Horses, Guns and Drugs: Country Music's 10 Wildest Stories

From Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw's wild ride to Willie Nelson's White House high

Johnny Paycheck Unleashes Gunpowder and Lead
10
GAB Archive/Redferns2/10

Johnny Paycheck Unleashes Gunpowder and Lead

Johnny Paycheck clearly wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit on December 19th, 1985. While driving to Greenfield, Ohio, to visit his mother for the holidays, the country singer stopped at the North High Lounge for a quick drink. Inside the bar, he was recognized by a fan named Larry Wise, who jumped at the chance to speak with one of his idols. Paycheck was feeling testy from the drive, though, and the conversation quickly grew heated. When Wise invited the musician back to his place for a home-cooked meal of deer meat and turtle soup, a fed-up Paycheck drew his gun, reportedly roared, "Do you see me as some kind of country hick?" and fired a bullet at Wise, just grazing his scalp. Sentenced to nine years in jail, Paycheck served less than two before earning a pardon from Ohio governor Richard Celeste.  

Back to Top