us. And at the end of the night, Willie would get everyone up on stage to do the encore, you know, and then he’d go around and sign autographs in the front row before he got off stage. And Amanda just showed up, like right before our set, so they’d not met or anything…”
As anyone who has seen Willie Nelson live can attest, the best souvenir you can walk away with is if Willie hands you or throws you one of his signature red headbands. During many shows, Willie will wear two or three of them, and whip them out in the crowd at certain times. But the most prized one is the headband he’s wearing at the end of the set.
“We were all up there playing,” Jason Isbell continues, “and Willie walks over to my wife, Amanda, takes his headband off and puts it on her head, and then kisses her right on the mouth!”
So the next question for Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires was, should they be offended, or honored?
“She was like, ‘I didn’t know if you’d be mad about that or not,’” Isbell explains. “I said, ‘First of all, it’s Willie Nelson. Second of all, he could probably whoop my ass. Somebody who smokes that much weed, you never know what they’re going to do in a fight. They could come up with some weird, left field shit.”
And hey, it’s Willie Nelson. And if you were Willie Nelson you would probably try to get away with kissing pretty girls too. Because you’re Willie Nelson.
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Amanda Shires has a new album called My Piece of Land coming out September 16th. The full Chris Shiflett interview with Jason Isbell can be heard below.