Willie Nelson: The Outlaw

Overview

Willie Nelson is a living legend. A dope-smoking, whisky-drinking, latter-day cowboy with Native American blood, four wives and seven children, his life has encompassed sky-scraping highs and crashing lows. The armfuls of awards, huge record sales, the creation of Farm Aid and his annual Fourth of July picnics have been achieved in the shadow of parental desertion, penury, three turbulent marriages, drug busts, drinking, bankruptcy and his son's suicide. In this intimate biography, Graeme Thomson goes beyond the ...
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Overview

Willie Nelson is a living legend. A dope-smoking, whisky-drinking, latter-day cowboy with Native American blood, four wives and seven children, his life has encompassed sky-scraping highs and crashing lows. The armfuls of awards, huge record sales, the creation of Farm Aid and his annual Fourth of July picnics have been achieved in the shadow of parental desertion, penury, three turbulent marriages, drug busts, drinking, bankruptcy and his son's suicide. In this intimate biography, Graeme Thomson goes beyond the myths, talking with Nelson himself, his band and those who knew him best en route to discovering the real Willie Nelson. The Outlaw brilliantly describes this complex man, whose life and music reveal and reflect something fundamental at the heart of twentieth-century America.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fabulous biography of one of country music’s most colorful characters."  —Tatler

"Thomson makes the most of the access granted by Nelson, his friends and relatives."  —Q Magazine

"Sharp writing, astute observation . . . make for a lively read and a vivid portrait of an often baffling talent. Recommended."  —Observer Music Monthly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852273002
  • Publisher: Virgin Books
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Graeme Thomson is the author of Complicated Shadows: The Life and Music of Elvis Costello. He has written for WORD, the Observer, Time Out, MOJO, and the Herald.

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Table of Contents


Introduction   Keith Richards     vii
Happiness     1
1933-1950     4
No Such Thing as an Ex-Wife     18
1950-1957     20
Labour Pains     36
1958-1961     38
Who Gives a Damn?     52
1961-1965     53
Smoking Pot Made It Better     70
1966-1970     72
Where Was I Going to Go?     92
1970-1972     93
Texas Was Always There     109
1972-1973     111
The Outlaw     128
1974-1976     129
You Need Friends     147
1976-1978     149
I Never Listen to the Band     164
1978-1984     166
It Will Have To Be Solved Spiritually     184
1985-1990     186
Bad     204
1990-1992     205
I've Been Out Here So Long     222
1993-1998     224
I Have No Reason To Think About Quitting Anything     240
1999-2005     242
Notes on Sources     261
Biographical Notes     266
Bibliography     269
Acknowledgements     271
Index     273
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    Revealing stuff

    A truly readable, well-written and insightful look at the life of one of country music's genuine mysterys. As the author points out, fans think they know Nelson, but his public image is a simplistic one, revealing little. This book goes a long way to changing that, being a very well-written, clear-eyed look behind the myth, talking to Nelson, his band, ex-wives, musicians and friends to paint a picture of a complicated guy, with a big heart but a destructive wanderlust. A man who protects himself fiercely from intruders at the same time as going out to connect with the world on the road. THE OUTLAW is very good on these contradictions and very thorough on the music. With a keen eye on detail and nuance, it avoids sentimentality and cliche and paints a very realistic picture of a 20th Century giant, while running the rule over his greatest musical achievements. Thought-provoking, insightful and a difficult job very well done.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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