If you had to give America a voice, it's been said more than once, that voice would be Willie Nelson's. For more than fifty years, he's taken the stuff of his life--the good and the bad--and made from it a body of work that has become a permanent part of our musical heritage and kept us company through the good and the bad of our own lives. So it's fitting, and cause for celebration, that he has finally set down in his own words a book that does justice to his great gifts as a storyteller. In The Facts of Life, Willie Nelson reflects on what has mattered to him in life and what hasn't. He also tells some great dirty jokes. The result is a book as wise and hilarious as its author.
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Random House Trade Paperbacks
April 06, 2003
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Excerpt from The Facts of Life by Willie Nelson
Chapter 1 They say writing the first line of a book is the hardest part. Thank God that's over. Roger Miller said it must be true that the longer you live with your pet, the more you look alike. My neighbor came over this morning and chewed my ass out for shitting in his front yard. Thank you, Roger. I also have you to thank for the opening of my last book-"I didn't come here and I ain't leaving." My daughter Lana just asked me if I wanted a couple of ibuprofen. I said no, I save my pain for the show. We are in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a concert at Cains Ballroom, where Bob Wills and countless other great bands have performed in the last fifty years. The last time we were here, we had to move it to a larger place because of ticket sales, so we decided to do two days at Cains this time. Lana, Kinky Friedman, and I are responsible for the contents of this endeavor, which is to be one-part song lyrics, one-part photographs, and ten-parts bullshit. That's where I come in. I seem to be doing very well. I have ripped off my friend Roger twice already, bragged about how well we draw in Tulsa, and exposed my daughter Lana for offering me drugs before the show. How do you like me so far? "You do know why you're here?" "Yes. There's great confusion on earth, and the Power that is has concluded the following: Perfect man has visited earth already, and his voice was heard. The voice of imperfect man must now be made manifest, and I have been selected as the most likely candidate." "The time is april, therefore you, a taurus, must go. to be born under the same sign twice adds strength. this strength, combined with wisdom and love, is the key." Where's the Show?/Let Me Be a Man Explain to me again, Lord, why I'm here I don't know I don't know The setting for the stage is still not clear Where's the show? Where's the show? Let it begin, let it begin I am born Can you use me? What would you have me do, Lord? Shall I sing them a song? I could tell them about you, Lord I could sing of the loves I have known I'll work in their cotton and corn field I promise I'll do all I can I'll laugh and I'll cry I'll live and I'll die Lord let me be a man Please, Lord, let me be a man And I'll give it all that I can If I'm needed in this distant land Please, Lord, let me hold to your hand Dear Lord, let me be a man And I'll give it all that I can If I'm needed in this distant land Please Lord, let me be a man Lana, David Anderson, sister Bobbie, L.G., and Gates are regulars along with me on the bus, Honeysuckle Rose III. Ben Dorcy is not with us. Ben is now being preserved for trips in the near Austin area. At seventy-six-years young, he is cutting his world tours considerably. But for all the millions of Ben Dorcy fans, Ben is alive and well. Well, alive anyway. Thank you, Ben, for many years of faithful service and wisdom-"If you need a friend, buy a dog." We'll see you in Austin. Cains Ballroom was good tonight. The crowd was loud, which I like. The girls were pretty, which I like, and the guys were friendly. I forgot the words to "Crazy" and that's a first. Sammi Smith came by and sang "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Her son, Waylon, and Waylon's dad, Jody Payne, joined in on "Hey, Good Lookin' " and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." Sammi's still singing like an angel. On the Road Again On the road again I just can't wait to get on the road again The life I love is makin' music with my friends And I can't wait to get on the road again On the road again Goin' places that I've never been Seein' things that I may never see again I can't wait to get on the road again On the road again Like a band of gypsies We go down the highway We're the best of friends Insisting t