Willie Nelson made an appearance on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” last weekend. During the socially-distanced interview, Willie and Anderson Cooper talked about a range of topics. They discussed his friendship with former President Jimmy Carter and some of the icon’s legendary antics. They also touched on what Willie misses most during the pandemic.
It didn’t take the Red-Headed Stranger long to answer what he missed most this year. Without missing a beat he told Cooper, “I miss playing music. I miss the crowds.” Willie Nelson was supposed to get on the road again this year. The pandemic put that on hold for at least another year.
It isn’t just performing that Willie misses. It’s the connection with the crowd. About this connection, he said, “There’s a great energy exchange that happens. Whether it’s me or anybody on stage. People drive a long way, pay a lot of money to see somebody, clap their hands and that is healthy, I think.” He’s not wrong. Anyone who has ever been to a good live show will tell you that there’s something almost magical about the energy in the atmosphere. The crowd and whoever is on stage can both feel it. About this two-sided exchange, Willie Nelson said, “They need music and we need to play it.” Amen, Willie.
Willie Nelson Loves the Road
Willie Nelson has been all over the world. He has been playing live shows for decades and doesn’t show any sign of stopping. One of his most recognizable songs is an ode to being a traveling musician. “On the Road Again” might be one of the happiest touring songs out there.
There are several country songs about being on the road. Most of them tend to have at least a little sadness in them. There’s usually at least a verse or two about missing home and wanting to see their partner or family. “On the Road Again” however, is all about the joys of traveling the world and playing music. One of the best-known choruses in country music spells it all out, “And I can’t wait to get on the road again/ On the road again/ Goin’ places that I’ve never been/ Seein’ things that I may never see again/ And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”
The crowds are just as ready to get back on the road as Willie Nelson is. When live shows start happening again, Willie just might be the first musician to hit the stage again. The crowds will go wherever he and Trigger decide to perform.