by: Paul Venema
BRIARCLIFF, Texas – Talking a break from his busy tour schedule, Willie Nelson put his unique spin on pot and politics during a relaxed visit at his Texas Hill Country ranch he calls Luck.
“When you’re here, you’re in luck. When you’re not here, you’re out of luck,” he declared.
Nelson chuckles when the topic turned to politics, “It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Nelson said about the 2016 presidential campaign. “I’ve seen the circus a few times but this beats any circus I’ve ever seen.”
“Seems like they’re just tearing each other down,” he said. “They can’t wait to say something negative about somebody and then they still want us to vote for them.”
Nelson said he is moving forward with his venture into the recreational marijuana business and plans to open stores marketing his brand that he calls “Willie’s Reserve” in Colorado this spring.
Asked whether he sees legalized marijuana in Texas he said, “We’re not totally stupid down here and all the old people are looking around and seeing all of the money they’re taking in in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California.”
“Somebody’s got to be saying, ‘What the hell’s going on?’” Nelson said.
He was presented the Gershwin Prize by the Library of Congress this past November. The prize is the nation’s highest honor for popular song and he is the first country music artist to receive the Gershwin Prize.
Among past winners are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.
As for his unique singing style Nelson said “I like to sing it the way I feel it, and I feel it differently every time so I don’t get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.”
As he approaches his 83rd birthday in April, Nelson said he is still in good health and has no plans to slow down.
“I’m going as slow as I want to. I’m almost stopped,” he laughed.
But with a tour schedule that includes over 100 dates a year, slow is a relative term.
“I seem to be doing pretty good,” Nelson said with a smile. “I made it up this morning.”