It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson with David Ritz


Reviewed by Allen Hott

itsalongstoryAnother book by Willie! This one is the story of his life as he tells it. And since he is now 82 years old I guess we would all agree It’s A Long Story. But it is also very interesting as he recounts his younger years in Texas and how he went from being a farm boy to becoming a musical icon.

He played his guitar and sang in bands all around Abbott Texas at first but then began moving out into the bigger cities. Basically he played in small bands that performed primarily in bars. Even at a young age he not only was around liquor but began partaking of it at that young age.

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In his mind and probably rightly so, music was in his blood. He could in a very short period of time strum his guitar, get the right music going, and then quickly add lyrics which most always was about his life or life in general for a growing farm boy. Over the years that ability propelled to him to fame as his songs first were recorded by others but then eventually by himself.

And though he downplays the idea most all of them were not only good enough to be recorded but many, many of them became hits on both the country top hits list but also the top pop charts.

Through all of his wild times traveling and playing in honky-tonks as well as decent bars he maintained his religious convictions. Even today he still is extremely religious and performs hymns during and at the end of his performances. His religion however is pretty much tilted to fit his lifestyle. He doesn’t put others down, makes few enemies, and tries to do the right thing always.

However that does not stop him from being a very poor husband as he is now on his fourth wife and admits that his wanderlust and woman lust is what caused those divorces. He has a group of children (although his son, Billy, died at age 33 in an accident) and stays very close to the entire group. Most of the time Willie, his family, and close friends live together on some extremely large ranch in Texas. Now Willie also has a house in Hawaii which he and his fourth wife really enjoy.

As his song, On The Road Again, attests Willie spends many nights on the road even yet and at his age. He always has and probably always will. He was also quite a boozer in his day but gave it all up because he “lost too many fights from losing his temper”. He uses and is a strong advocate of Pot. He believes it should be legalized for the good it does and because it is no different than cigarettes and is less harmful to the human body.

Great story by one of my personal all-time favorite entertainers! I might be Crazy but I would love to go On the Road Again with Willie and his friends. Great music and entertainment!! And by the way a very interesting book!!!


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