Willie Nelson neither looks nor seems 80 years old. This is an age reserved for, well, old people. The unhip, those not in-the-know, not totally with it.
|Photo by Steve Cohen|
And yet, Willie turns 80 today. What's his secret? We doubt it's the weed -- sorry -- but think that it likely has more to do with his totally Zen outlook on life, a go-with-the-flow ideology that manifests in his very style of playing. He's an unconventional poet who chooses whatever cadence strikes him in the moment, and he has a gracious, accepting, and loving attitude toward performing and toward the world. Best of all, Willie always stands up for the underdog. Forget blood pressure meds, a vegan diet, or hours grinding on the treadmill; these qualities are the true fountain of youth.
The ultimate country outlaw, Wilie's dabbled in pop, jazz, and reggae, and wears sneakers, not boots. Or, as we hear his departed friend Roger Miller used to describe him, Willie "flushes to the beat of a different plumber." (Roger always knew the right thing to say.) In total, all this adds up to one bad ass 80-year-old M.F., and to give him his due, we present to you 15 legendary facts about Willie Nelson, paired with 15 of his very good songs.
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Willie Nelson at Mystic Lake Casino, 10/29/10