Waylon Jennings Auction Spotlights Outlaw's Famous Friends

October auction to include Willie Nelson's braids, Hank Williams' boots and a handwritten letter from John Lennon

Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Ron Galella, Ltd.
Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings perform together in 1993
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A pair of Willie Nelson's braids will be among the more than 2,000 items going up for auction from the personal collection of late Outlaw country icon Waylon Jennings, on October 5th at the Musical Instrument Museum in Jennings' hometown of Phoenix.

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The 500 auction lots include memorabilia from many of the musician's closest friends in the music industry. At the centerpiece is the British-made Ariel Cyclone motorcycle belonging to Buddy Holly, which was given to Jennings after the rocker's untimely death in the 1959 plane crash that also killed musicians the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. Early in his career, Jennings was a member of Holly's band, the Crickets, and gave up his seat on that ill-fated flight.

Other unique treasures in the collection include a robe and boxing gloves from Muhammad Ali, a custom pair of Nudie cowboy boots owned by Hank Williams, a handwritten letter to Jennings from former Beatle John Lennon, and Nelson's trademark braids, which he personally cut off in 1983 to show support for Jennings as he struggled to maintain his sobriety. Also up for bids will be Jennings' handwritten lyrics and personal messages scrawled in notebooks and on assorted pieces of paper. Jennings died in 2002 at age 64 of complications from diabetes.

New York City-based auction house Guernsey's will handle the auction, which is being offered by fellow country legend Jessi Colter, Jennings' wife of more than 30 years. The event will help bring attention to the care provided at Phoenix Children's Hospital in Arizona. In late August, Guernseys will make available a catalogue of auction items with detailed photos and descriptions.