Willie Nelson, Folks.
When you go to see Willie Nelson, you get moved, touched, rocked. I guess that’s the overall meaning of ‘rock and roll’ right? Your whole way of seeing things changes. It’s like permission – to blow the roof off, or in this case, to just be moved by a beautiful human being.
The man is teeming with musicality – his voice, his guitar, his voice, his voice, his voice. He moved like an old man – walking stiffly across the stage – but played and sang with an inspired timelessness. Now I’ve seen some musical vessels in my day, but his brand is like none I’ve ever seen.
Every note was really so full of beauty. Who can, at all times, sound like that?
Willie Nelson, folks. Say it with me.
At the end of his show, while his band played around and again on Hank Williams’s “I Saw the Light”, he put down Trigger (uh, that’s his guitar) and moved to the front of the stage where he shook hands and signed people’s clothing, even signed people. He signed some of those Willie bandanas he’d thrown into the audience. Every now and again he’d toddle back to his amp and pick up another bandana, sign it and hand it to someone. He was so respectful to everyone. I watched him hold one man’s hand in a handshake, listening to him for about a full minute. All this from the stage. What a dude.
When the world loses Willie – and it will – it will see the end of a humane and lovely being. Later I watched that crazy-awesome biodiesel fueled van make a left turn out of a Morristown, NJ parking lot and I felt so mixed.
Willie, you gave me more in two hours than I remember having in years. You make a connection, and when you play, you’re just taken away. And we all follow.