Jeffrey's Reviews > Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

Willie Nelson by Joe Nick Patoski
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May 12, 08

bookshelves: biography

WILLIE NELSON: AN EPIC LIFE

So I received the new biography on Willie Nelson in the mail. I did not know what to do, I like Willie but I tend to dislike celebrity bios, they are either fawning hagiographies or they are Kitty Kelly yellow journalist trash. Few books manage to hit in between, yet Willie Nelson: An Epic Life is one that hits the mark.
As I said earlier, I picked the book up with trepidation but after the first few pages I was hooked. I am not through yet, but so far the ride is pretty good. I see this book turning into the definitive bio of the Country great. I would not be surprised to see this book turned into a movie like Walk the Line was for Johnny Cash. And Walk the Line is a good jumping off spot. Cash was a country King, like Nelson. Both men were and are larger than life and multi-talented. Their stories are important to knowing about country music.
The fire that created Willie consumed so many others, abject poverty, broken homes, substance abuse…All things that seemed to be in nelson’s way were overcome and he is the best living writer of country songs. The book does well to point out that as a boy, Willie had the gift. The fact that as a teen he was writing and performing is amazing. His longevity speaks volumes, since he has outlasted so many giants in his long career. Competing with the Texas Playboys in the 50’s and outlasting everything the last six decades has thrown at him, Willie truly deserves the title Living Legend.
This book is a great introduction to the man behind the music. So many know the pot arrests or the IRS fueds or even Willie’s Farm aid shows, but to read about the man and his history will give new insight and appreciation for all of the greatness that is Willie’s music. From Crazy made famous by Patsy Cline to Elvis Presley’s hit You were Always on My Mind, Willie proved that he was a hitmaker regardless if he sang the songs.

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