Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings From the Road by Willie Nelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I went between two and three stars on this, and in the end went for the third star since I did mostly like it. This is more memoir than his previous book, The Tao of Willie, which I previously read. In a way, it is like sitting with Willie and just letting him reminisce. Some sections are more interesting than others, so the book does lend itself to browsing for the interesting parts. There are some rambling segments too, but overall I think fans will be pleased with this book. Willie does have an opinion on just about anything, and he is happy to share it even as he himself admits that, well, everyone has an opinion. A nice element of the book is that you get members of his family and friends writing about him and sharing memories about him. The book also features photos and some art by one of Willie Nelson's sons. I think the art complements the book nicely.
If you are a fan of Willie Nelson, you will probably like this book. Fans of country music and/or biographies by musicians will probably enjoy it as well.
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This is a line by Kinky Friedman, who wrote the Foreword to the book. I find that it applies to so many things in life:
"We come to see what we want to see in this world. The same song may have a totally different meaning to different people, and the guy who wrote it may have an entirely different interpretation from any of them" (ix).
A little humorous wisdom from Willie. It is funny, but I have to say I have met this kind of people once or twice:
"The height of conceit is a flea floating down the river on his back with a hard-on yelling, 'Raise the drawbridge!'" (35).
In his book, Willie Nelson quotes historian Howard Zinn. This is a quote from Zinn that Willie likes, and I like it as well, so I am jotting it down:
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders. . . and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves. . . [and] the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem" (qtd. in 39).
Willie on elected officials:
"Our so-called elected officials will enslave us all unless we grow some big balls and throw all the bastards out who can't seem to remember who it is they actually work for" (50).
I can certainly agree. I've even said so as well: people need to get a clue and vote out those greedy assholes while we still can vote.