As some of you may know: In my other life, I am a cowboy. Seriously: I am a contributing editor for Cowboys & Indians -- The Premier Magazine of The West -- and in that capacity, it was my great good fortune to do to a telephone interview with Willie Nelson a couple weeks back, to talk about his role in When Angels Sing -- a feel-good, family-friendly movie I reviewed at SXSW 2013 -- and, more important, his upcoming 80th birthday.
Among the highlights of our conversation: Willie mentioned that, while he's "a little bit dubious, a little bit skeptical about how much a music video does for a song," the video he did for "A Horse Called Music" is one of his all-time favorites. So I had to call it up right away on the Internet even as we were were talking, which led to this exchange:
Me: Willie, I gotta say -- you're rockin' in that hat in this video.
Willie: [Explosive laughter] Yeah?
Me: I mean, that almost looks the size of a manhole cover. Wow.
Willie: [Laughs] Yeah, it was heavy.
Me: Did it hurt while you were wearing that one, man?
Willie: Yeah, it did hurt my neck... [Laughs] No, I'm just kidding. I just kept my balance, I guess.
At the end of our conversation, I wanted to wish Willie my heartfelt thanks -- for the interview, for his music, for his movies, for all the good times I have had enjoying his artistry -- so... well... OK, I admit it, I got a little carried away and impulsively sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Normally, I have to have a few drinks in me to do something like that, and even then only in karaoke bars. But I was stone cold sober, sitting in my home office, when I started crooning into the telephone. And Willie, God bless him, didn't laugh, or scream in pain. Rather, he simply said: "Aw, that's great. Thank you. Thank you very much."
No, Willie: Thank you.
Here is my interview with Willie Nelson on the Cowboys & Indians website.