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Publisher: Back Bay Books$18.99It's a Long Story (Large Print Hardcover)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company$32.00It's a Long Story (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company$35.00
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- ISBN-13: 9780316403559
- ISBN-10: 0316403555
- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Publish Date: May 2015
- Page Count: 400
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Picking up where he left off in 2012’s Roll me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, Nelson shares intimate and entertaining details of his life behind the guitar, the ups and downs of his marriages, his infamous encounter with the IRS, and his deep love of making music. Nelson, a scrappy youngster whose schoolmates nicknamed him Booger Red, was raised by his grandparents and found music everywhere he went, from the songs of field workers picking cotton or baling hay to the sounds of his blacksmith grandfather’s anvil. By the time Nelson was eight, he was writing songs and playing guitar, and his decision to be a wandering singer like his hero, Ernest Tubb, was set. Nelson spent his early years as a disc jockey, getting to know the music industry from outside the studio and learning about all styles of music. He shares stories of his close friendships with Ray Price, who advises Nelson to be prudent with his money; Waylon Jennings; and Leon Russell, who helps Nelson put together his Woodstock-style Fourth of July picnic on Nelson’s ranch. Nelson offers a warm, friendly, and a deeply reflective glimpse behind the making of most of his albums as well as behind-the-scenes looks at some of his best-known hits, such as “Crazy” and “Yesterday’s Wine.” Reading Nelson’s narrative is like sitting on the front porch chatting with an old friend. (May)
Willie Nelson was born to be a rambling man, but he was also born to be a gifted songwriter and storyteller. In his rambunctious and meandering memoir, It’s a Long Story, Nelson regales readers with stories of his life, from his childhood in Abbott, Texas, to his now-famous run-in with the IRS over back taxes in the 1990s.
Nelson attributes both his love of music and his penchant for the peripatetic life of a singer to Ernest Tubb, the Texas Troubadour, whose candor in crooning the blues made a deep mark on the young Nelson. By the time he was 7 or 8, he received his first guitar and began to realize that music and emotions could be combined; as a result, Nelson was motivated to keep writing poems, to learn to play his guitar with “crazy precision” and to use songs to overcome his shyness.
Although fans may be familiar with many of the stories here, they will nevertheless be entertained as Nelson recalls his first night in Nashville—where he lay down in the middle of Broadway—or his efforts to save a guitar case full of pot from a house fire. He also discusses his three marriages and his relationships with musicians from Ray Price and Johnny Cash to Waylon Jennings and Leon Russell. Above all, the music is the thing for Nelson: “Love every style. Love every musical thing. . . . You will become a part of everything. And everything will become part of you.”