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tv   Larry King Live  CNN  April 25, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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hey, this is your cotton picking, snuff dipping, tobacco chewing, stump hype jumping, gravy-sopping, coffee potting, hill billi from hill county. you're listening to l-u-c-k, luck, texas. >> wish me luck. >> larry: tonight -- ♪ on the road again >> larry: willie nelson. ♪ just can't wait to get on the road again ♪ >> larry: the outlaw is on the road again. ♪ whiskey river take my mind and makes a pit stop at our studio for you. pot in you right now? >> yeah. you could arrest me.
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♪ >> larry: the legendary willie nelson and i team up for the hour. next on "larry king live." ♪ stay all day ♪ stay a little longer ♪ dance all night ♪ don't see why you wouldn't stay a little longer ♪ >> larry: what a treat we have in store for you tonight. we welcome back willie nelson to "larry king live." he is on the road again, literally, with the "on the road again" tour. and his newest album "country music" will be released next tuesday from rounder records. always good to see him. last time you did this show you were on the phone from your tour bus. you're touring again now, right? >> sure. >> larry: tell me about it. >> we play anaheim tomorrow night. we were just in vegas for a bmi convention down there and a broadcasters convention. >> larry: how big is the tour?
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>> oh, i don't -- you know, i'm just starting. i don't know. it's just one long tour, you know. >> larry: they don't tell you beyond the next night? >> i don't want to know. >> larry: because we've shot some scenes in your bus. does your bus go everywhere? there's time you have to fly, right? >> yeah, but i always hate it. i love it when i can stay on the bus. you know, i don't even use hotels. i stay on the bus all the time. >> larry: why? >> i have everything i need there. i got a shower, i got food. i got a couple of people in there that wait on me hand and foot. so i get better service there than i get in the hotel. so why go in there? >> larry: are there times, though, you have to fly? >> yes. and you know, i don't like to fly. i don't like all the hassles. never -- you know, i don't like the luggage and all that stuff. >> larry: they hassle you? >> well, no more than they hassle anybody else, you know. it's just a hassle to get up and go there by this time and get your luggage checked in by that time. and by the time you go through all the securities and
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everything, it's a hassle. >> larry: you've been doing music for how many years? how many years singing professionally? >> i got my first professional job i think when i was 12 years old. >> larry: and you're how old now? >> i'm 77. will be april 30th. >> larry: 12 from 77. that's 65 years. >> yeah. >> larry: does it ever get tiring? >> well, sure, the actual physical work gets tiring. but i don't ever get tired of playing the music. and i don't get tired of the fans. you know, that's sort of the reason that i get out there, i guess, to see the fans. >> larry: so it's -- sinatra told me once it's still a kick. >> yes. >> larry: to go on that stage? >> yes. yeah, i knew him. he was a good buddy. >> larry: a good guy. >> yeah. >> larry: if he liked you. >> yeah, yeah. >> larry: your new cd is called "country music," which seems funny to me because who is more associated with country music than you that we have to put that title on. so give me your definition of country music.
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>> well, this album made up of fiddles, steels, guitars and songs like "house of gold" and "satisfied mind," which to me are really country music standards, this is the "stardust" of country music. and these songs in their time were just as famous and just as good and soul like "stardust" and "moonlight" -- >> larry: so they're all famous to country fans, would all know -- "man with the blues," "seaman's blues," "gotta walk alone," "my baby's gone," "satisfied wind," pistol packing mama," we all know that. lay your pistol down, babe. "lay your pistol down," "drinking champagne," and "house of gold," all favorite songs. "i am a pilgrim." "an ocean of diamonds." >> "i am a pilgrim" is an old merle travis song, and "dark as a dungeon" is another merle travis song about the miners, which, you know, is very appropriate for these days. so there's a lot of great music in there.
