Me ‘n’ Ol’ Waylon

 

The phone rang, Daisy answered it, hesitated while the caller spoke and replied, “Yeah,
sure…just a minute.” She placed the caller on hold and said to me, “Your friend Ski (the late
Danny Stepiewski, former professional heavyweight boxer and notorious practical joker) is on
the phone.” “This is Gary,” I answered, picking up line 1. “This is Waylon Jennings,” the voice
said, “I’ve been listening to some songs that Dean Kay gave me that you wrote.” I knew it wasn’t
Ski; I’d heard Waylon’s speaking voice several times on TV and Ski wasn’t that good of a vocal
impressionist. “Hey Waylon,” I offered, “I didn’t expect to pick up the phone and hear you on the
other end.” “I just wanted to call you and tell you I think your song, ‘Classy Women,’ is one of
the funniest songs I’ve ever heard. I played it for Johnny Cash and we laughed our asses off.”
“Waylon, I’ve got a truckload of songs that you should be doing…it ain’t that easy to get your
attention, though…” “Look, I’ve got four or five of your songs and they’re the best stuff I’ve
received for my new album. See if you can come up with some more, have Dean forward them to
me and I’ll get back with you.” Waylon instructed. “Geez Waylon,” I said, “how ‘bout I run ’em
up to your house? You’re in Nashville, right? I’m practically next door…San Diego.” “Don’t
worry,” he said, “I won’t forget you; just whip me up a couple of more tunes and we’ll work out
all the details.” We did some small talk for a few more minutes and hung up. I’d heard that
Waylon had a habit of getting worked up over something (a project, or a song) and then losing
interest as time passed, so it didn’t really surprise me when I never heard from him again. I don’t
know if he ever did the album he spoke of and I don’t know of any he did after we spoke.
Mainstream cats do a lot of stuff that never gets released; who knows what happened? I didn’t
anticipate anything ever coming of it; I’d been down that road too many times before. As it
turned out my instincts were correct. But Ol’ Waylon made my day.

 

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