Pete daPixie's Reviews > Willie Nelson: The Outlaw

Willie Nelson by Graeme Thomson
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's review
Dec 06, 2011

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bookshelves: poptastic, biogs
Read from December 02 to 05, 2011

The music of Willie Nelson has never been up high on my playlist. Country music had a definite lack of cool back in the days of my musical youth. Only comparatively recently has the sound of Lucinda Williams tempted me to join the good ole boys, with the exception of short sojourns into Gram Parsons, Dead and Byrds fayre.
So the life and career of Nelson was largely a blank prior to reading Graeme Thomson's 2006 publication of 'The Outlaw'. Perhaps Nelson is as close as anyone can get to the shape shifting and never ending tours of Bob Dylan. Through six decades 'the outlaw', red-necked Texan cowboy, part native American, dope smokin' hippie, has rode his own trail. With a rebel yell, four marriages, seven children, a son's suicide, whisky, more grass than the Ponderosa, an IRS tax bust the size of a small country, Farm Aid and perhaps the only person in the world to have smoked a big one on the roof of the White House!
Thomson has written a good biography. The text is interspersed with contributions from the man himself, family members, fellow musicians, band members etc., so much so, the author almost vanishes at times, but this is still a definitive and well written account. Along with his battered old Martin, 'Trigger', Nelson looks like he should have retired way back, but with various substances added, he's got it flowing in the blood.

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12/04/2011 page 52

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