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Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road

3.1 29
by Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman

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In Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, Willie Nelson muses about his greatest influences and the things that are most important to him, and celebrates the family, friends, and colleagues who have blessed his remarkable journey. Willie riffs on everything, from music to poker, Texas to Nashville, and more. He shares the outlaw wisdom he has acquired over the


In Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, Willie Nelson muses about his greatest influences and the things that are most important to him, and celebrates the family, friends, and colleagues who have blessed his remarkable journey. Willie riffs on everything, from music to poker, Texas to Nashville, and more. He shares the outlaw wisdom he has acquired over the course of eight decades, along with favorite jokes and insights from family, bandmates, and close friends. Rare family pictures, beautiful artwork created by his son, Micah Nelson, and lyrics to classic songs punctuate these charming and poignant memories.

A road journal written in Willie Nelson's inimitable, homespun voice and a fitting tribute to America’s greatest traveling bard, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die—introduced by another favorite son of Texas, Kinky Friedman—is a deeply personal look into the heart and soul of a unique man and one of the greatest artists of our time, a songwriter and performer whose legacy will endure for generations to come.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The latest in a collection of anecdotes and essays from singer-songwriter Nelson (The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes) serves to reinforce his image as a sentimental country veteran who isn't averse to firing up the occasional joint or two. A mix of mundane diary entries ("It's a nice plane ride.... Thanks, American"); philosophic musings ("They say there are no ex-wives, only additional wives"; "once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results"); the stories behind songs like "Shotgun Willie"; and pointed essays on the Occupy movement and Farm Aid, peppered with the occasional dirty joke, the book makes for an irreverent, entertaining read. Humble, optimistic, and quick to give credit to those around him for contributing to his success, Nelson is a charming narrator, lurching from subject to subject, but always with a point in mind. Readers interested in linear recounting of Nelson's colorful life are better served by his 2000 autobiography, but those who want to know him will do well to seek out this volume. It's the next best thing to an audience with the star performer. (Nov.)
“Compelling page-turner . . . for all his fame and accessibility, he still has so much wisdom left to share.”
American Songwriter
“Nelson takes us for a rollicking ride along the highways and byways of his long life and career in this rambunctious, hilarious, reflective, and loving memoir.”
Country Music Television
“So many decades into his fabled life and career, Willie fans pretty much know what to expect from him. And he does not let his readers down with his Musings From the Road.
Library Journal
With his career stuttering and his personal life in shreds, Nelson wasn't facing the greatest Christmas in 1971; even his house burned down. So he decided to change everything, shrugging off pressures to sound Nashville and heading in a whole new creative direction. A memoir-cum-inspirational tale that's right for the holidays; with a 125,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
Legendary musician Nelson and his friends share a year's worth of stories, lyrics, riffs and dirty jokes. At age 79, the prolific Nelson (A Tale Out of Luck, 2008, etc.) shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to travel the world with his "band of gypsies." This funny, heartwarming collection doesn't quite capture the experience of being on the road with the circus, but Nelson's unmistakable voice shines through. The songwriter shares tales from the road, thoughts of the day, early memories, classic lyrics, and recollections of people like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, among a host of lesser-known collaborators. Sister Bobbie Nelson and various children also chime in, while Kinky Friedman offers an affectionate foreword and Nelson's son Micah contributes some terrific portraits of everyone from Ray Charles to Django Reinhardt. There are some semi-serious moments, but the best characteristic about the book is its sense of being mostly unplanned. Page by page, you might get a list of the best pickers Willie has ever heard, the lyrics and the inspiration for "Shotgun Willie," or musings on golf, addiction, biodiesel, Farm Aid or the Occupy movement. However, it is neither as immaterial as The Tao of Willie (2006) nor as essential as his autobiography. Like another collection, The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes (2001), how closely readers follow Nelson's meandering path may largely depend on their own lucidity at the time. Just one volume in Nelson's long story that remains much like its author: funny, inspirational and bawdy, with a well-honed sense of humor.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

By Willie Nelson

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Willie Nelson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-219364-3




I'm flashing back to my first memories; they are of a blacksmith shop in Abbott, Texas. My grandfather is shoeing a horse. He is heating the horseshoe in the roaring hot coals in the furnace. I'm standing on my tiptoes turning the bellows that blows the air on the furnace, keeping the fire going. He heats the horseshoe till it is red hot, then fits it to the horse's hoof, cools it off in water, and nails it onto the horse's hoof. A horse kicked him one day and ruptured his stomach.

