Willie Nelson's Braids Sell for $37,000 at Auction

Buddy Holly's motorcycle brings in $450,000 at auction of Waylon Jennings' estate

Willie Nelson performing in New Orleans on April 23th, 1999. Credit: Clayton Call/Getty

In one of the more unusual music-related items to hit the auction block since John Lennon's tooth, Willie Nelson's trademark braids were sold to the highest bidder for $37,000. Nelson's braids were just one of over 2,000 items up for sale at an auction of the late outlaw country icon Waylon Jennings' estate. The sale was staged by Guernsey's auction house and conducted at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Jennings' native Phoenix, Arizona. 

According to Reuters, the braids – snipped when Nelson still had red hair – were gifted to Jennings at a party thrown by June and Johnny Cash in 1983 to celebrate Jennings' sobriety. The buyer of Nelson's braids was not revealed. Other items at the Jennings estate auction included handwritten lyrics, Muhammad Ali boxing gloves and robe, a pair of Hank Williams' Nudie cowboy boots and a letter written by John Lennon that was sent to Jennings.

However, it wasn't Nelson's braids that scored the top bid at the Jennings auction. Buddy Holly's Ariel Cyclone motorcycle, which was given to Jennings in the years following the rock legend's 1959 death, sold for $450,000. On "the Day the Music Died," February 3rd, 1959, Jennings – then a bassist in Holly's backing band – was supposed to be onboard the plane that crashed in Iowa, but instead gave his seat to J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. The crash claimed the lives of Holly, Richardson and Ritchie Valens. Jennings' widow Jessi Colter said Holly's motorcycle "represented to [Jennings] great love for a friend and possibly part of his healing."