Austin - An 8-foot-tall bronze statue of country singer Willie Nelson in his trademark braids was unveiled in Austin, Texas, on Friday, an unofficial pot-smoking holiday.
Nelson, who has long advocated legalising marijuana, sang "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die." The statue features the country music legend sitting on a stool with his acoustic guitar, Trigger. Even the W sign at the nearby W Hotel wore braids on Friday.
"I thought he did a pretty darn good job," Nelson, an Austin resident, said of Philadelphia sculptor Clete Shields after the cover was lifted off the 2 000 pound statue.
Lawrence Wright, president of the board of the nonprofit Capital Area Statues Inc, which raised private donations for the statue, said it was not easy to find an artist who could capture Nelson.
"We wanted the sense of connection Willie and his fans have, which is so electric and so human," Wright, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, told Reuters before the unveiling.
Live music capital
Nelson, an Austinite, is "the man who really, more than I think any other person, made the city of Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the world," Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell told a crowd that included musician/actor Kris Kristofferson at the entrance to the Moody Theatre at a plaza along Willie Nelson Boulevard.
Among the fans at the unveiling were Austin residents Alli and Richard Roberts - who said they own all Nelson's albums - and their 6-month-old son, Richard.
"I've always loved Willie Nelson," Alli Roberts said. "He's an awesome guitar player and singer. And he's good people."
That the ceremony took place on April 20 - 4/20 - at about 16:20 drew a lot of chatter on social media given that 420 is widely known among the cannabis subculture as a symbol for all things marijuana.
Nelson had this question for the crowd: "What time is it?" He added: "I can feel it's getting close to something."
By then it was already 16:30, and there was a slight smell of marijuana in the air.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Prince William and his wife, Kate, are set to visit Canada this fall. Read More »
South African novelist JM Coetzee and US Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout are among contenders for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for fiction. Read More »
Then and Now.
New solo project.
Still to drop in 2016.
New album details.
6 of the best.
Local music videos.
Acts to watch in 2016.
South AfricaCity Press
Cape TownCity Press
HousesR 3 500 000
HousesR 1 995 000
HousesR 3 950 000