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Postby Moshe on Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:50 pm

This autobiography by Willie Nelson- written "with"- (always makes me smile, that)-David Ritz is certainly an entertaining read.
Self indulgent, contradictory but ultimately rather likable, probably a bit like the man himself, this brand new book takes the reader on a ride from a childhood in dusty Texas , through radio dj-ing on small town stations, honky tonk, sixties Nashville then back to Texas and beyond.

Along the way Willie spouts quite a bit of his hippy BS philosophy, but he gives the impression his thoughts run deeper than the average Texas cowpoke.

I often have a problem with autobiographies where the narrator recalls conversations from decades ago, word for word. Just not possible.
But it is a technique that helps make this an entertaining, free flowing read.

Sure, Willie is rather self-obsessed, but he has enough insight to acknowledge this, and at times his extensive eulogies in praise of cannabis make me glaze over, but overall this is a good read and gives a view of an area of music over the course of about half a century.

Some of the things I like about the way Willie comes over in this book? He doesn't slag anyone off, not really, certainly not family, parents, grandparents or the women who got tired of his BS and hit the road.
I like the respect & the understanding he shows to his parents- his mother almost fits the persona of the character in the Billy Joe Shaver song that Willie sings, "I Been To Georgia on a fast train". The line "They say my mama left me, the day before she had me, since she hit the road & never once looked back". Willie recognises that his mom was a "wild spirit" who just had to be on the move, & he was raised by his loving grandparents.
Not once does Willie whine about being abandoned, & he & his mum had a loving relationship whenever they both stopped still long enough to say "hi".

Of course Waylon, Cash, Kris & so forth crop up in here, as does Ray Price & various other country music figures.

Above all, an interesting narrative of how Willie made music "his way" & lucked out. That's one old hippy who seems pleased with his life, & this is one of the better singer autobiographies I've read of late. I rate it alongside the shorter, & very different, autobiography by fellow Texan, Tanya Tucker.
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