Willie Nelson: An Epic Life
An epic life and an epic book as well. Written by Joe Nick Patoski, this is not a Willie Nelson for Dummies. No, at 567 pages it is more of a textbook on all things Willie. The diehard fan (Willieologist) will love this book. A seroius tome written by a serious writer. A former editor at Texas Monthly, his Texas connections serve him well as he has written about Nelson for 35 years. From reading the book, some of the things we learn are: (1.) Nelson’s gypsy lifestyle was probably influenced to a large extent by his wayward, wandering parents. (2.) Throughout the low points of a long career, Nelson has remained tenacious, determined, and driven. This has served him well when others have berated his singing, writing, and even his playing. (3.) It’s hard for Willie to say no to any request, that’s why he has people to say no for him. (4.) The genesis of the much celebrated Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnics. (5.) His love/hate relationship with fellow outlaw Waylon Jennings. (6.) Willie really loves the wacky weed, I mean really loves the weed. (7.) What you see is what you get, warts and all. (8.) There’s no one better to play Willie in a movie role than the red headed stranger himself. (9.) The many humanitarian efforts and benefit concerts he has undertaken on behalf of the downtrodden and disheartened. (10.) There’s a lot more but hey you’ll have to read the book.
Patoski has presented a well balanced portrait of one of America’s favorite icons. From ex-wives to club owners to fellow troubadours to a guy Nelson once pumped gas with in his salad days – Patoski has tracked them all down. Don’t be surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be the definitive Willie Nelson bio.