Ol Dillo has been the “beloved unofficial band mascot” to Willie Nelson for more than three years. The armadillo, which is stuffed, not live, actually belongs to the country crooner’s sound engineer Aaron Foye. Ol Dillo can usually be found perched on his console at stage left. That’s of course unless he’s been pinched by some irrationally exuberant fans. And lately, Ol Dillo has spent a lot of time on the road – the victim of kidnappings.
“Hey Las Vegas!” Nelson wrote on Facebook after a Monday night show at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort. “Once again Ol Dillo has been wrongfully removed from the building. Deliver it back to the Westin – no questions will be asked.”
Ol Dillo’s Facebook page quickly went up depicting his life on the lam as he was hanging with showgirls, rolling in cash and cruising with an Elvis lookalike.
The Associated Press reported that the band called the Westin in the middle of the night from the road requesting that staff pore over surveillance footage. The next morning, the hotel said an “apologetic” man drove up and handed over a shoebox – the armadillo inside – with instructions to return it to the legendary musician. Ol Dillo was dispatched to Nelson in California.
“I’m back,” Ol Dillo soon posted to Facbook. “The showgirls were nice.”
This wasn’t the first time Ol Dillo has been snatched. Last fall, the mascot was taken from a show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. and again, Nelson asked staff to scour security footage. Video showed a woman milling around the stage, grabbing the critter and waltzing away. The mascot was returned not long after news of the theft spread.
“Ol’ Dillo is on his way home!” Nelson wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to all of our friends and family for helping track him down. Thank you Capital Theater for having an amazing staff and hunting down clues. Lesson of the week: Only cowards steal from another person, don’t be a coward! “