44 Years Ago: Waylon Jennings Arrested During a Recording Session
Waylon Jennings' drug habit became very public knowledge on Aug. 23, 1977. Forty-four years ago today, the singer was arrested at a Nashville recording studio and charged with conspiracy and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
The DEA raided the studio in the middle of a recording session, after getting a tip about a package containing cocaine that had been mailed to Jennings. The country star managed to delay the DEA's search of the premises by challenging their warrant, which incorrectly identified him as the owner of a studio he only rented.
While they were sorting that mixup, Jennings and his drummer managed to hide or dispose of the original package and all of the other drugs on the premises, but Jennings faced arrest anyway. However, The charges were eventually dropped at Jennings' preliminary hearing due to the original faulty warrant, and Jennings immortalized the incident in his hit song "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Outta Hand."
"We were wrapped up in our music, that's why we never saw / Cars pull up, the boys get out and the room fills up with law / They came bounding through the back door in the middle of a song / They got me for possession of something that was gone, long gone," Jennings sings in the second verse.
Jennings was open and honest about his addiction in his later years, saying, "I did more drugs than anybody you ever saw in your life." At one point, he claimed he had a $1,500-a-day cocaine habit that he wasn't able to kick until he went cold turkey in 1984.
Jennings' heavy drug use contributed to health problems for the singer, which eventually led to his death, in February 2002, at the age of 64, from complications from diabetes.
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