In his revealing new book, Waylon Jennings’ son Terry discusses his father’s legacy and what he really thought of the “outlaw country” movement.
In “Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad,” in stores today, Jennings shares his dismay over the way the musical movement from the 1970s and 80s has been shifted into an aggressive attitude toward modern mainstream country artists.
“Today, this Outlaw thing has really gotten out of hand. Some of these younger guys — and I’m not putting anybody down; to each their own — but for some reason they think ‘Outlaw’ means you have to cuss and flip people off,” Terry Jennings told the Tennessean.
For Jennings, the true origins of the “outlaw country” movement, which also included artists like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. and Billy Joe Shaver, came from musicians’ wishes to simply stay true to themselves.
“It could be called the Survival Movement instead of the Outlaw Movement because that is all they were trying to do,” he explained. “They had been trying to do it Nashville’s way so long that they just wanted to do it their way. He did it his way and it worked.”
Jennings also voiced his anger about images that have been circulating the internet that use his father’s likeness to insult other current country music stars.
“People come up with these memes all the time with all of that hateful stuff that Dad never said or couldn’t have said because he didn’t know these artists,” he explains. Jennings went on to explain that he hopes fans of his father will stay away from slamming other artists and instead champion those that they admire. “I don’t have anything to do with them because I don’t believe in hate. Dad once said, ‘You don’t bash the things you hate. You support the things you love.’”