Willie Nelson has spent the last 30 years on that higher plane of celebrity where he signifies many things to many people–American folk hero, national treasure, Outlaw, tax dodger, country traditionalist, actor and friend of the farmer amongst many others. Acclaimed biographer and journalist Joe Nick Patoski offers a frank and thorough portrait, adding some surprising insight on this beloved performer. From his humble beginnings in Waco, TX, cared for by his grandparents, to learning to play guitar at 6 and wrote his first song at 7 to his remarkable rise to legendary status as a genre-bending music maker and a bona fide Hollywood darling, Patoski draws from his own association with Nelson, a relationship that began in the 1970s when Patoski began writing about the man and his music. Why does Nelson keep going down the road, steady as a mountain stream, creating an illusion for the millions that sit in awe of him as he sings the same repertoire night after night? With relish, Willie delves into these questions and more as Patoski reveals the true motivations for the Texanmost Texan.
A fine book worthy of Willie....A lively, substantive account. --- Bob Ruggiero, Houston Chronicle
Patoski's profound understanding of Nelson's life, character and milieu make this the Willie bio to get. (starred review) --- Kirkus Reviews
For a guy who isn't me, Joe Nick Patoski can really write. Willie Nelson: An Epic Life is heartbreaking enough to have been ghostwritten by Hank Williams. It may be the best book ever written about the life of Texas's greatest gift to the world. --