Words can’t accurately describe how shocked we are that our friend, Wayne Mills, was taken from us. He was murdered by a man he called a friend, Chris Farrell, in a bar in downtown Nashville that Chris owned. And it was over a cigarette. A fight over smoking in a non-smoking area cost our friend, a brother, a son, a father, a husband, and a fellow country artist, his life.
I first met Wayne at a honky tonk in Nashville that Jude and I were playing. Before we were even called The Darlins, we shared our songs on the stage with Wayne and many friends. He was one of the original Alabama Line artists, a showcase that comprised of Wayne, his buddy Jamey Johnson, Taylor Hicks, and more. Jude and I were honored to be asked to take part in the new Alabama Line showcase a few years ago when they brought it to Nashville. I remember playing shows with Wayne and eighties rocker Tommy Tutone in an empty club saying, “OMG. I know I’ll always remember these nights.” Looking back now, I’m glad those memories are still so vivid. Wayne asked us to play a show with him and Andy Griggs in Gadsden, Alabama for a festival one summer and Jude and I still remember just laughing and having the time of our lives. Shortly after, we asked Wayne to join us in our round at The Bluebird Cafe with our friends, Kostas and Dillon Dixon. It was one of our first rounds together as The Darlins and Wayne played his great songs perfectly and shined like the star he was.
My favorite memory of Wayne is being backstage at a Western Kentucky University show and watching him open for Jamey Johnson. His little boy, Jack, had his own guitar and played right beside his daddy and the crowd roared. It was beautiful and truly a vision I’ll always see when I think of Wayne.
We were blessed to know him.
Our prayers will continue to be with his friends and family. We also pray that justice is served. It is truly a tragedy.
For more info, please check out www.waynemillsband.com