Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad
Up to this point, country fans felt they knew all there was to ever learn about Waylon Jennings. Regarded as a country legend and a pioneer of the outlaw movement, Waylon has been cited by many artists as one of their greatest influences.
As a father, Waylon’s influence extended to his children, especially his oldest son, Terry. Born when Waylon was only 19, Terry says he “came of age right as Waylon’s career hit the stratosphere.” It’s a career that Terry became a huge part of at age 15, after he dropped out of school to join his father on the road.
All of those years spent together resulted in a close bond between father in son. So close in fact, that Terry says they always had “more of a brother-brother relationship” than anything else. As a result, Terry was a firsthand witness to the major high points in his father’s life, and the lows as well.
Waylon’s life story has been told before, but never through Terry’s eyes. Although Waylon wrote an autobiography, Terry admits that he was “rushed to meet deadline” and left out some elements of his life. After his father passed away, Terry took it upon himself to put together the most honest portrayal of his father he could.
That portrayal turned into Terry’s captivating new book, Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad. Released on May 9, the book aims to showcase Waylon’s life to the fullest extent. Through Terry’s compelling stories, readers will learn more about the type of man, artist, and father Waylon was.
Terry also aims to debunk common myths about his father in the book. For example, he makes it clear that his father “had [a] strong disdain for alcohol that originated during his early years playing before drunken crowds in honky-tonks.” But he stops short of sugarcoating things, and readily admits that his father had flaws:
“I also observed much of the dark side of Dad’s life,” Terry says. “Particularly the drugs and womanizing. When it came to drugs, I actually was more than an observer—I often did drugs with my dad”
It’s these honest truths that make Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad such a compelling read. As the expression goes…the truth will set you free…and Terry has finally set his father’s story free through the tales he tells in his book.
Country fans, critics, and even Waylon’s fellow artists have been spellbound by Terry’s account of his father’s life. Willie Nelson, Waylon’s good friend and frequent collaborator, offered a passionate endorsement of Terry’s work:
“Packed with funny, insightful tales of life on the road, this book is a terrific tribute, from a son to his father,” Willie said. “Every country music fan, Outlaw or otherwise, should have it on their shelf.”
Take it from Willie, Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad is a book that every country fan should add to their collection right away. Never will you come across a more direct account of Waylon’s life than this.
As Terry recalls, after Waylon finished his autobiography he signed a copy and gave it to him as a gift. He also included a little note, which read, “I did my best. Now it’s your turn.”
Terry has taken his turn with Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad. Like his father, he did his best to transfer his life story to the printed page. Now it’s time for us to experience it.
You can pick up your copy of Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad by visiting Terry’s website here.