I have been a fan of Willie's ever since he first appeared on the music scene.To attempt to condense Willie's life and music in a book of 280 pages is a task that is ,to say the least,monumental.But that is exactly what Graeme Thomson has tried to do, and he has done an excellent job of it.
As much as any longtime fan thinks he knows about Willie;reading this book is going to be an eyeopener and pleasure;but is also going to give one a lot more insight into his life,friends,music,and everything else about him;and shows what makes him the legend that he is.As Willie continues on past his mid-seventies;his fans are continually amazed at his endurance and are treated to more good music and sides of Willie that they have never imagined.
While many biographies on performers in the world of music tend to get overloaded with the music itself,dates,music production companies,copyrite problems,disography,the writers,and endless flow of band members,etc.;Thompson is still able to incooperate all that;but still manages to center his book on Willie himself.It is hard to imagine any other book being able to do a better job of showing what Willie is all about ,and more importantly why.
There is all too much to comment on this book ;but still I would like to mention a couple of things.
The relationships with his wives,children and extended family show what a difficult life of being "on the road" entails.It is so difficult that many are ruined by it,or simply can't take it and quit;but Willie seems to have thrived on it for 50 years,and still continues.
Any fan of Willie, knows the difficulties he had with the taxes and the IRS during the 80's,but the details are all in the book and one can see how all this happened and how Willie managed to survive these dark days;and even to quote an old adage "Turned a Lemon into Lemonade."
Willie Nelson is without any doubt,one of the great musicians,songwriters,singers ,actors,and all around entertainers of the 20th Century.He has given his all for his huge following of fans,seemed to want little out of life other than to be able to make and play his music for anyone who wanted to listen,play a little golf,enjoy his friends family and fans,and smoke a little pot.Many other entertainers have had their moments of stardom;but few have had the enduring span of so many years...and hopefully,there will be more to come.
If you have enjoyed Willie and his music over the years;you owe it to yourself to read this book.You'll enjoy it, and without doubt,learn things about this amazing entertainer that you never knew.How he treated the people around,from his family,friends,others in the music business,people who worked for him,and of course,his fans ;will amaze you. Yes,he made a lot of money along the way;but it wasn't the money that he made, that was important to him ;it was what he could do with it ,particularly for others.His loyalty and generosity and desire to help others was boundless. As the twilight of his career and life approaches;Willie sums it up this way;
"Once you've reached that point where it seems like you've been through the fires and you're still here,then that in itself is a miracle-that you survived all these things.There is enough reason there for jubilation.I think." ..Willie