Friday, 23 September 2016
BOOK REVIEW: WILLIE NELSON-MY LIFE
Weathered wrinkles warn you that this is a man that has seen some miles. But country legend Willie Nelson's 82 year old mind is still as fresh as the first time Georgia was on it.
And it always will be for the legend who has seen it all and sung the same. From the highways with legendary men like the one in black, Johnny Cash, or the one in dark shades, Ray Charles. To the interstates he's gone at alone. The 'On The Road Again' singer takes us, his friends down the music row road most travelled for his memoir 'My Life' and this autobiography is as he puts it; 'A Long Story'. But boy is it a good one. As well wrote as one of his songs these compelling chapters wont put you to sleep. Instead they'll have you wracking your brain to just how you finished just under 400 pages just before bed.
A coffee shop table-top book this is not. More like one for the motel road stop night if you get a little lonely. You'll be lucky to pick this Willie up as he goes full Kerouac on the road, taking you from Nashville to California and all the Houston's and San Antonio's he's been between before. Through it all, the places he's been and the people he's seen this maverick has always kept it real and religious in the name of his fathers soul and the holy spirit of song. As a matter of fact you can take the way he talks about how he writes songs as gospel. Because it's more than a genius of a guide from a life well lived. It's an all freeing truth that falls like a whiskey stream that wouldn't flow if it didn't fit. All the way from the waterfall to the bottom of your glass.
And there's a beautiful spirited metaphor and message for life here that Nelson gives us with no half measures. Whether he's talking about cowboys like the Magnificent Seven or tipping his cap to four walls this man knows exactly what he's talking about when he pays tribute to all the wives he's loved before like Julio Iglesias, or laments a lesson we should all heed and not lose in how it's 'Funny How Time Slips Away'. How can you not take the word from a man that's lived even more lives than we've even heard?
The crazy hearted road warrior of true grit in his recent lifetime has taken more than one kind of hit with rapper Snoop Dogg and rolled around in 'Dukes Of Hazzards' cars with 'Jackass' Johnny Knoxville, but it's the individual life of this solo artist that has garnered real inspiration. And from selling encyclopedias to being in the country music one (in the section marked, 'Hall Of Fame'), it's a life that is still being well lived. So before you hop in a thunderbird down 'Thunder Road' for The Boss, Bruce Springsteen's long-awaited, highly anticipated road warrior memoir 'Born To Run' next week, find time for a quick spin around the block with the man who knows the real road, chapter and verse. A man who will be on it again like our minds...always. TIM DAVID HARVEY.