By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Some of the most distinctive hair in American music, Willie Nelson’s trademark braids, sold for $37,000 Sunday, auction organizers said on Monday.
The braids were cut in the 1980s when Nelson's hair was still red and were the most talked-about item in the Arizona auction of items owned by the late Waylon Jennings, Nelson's cohort in the "outlaw country" music movement of the 1970s.
Jennings was given Nelson's braids at a 1983 party thrown by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in Jennings' honor to celebrate his sobriety. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed.
Also sold was Buddy Holly’s Ariel Cyclone motorcycle, for $450,000. The motorcycle, bought by the rock 'n roll great in 1958, was given to Jennings by members of Holly's band years after Holly was killed in 1959.
“It represented to him great love for a friend and possibly part of his healing,” said Jennings' widow, Jessi Colter, last month when announcing auction details.
Jennings had been playing bass for Holly's band and was going to ride with him on the plane instead of taking the tour bus on Feb. 3, 1959. But he gave his seat up to J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, who had been ill.
The plane crashed, killing Holly, Richardson and Ritchie Valens and Roger Peterson, the pilot.
Jennings, who had a cocaine addiction for several years, died in 2002 at age 64 of complications of diabetes. His hit songs included "Ladies Love Outlaws," "Are You Ready for the Country," "Bob Wills Is Still the King," "Luckenbach, Texas" and duets with Nelson "Good Hearted Woman" and "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."
The auction was staged by the New York-based Guernsey's auction house at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix, Arizona.
(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Eric Walsh)