Hearsay: Wednesday, January 30, 2003
Close Shaver

HearSay is typically not one to report on the comings and goings of famous folk, but your columnist will make an exception in the case of a native Texan who recently dropped by the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in the Stockyards — only because HearSay’s a Billy Joe Shaver fan and, well, there is some news to report.

Shaver, who got his start in Nashville penning hits for marquee acts in the 1970s before going out on his own, is one of those hardcore cowboys whose hardscrabble upbringing accounts for his high stature in the biz. When Shaver walks into a steakhouse, you don’t wanna bother him — or, at least, that’s what was on the minds of Roger and Cowboy Bill, two Cattlemen’s regulars who typically spend Friday afternoons nursing beers at the bar. Rather than approach Shaver directly, the two locals asked a waitress to deliver him a shrimp cocktail. After he finished his meal, Shaver, a born-again Christian who long ago gave up booze, joined the boys at the bar and sipped on a non-alcoholic drink. Rog and Bill learned that Shaver was in the area to meet Nick Nolte in Dallas to talk about a movie project (that’s the news). Cattlemen’s, according to Shaver, is a regular pit stop.

Eventually, the conversation touched on Shaver’s talented, guitar-picking son, who fatally overdosed on heroin about two years ago at age 38. “We talked about Eddy a little bit,” Roger said. “Billy Joe said, ‘He’s got a better gig now.’” Shaver got up after almost an hour of bar conversation, said goodbye, and strode out the door. A few minutes later, he came back with a short stack of his latest c.d., Freedom’s Child, and gave autographed copies to Roger, Bill, and the bartender, signing the disc sleeves, “Bless you, Your pal, Billy Joe,” and then left a $20 tip.

Call For Artists

HearSay has long traveled the well-worn paths of Fort Worth’s music scene and has run into many musicians who have refused to stuff HearSay’s pockets with c.d.’s (and/or cash). If you’ve run into HearSay recently and you didn’t have a copy of your band’s c.d. on you but wanted HearSay to hear it, then you have a chance to make amends. Write a note telling HearSay who your band is and ship the note with your c.d. to HearSay at 1204-B West Seventh St, Fort Worth, TX 76102. See, we here at the Weekly are all about the local scene, so we need to hear who’s making the best racket in town to tell readers what’s what. Now, we can’t promise your disc is gonna be written about, especially if it stinks (we don’t wanna kick you while you’re already down), but we can promise you an unprejudiced listen. What more could you ask for?

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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