Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road By Willie Nelson William Morrow, 192 pp., $22.99
Willie Nelson is such a state treasure, that whoever's ass happens to occupy the governor's chair at the time of the event referenced in this books title should order flags at half-mast for the year. And legalize pot in his honor just for the hell of it.
This compact and breezy volume -- a sort of companion to Nelson's other tomes of musings The Tao of Willie and The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes, is a mish-mash of history, stories, opinions, observations, song lyrics, jokes, and reminisces from the Red-Headed Stranger.
Topics range from marijuana (naturally), ex-wives, musical friends, and religion to guns, Nashville, concerts, TV news, food, Hawaii, and living on the bus. And while some of the stories (or at least these truncated versions) are familiar to hardcore fans, they are written so effortlessly that the reader can surely visualize Willie telling them in person over a joint and a beer.
Some are even laugh-out-loud funny. And who knew that Roger Miller liked to tell jokes about pussy?
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Compadre Kinky Friedman writes the intro, son Micah does the illustrations, and there are plenty of personal photos. But what makes this book unique is the commentary from Nelson's closest friends and family, who clearly adore him -- and just serve to make the reader jealous!
Readers who want the more in-depth tale of Nelson's amazing story should check out Joe Nick Patoski's definitive bio Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. But for those who want to feel as if they're just shooting the shit with a friend -- albeit a well-traveled and world famous one -- you could do worse than poring over this in the bathroom.
Which could be where Willie actually wrote some of it.
Willie Nelson & Family play at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, November 26 and 27, at the Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston, 409-765-1894 or www.thegrand.com.