He wore a truss the rest of his life until he died from pneumonia at fifty-six. I was seven years old at the time my grandfather died. The next memory is my first introduction to gospel music. It is of a tabernacle that sat next to my house, where in the summertime we had revivals. The Methodists, the Baptists, and the Church of Christ all held their church services in the tabernacle. I am sitting at the table looking out the window, listening to them all. My first performance in church was when I was about five. I was wearing a white sailor suit with red trim. I start to recite a poem my grandmother taught me, but I have been picking my nose, which now starts to bleed. I hold my nose with one finger and while blood runs all over my little white sailor suit I recite my poem:

    What are you looking at me for?
    I ain't got nothin' to say
    If you don't likes the looks of me
    Just look the other way

My next memory is of our bumblebee fights. On Sundays we would all go out and fight bumblebees. I was ten years old. The farmers around Abbott would run into bumblebee nests during the week while they worked their fields. They would let us know where to go, and eight or ten of us boys would go out and fight the bees. Some days I would come home with both eyes swollen shut from bee stings.

What fun we had!

We made paddles, sawed out of wooden boxes, that looked like Ping-Pong paddles with holes. One of us would go in and shake the nest and stir up the bees. Then, when the bees were swarming, everyone would start swinging. The bees always headed for your eyes. The next memory is when we (the same bee-hunting boys and me) are all hiding behind a billboard sign on the main road, Highway 81, that runs through Abbott, which is between Waco and Dallas. We have tied a string to a lady's purse that we laid in the middle of the highway. A car would come by, see the purse, hit the brakes, stop, and back up to get the purse. At that moment we would pull the purse back to us behind the billboard sign. The driver would then realize that it was a prank, give us the finger, and speed away. We laughed a lot.

Another great Sunday!

Excerpted from Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson. Copyright © 2012 by Willie Nelson. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Willie Nelson is one of the most popular, prolific, and influential songwriters and singers in the history of American music. He has recorded more than one hundred albums over six decades, appeared in several films, and written two New York Times bestsellers: Willie: An Autobiography and The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes.

Micah Nelson is a musician, visual artist, and videographer, and plays regularly with his father Willie Nelson.

Kinky Friedman is an author, musician, defender of strays, cigar smoker, and the governor of the heart of Texas.

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Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
MsTray More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It's both funny and inspirational and will not disappoint any Willie Nelson fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fact that I read this book in 2 days is its only saving grace. Horribly written. Horribly self promoting. Horribly rambling. The other plus... the art work by son Micah. Thank you Micha. Trust me. Do not waste your the or money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful package! Its Willie in true form, telling it as he sees it. The package is beautiful-- inside there's a hand drawn sketch of Willie along with his signature. This book gives fans a nice glimpse into Willie's life, with portraits of his family and some of his closest friends. Great book from a living legend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Willie and his music, but this book was just awful! Pointless. I've never written a revie before, but I felt the need to warn people not to waste their money. Just my opinion, but I was really disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Willie, your music is awesome. Your book was the worst I've ever read. Can I get a refund?
Em-Lee More than 1 year ago
great book, given as a gift to my brother in law, and he loves it and cant put it down...says it was the best Christmas gift he received!! :)
Robins_Son More than 1 year ago
Willie...he says what he believes. His music has made people happy for going on 70 years, since he was small. He's a true philosopher. This is a good book to get acquainted with him, if you haven't read any of his other musings. I surely love his music and his attitude. His words make me think he's be a good person to have as a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Willie's music, but this book was disappointing. Very short and rambling.
pengesser More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I am a big fan of Willie Nelson and the book gives insight into his upbringing and life. After reading it, I now know for certain he is just like his stage persona. Laid back and awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well first of all if u like willie nelson then read this book.I don't really care for him but I wanted to read this book. It was ok it was a fast read.
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mja1 More than 1 year ago
Awesome fun read! Felt like I was sitting in on a Jam session.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only my love of this man and his music made me finish the book,his music is great but the book sucks. I will take 50cents for my copy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 Stars to counteract the moronic 1-star reviews! If you want a real review, do an Internet search find one from a real literary critic. But I'll tell you that I really enjoyed this book. Of course, I didn't go into it expecting a literary masterpiece. The title says "musings", people. It's just the stories, anecdotes and ramblings of a true American legend. The main concept running through the book is "don't be an %$#hole." I think many of the folks that gave it one star are not taking Willie's advice!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ithought this book was awesome! LOVE the stories as being told by willie...more interesting and i never found a dull or boring moment...Great job Willie..We love you..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
willie13 More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read, but it is enlightening, informational, and funny (sometimes a little crude), but you will find out what Willie says about that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got Willie Nelson's new book as a Christmas gift for my priest. Father Alex is a die-hard fan of Willie Nelson! He said the book "was a hoot"! He really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CapricornNYC More than 1 year ago
Fantastic reading...