|The Tao of Willie|
Willie Nelson and Turk Pipkin
Only Willie can get away with writing a Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart. Let's be honest, Willie Nelson could write a book on proper care of chinchillas and it would at least merit some serious consideration. Willie Nelson is an institution, from Nashville songwriter, to outlaw, to American Icon. Chances are if Willie has not lived it, sang about it, or smoked it than it is probably not worth much of your time. Contained in this brief guide you get a sense of homespun humor and a life of trial and error.
Nelson makes it clear in the beginning that you don't need to be familiar with the Tao to get behind this book, after all, like Willie says, "You don't have to know the Tao for the Tao to know you." Willie likens it to The Bard's timeless phrase "to thine own self be true". To live in the Tao, according to Willie, is to be true to your nature. Sounds pretty easy, huh?
In the same vein as Willie's last foray into literature (the smartly titled, The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes), Willie's Tao has its share of common sense and good jokes, such as: Drink more water, wisdom ain't in whiskey and smoke, and farmers are the hardest working men on the planet (hookers get honorable mention). Chew on those truths for a while and you may just get a little closer to understanding "What Would Willie Do?" Other chapters include Willie's take on taxes, specifically making sure that you pay them. He talks about his addiction to the game of golf, and essentially reels off line after line of quotable passages.
Overall this book is a quick and fun read. Nothing earth shaking, but worth your time. If anything, this book adds to the already towering American character that is Willie Nelson. Somehow Willie means something to all of us. Young and old, pop or country, he is the grandfather we wish we all had (mostly because we know he is always "holding"). Willie has a lot to offer. He's a phenomenal songwriter, a stellar guitar player, a voice for the American farmer, and even a decent actor (he plays Willie Nelson better than anyone). I suppose 72 years does not necessarily make you a sage, but it definitely brings you up to speed on a lot of important things.
- Travis Hutzell | 2006-07-12