Taylor Perkins, founder of Austin Restaurant Week and Vintage Innovations, and his business partner, local entrepreneur Michael “Stix” Tashnick, made the winning bid to obtain the 1983 Eagle tour bus made for Paul English, Willie’s best friend and Family Band drummer. Nelson and English whiled away countless hours together inside that brown-and-silver bus, originally called “The Scout” and later named “Me and Paul,” after Nelson’s renowned album and song.
Perkins and Tashnick purchased it from owner Tom O’Leary of Whitehouse, Texas, recognizing its value as a rolling tribute to Nelson’s musical legacy and uniquely Texas heritage. Fans will be able to charter the vehicle, which has been kept in perfect running condition, for festivals, concerts and other events. Vintage Innovations, which restores and rents vintage Airstreams, buses and other classic vehicles, will donate part of “Me and Paul’s” rental income to Farm Aid, the charity co-founded by Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to support family farms.
“We are all huge Willie Nelson fans and have been our entire lives,” says Perkins. “We felt this was a great way we could give something back to Willie, who has done so much for our state and the people in it.”
The bus’ instantly recognizable, mural-adorned exterior and dark-wood interior, complete with red velvet curtains and stained glass, are still mostly original; Vintage Innovations has hired Bob “Daddy-O” Wade and other local artisans to fully restore its splendor, assuring fans will experience total immersion in the vibe of Willie. Of course, it will retain every ounce (and maybe even some seeds) of the inimitable character that could only be imbued by Nelson and his bandmates.
“We are nostalgia geeks, and when I found the opportunity to own something this cool I had to move quickly,” Taylor says. “This was something we couldn’t pass up. We are excited to give fans a chance to experience a taste of life as Willie lives it — on the road again.”
Posted by: Sam Moore
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