Interview with muggers gets awkward when host hints they can’t sell tickets, Waylon Jennings says, ‘Ask one more question like that, we’re going to burn your house down’

Imagine you are in a room with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

Four of the best of them all play country music… you can ask them anything you want and you start with an insult? Bold strategy cotton…

Back in 1991, Paul Holmes, a well-known New Zealand broadcaster, met up with this incredible crew for an interview just before their tour.

And he asked if the reason for the tour was that they couldn’t sell tickets themselves, or… at least that’s what “critics” said:

“Why are they joining forces? At least one critic, probably more critics, have suggested that this is because neither of you can now fill the holes alone, it takes four of you.

How do you answer a critic like that?”

Kris Kristofferson jumped in with a chuckle:

“How kind of you to point that out.”

As the rest of the gang laughed with him, Waylon joined in:

“Well it’s time to go, looks like…”

The four didn’t seem too offended by the comment and kept it very light-hearted, but the innuendo behind the question was quite offensive to the arguable Mount Rushmore by outlaw country singers.

They quickly ended speculation when Kris Kristofferson began the group’s response:

“We have a lot to do when we’re on stage together because we’ve all been labeled ‘wild men’ at some point in our lives.”

But ultimately it was the calm and collected Man In Black who corrected these “critics”:

“There isn’t anyone in this group who can’t fill every room he plays alone, that’s not a true statement you made there.

I haven’t had a show this year with me, my wife and the Carter family that hasn’t sold out, and I know Willie has sold out every place he plays. Waylon too, Kris too. It’s not true that we can’t do it alone.

Actually we have trouble planning our schedule, the shows for The Highwaymen… we do it a year in advance. We planned for a year to realize this tour.”

Waylon followed Johnny’s confident response with one that is very revealing of his own outcast style:

“I’m telling you, one more point…we’ll burn your house down if you ask another question like that.”


I mean, I know Waylon said that with a grin, but it wouldn’t be the first time he’s burned down a building. If you remember before Waylon actually exploded a dynamite venue after the owner refused to pay them for a gig they had just played.

Not to mention that the man has always been a quick learner. If you know your Waylon Jennings, this answer will not surprise you.

His nonchalant threat got the whole group laughing, but realistically I wouldn’t tempt the often irascible Waylon.

Needless to say, the rest of the interview went more smoothly, and in Paul Holmes’ defense I believe he wanted the guys to clear up the travesty behind the critical statements.

His follow-up question addressed some of the less than glamorous personal details about the four:

“You’ve all been described as survivors, survivors of a collective of twelve marriages, more than a hundred and fifteen years on the road, and countless bottles of whiskey and pills… what’s he talking about?”

Once again, he seems to be looking for a good quote, but at the same time, there’s no denying the history of these four.

Willie jumps in quick-wittedly:

“That’s just Kris he’s talking about!”

Waylon adds:

“Yes, what about the rest of us?”

As for critics’ speculation about their “lack of retail sales,” they were more or less unperturbed.

I guess we can just assume that cool attitude comes with outlaw territory, or maybe it comes naturally when you’ve sold close to 200 million albums combined…

So I think the lesson is… if you’re going to be a critic, at least do your homework first.

And let’s end with a little highwayman. Interview with muggers gets awkward when host hints they can’t sell tickets, Waylon Jennings says, ‘Ask one more question like that, we’re going to burn your house down’

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