Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Poodie Locke passed away today. You might know him as the proprietor of Poodie's Hilltop Bar & Grill, or as the stage manager for Willie Nelson & Family.
I've known him as a larger than life figure, a wild man, the heart and soul of Willie's storied road crew, and a genuine friend.
He's was the Go To Guy for translation and better understanding when I was working on the Willie biography and the most fun cat I've ever played golf with, even thought I never picked up a club. He was also a hard working sumbitch, working the phones or his laptop even when he was having fun, always looking out for the boss and fronting for him without anyone ever realizing how smooth he was getting things done because his MO was total duct-tape.
Between him and his Momma Locke, who ran a boarding house, I realized Waco had more soul than most folks gave it credit for. He always knew where he came from, and would get the busses to stop for burgers at Cupp's whenever they were passing through.
He was the only roadie to have his own line of barbecue sauces. He was funny as all get-out, a great storyteller (oh, the time he talked about Larry Trader having told too many lies at the picnic at Spicewood, he had to be helicoptered away) and so real, I witnessed the alleged crazy man Johnny Knoxville kneel in fealty in Poodie's presence. Poodie was the real wild man. On the road, he was always plugged into the action, leading daytime tours of medical marijuana clinics (how he got access was a testament to his prowess and reputation) and to Alcatraz for a cadre of friends and followers when Willie did the Fillmore for a week a couple years back.
Last time I saw Poodie about three weeks ago, we talked about surviving. He told me he'd never been sick a day in his life. I asked him what his secret was. "Genes, I guess," he shrugged, before going about his business. I was going to catch up with him at Carl's on Saturday and when I couldn't swing that, I was going to drop by Spicewood and see him today. They say it was a heart attack. I'm glad it was quick. Poodie was too full of life to fade away slowly. He exited stage left at the top of his game, and at the top of his boss' game. I miss him already.
My condolences to Gloria (Mamma) Locke, his sister Cindy, his girlfriend Shaye, and all his family and all his friends around the world.
UPDATE (mil gracias, Texas Clem)
James Randal "Poodie" Locke
Rest in Peace Big Boy
He will be buried Monday in Waco at Conally Compton Funeral Home.
There will be a Memorial Celebration in his Honor in Austin in a few weeks. Details to follow.
I'm sure there will be something scheduled at the Hilltop as well.
In the meantime, Clem passed this along to make us smile.
AND THIS FROM BUDROCK, WILLIE'S LIGHTING DIRECTOR AND POODIE'S BEST FRIEND:
By Buddy Prewitt
May 7, 2009 2:32 PM | Link to this
It is tough losing your best friend. He was my Brother. 33 years side by side. Godfather of my kids. Nobody’s enemy.
I know it is harder for Shaye, Mama Locke, Cindy, and the rest of the Family.
My thoughts and prayers will be forever.
Rest in Peace Big Boy, you deserve it. There is not enough space for the words that you deserve. If you knew him, you know.
Now somebody else is gonna have to write the book.
You will NEVER be forgotten.
Your Best Friend Forever, Budrock