If you dug New York Times writer Thomas Friedman's recent column about 59 being the new 30, you'll probably want to come out to Billy Joe Shaver's birthday party. It's official: Friday, the grandfather of the Outlaw Movement, songwriter of choice for Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, pal of choice for actor Robert Duvall and Squidbilly character turns 70. It hasn't been an easy ride for the man who wrote "Ride Me Down Easy"; he's lost a finger in a sawmill accident, lost a son to a heroin overdose and lost a couple of wives to general hard living and honky-tonkin'. And he's eventually facing a trial for allegedly shooting Billy Coker in the face outside a Lorena (near Waco) bar in 2007 after, according to witnesses, asking the unfortunate Coker, "Where do you want it?" (It looks as if Shaver's lawyers are keeping the court date at bay for now.) Suffice it to say Shaver is a larger-than-life, only-in-Texas character who writes a mean lyric and delivers it with all the sincerity of a man confessing on Death Row. KPFT radio personality and concert promoter Rick Hayesquierdo (no age given) will be celebrating his birthday with Shaver and handling the party's MC duties.
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