The iconic Willie Nelson Family Band tour bus that spurred a frantic worldwide bidding war will return to Texas highways as a mobile piece of music history, thanks to a pair of Austin entrepreneurs.
“We are nostalgia geeks, and when I found the opportunity to own something this cool I had to move quickly,” stated Taylor Perkins after he and business partner Michael “Stix” Tashnick posted the winning bid on Craigslist for Willie Nelson’s iconic tour bus. The 1983 Eagle tour bus (known as the “Me and Paul”) was one of four used by Nelson’s entourage and was specifically customized for his best friend and Family Band drummer Paul English.
“This was something we couldn’t pass up. We are excited to give fans a chance to experience a taste of life as Willie lives it, on the road again,” he continued.
Perkins and Tashnick, owners of Austin Restaurant Week and Vintage Innovations (which restores and rents vintage Airstreams, buses) purchased it from owner Tom O’Leary of Whitehouse, TX, and has hired Bob “Daddy-O” Wade and other local artisans to fully restore its splendor, while retaining its famous mural-adorned exterior and dark-wood interior, complete with red velvet curtains and stained glass. Once complete, the pair plan to give Nelson fans the opportunity to charter the bus, which they say has been maintained “in perfect running condition, for festivals, concerts and other events.” In turn, Vintage Innovations has pledged to, will donate part of “Me and Paul’s” rental income to Farm Aid, the charity co-founded by Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp to support family farms.
“We are all huge Willie Nelson fans and have been our entire lives,” says Perkins. “We felt this was a great way we could give something back to Willie, who has done so much for our state and the people in it.”