Texas songwriting legend and all-around honky tonk hero Billy Joe Shaver was involved in a shooting Saturday night outside Papa Joe's Saloon in Lorena, Texas. Shaver's attorney Joseph Turner confirmed the reports today. The victim is alive and alert and talking to police. Shaver is being questioned about his role.
Lorena police are being pretty tight-lipped, but Turner told the Waco Tribune-Herald that his client was indeed involved.
Shaver's Houston-based manager Brad Turcotte declined comment to the Press. "Sorry, man, I can't say anything," Turcotte said. "If we were talking over beers I could tell you something but not on the record or even while you are at work."
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The Tribune-Herald's most recent account stated that Turner had been canvassing witnesses at the bar — of which there are said to have been about 25 — and that a number of them told him that the victim was drunk and wielding a knife. I told Turcotte this version of events and he stated that the victim did indeed have a knife.
The Tribune-Herald's account adds that the victim was a stranger to Shaver. The Texas Rangers are assisting Lorena police with the investigation.
Often acclaimed as the greatest living Texas songwriter, Shaver's songs include "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal" (as sung by John Anderson, currently in use in a national ad campaign), "Georgia on a Fast Train," and the gospel-tinged anthem. "Live Forever." His Greatest Hits album drops tomorrow on Houston-based Compadre Records, which was recently purchased by Music World Entertainment.
Watch this space for more details as they come our way. — John Nova Lomax