I grabbed It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson & David Ritz not because I am a big Willie Nelson fan, but because I was having trouble finding something interesting to read. As usual with this type of book, the joy comes in discovering something not told in the PR narrative of a famous person.

As you know from previous posts (Johnny Cash, Paul Stanley, Hank Williams, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown and others) I am a big music fan and enjoy reading biographies of various artists. Willie’s tale is no different.

I was quite surprised by how much I liked this book. It is a gritty and down-to-earth telling of just how dirt poor Nelson was raised. It also tells the story of his drive to become a musician and get his music out there. He had to constantly fight people who told him nobody would ever buy his stuff – he couldn’t sing – his style was weird… none of it stopped him. In that respect, it is an inspirational story.

Sure, I disagree with some of his politics at time but this book is about his life journey, not politics. Because of that, it was a very good read.

by Chris Doelle