“Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play.” – Willie Nelson
I will never ever forget his performance of “America the Beautiful” in the telethon on September 21, 2001. The date alone says it all.
I saw him in 2017 at Outlaw Fest, and it was such a thrill. One of the things that was a revelation, seeing him live, was the distinct jazz-like riffing quality of his guitar playing. His guitar speaks. It provides a counter to whatever is going on in the melody or in Willie’s voice. It has its own conversation going on, meditative, dreamy. Whatever is happening with the guitar is, of course, the melody – but it is a fractured prismatic version of it: Willie’s VOICE is the melody. It was unbelievable experiencing this live. It’s like he’s doing a DUET with the guitar.
This is one of the greatest Tweets/Pictures I’ve ever seen.
I also want to point your way towards Waiting for the Miracle to Come, a film directed by Lian Lunson, starring Willie Nelson and Charlotte Rampling. The film was shot on Willie Nelson’s ranch in Texas. Willie sings a song written by Bono (who executive produced the film) over the end credits. Soundtrack is also available. I interviewed Lian about Waiting for the Miracle to Come here – and there’s a great Willie Nelson/Bono anecdote included.
I love Willie Nelson. He’s getting so old now. I feel like I have to prepare myself for the next phase. Because it’s coming. And I can’t imagine the American landscape without him being there.