While Waylon and other Nashville stars adopted the outlaw mantle as a means of climbing the charts, most Austin musicians dismissed it as a cynical pose. In fact, the real outlaws happened to be back in Texas. One of the characteristics of a regional music business was that the players, operating out of the glare of the big media centers, often made their own rules. These were people who’d given Willie gigs through the lean years of his career, and he remained deeply loyal. As he rose, they rose with him, the joke being that the only disqualifier for getting on his bus was mistreating old people or children. Two of his more colorful consorts were his drummer, Paul English, who’d also served as Willie’s money collector with stingy club owners, and a mercurial Dallas promoter named Geno McCoslin.
MICKEY RAPHAEL I was riding in an elevator in L.A. once with Paul, and he had on his black cape with red satin lining that went all the way to the floor, black pants and shirt, and red patent leather cowboy boots. The door opens up, and standing outside is Little Richard in the same getup—but his cape only comes to his waist. Paul doesn’t even look at him, just struts out like he’s the Prince of Darkness. But Little Richard does a double take.
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