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>> larry: now, you sing everything. you have great albums of pop songs. >> sure. >> larry: the other night -- the other day, hal david, great songwriter, told me that you are the best singer living. >> thank you, hal. >> larry: because you sell a song, and when you hear willie nelson, you know it's willie nelson. >> that's great. >> larry: is it as much fun to sing pop as country? >> sure. it's more of a challenge to do those pop classics and standards because i grew up singing "your cheatin' heart" and the hank williams songs and it's second nature to me. but to do "stardust" and "moonlight in vermont" and songs like that, you really have to be on your game a little bit. >> larry: yeah, but you still give it that same willie -- no one sings it like willie nelson. >> it still sounds country. >> larry: because you're country. >> because i am, yeah. >> larry: where do you live, if you live on a bus? >> well, i live on the bus mostly, but i also have a home in texas, and i have an apartment in l.a. and a home in
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maui. so i've kind of got the best of all the worlds. >> larry: you're almost always working. >> most of the time. which is okay. >> larry: which talking about a willie nelson tour is redundant? >> yeah. i'm through with this one and starting another one. we're going to europe in june, and i'll be over there for the month of june. going to england, paris. >> larry: what do you think of the current state of country music? >> well, personally, i think it's good. i know my shows -- i have a lot of people there who are great country music fans. and i do hank williams, and i do my stuff. so i don't really look at country music as the way it is today. i look at country music like the way it's always been. >> larry: so country music doesn't have its bee-bop or its newcomers or its teen bop. it is country is country. >> that's right. that's right. >> larry: and there are pure country singers, right? >> absolutely. george jones is a good example.
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>> larry: he's a country singer? >> a great country singer. vern gosdin. did you ever know vern gosdin? >> larry: i've heard of him. >> great writer. he's passed now. a fantastic writer and singer. and some of those guys are just unbeatable. >> larry: willie nelson. he's got something to say about sarah palin, the tea party movement, his offer to president obama, all ahead. we're covering everything tonight. it's a night with willie. stay with us. [ slap! ] ♪ [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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♪ >> he has become a kind of folk hero. >> we came just to see willie nelson. >> now we're having fun! ♪ whiskey river take my mind ♪ ♪ whiskey river don't run dry ♪ you're all i got, take care of me ♪ >> larry: we're back with the legendary willie nelson. his new album "country music" will be out everywhere on tuesday.
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and his latest tour has started right now in vegas. you will hear from willie everywhere. some -- like we never hear you on country radio stations. have you been marginalized? a lot of times we'll hear you on the pop stations, but country stations aren't playing you as much. if so, why? >> well, honestly, i never have really received that much air play on commercial, a.m., xm radio. >> larry: why? >> i never really did fit the format, i don't think. whatever was popular today, that wasn't what i was doing. i was into something else. so -- it never really seemed to hurt my career any at all, because if this station didn't play me that one over there did. so i always had air play, but not necessarily from the mainstream country music, because that has changed so much that my music didn't really fit the format.
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>> larry: are you a singer who plays the guitar or a guitar player who sings? >> i'm a guitar player who writes songs and sings. >> larry: guitar is first? >> guitar, yeah. >> larry: is that what you did at 12? where did you learn guitar? >> my grandmother was a music teacher, and my grandfather taught me a few chords on the guitar before he died, which i was 6 years old when he died. but then my grandmother taught my sister and i a lot about music. she learned to read, and i would sit on the piano while she was reading, i would sit there and play guitar and try to learn the chords. so i learned a lot from just listening to her. >> larry: and when did you start to sing? >> i was singing along and writing poems. i was writing poems before i wrote melodies to those poems. and about things that i couldn't possibly have known anything about, love and no love, and at 5 years old what do you know about this stuff? >> larry: did your voice sound
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like that then, like it sounds now? what did you sound like at 12? did you the gravel? >> i had a high voice, and i went through the same problem that every guy goes through when his voice changes. i was playing clubs, and my voice changed. so i went from a high singer to a low, and then back and forth. and it would break for about two years. >> larry: you've collaborated with many different artists. you tried your hand in a lot of musical genres. does that put the country -- did they get angry when you -- does the country establishment, if there is such a thing, get angry when you perform with wynton marsalis and julio iglesias, bob dylan, kurt nilssen from norway, snoop dogg, sinead o'connor, mishka, and so on? do the country people say is willie leaving us? >> well, i don't think any of them really get angry. the ones that get angry, that makes it all worthwhile. but i don't think there's any of them out that really think i
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don't know what i'm doing because -- >> larry: you're beyond that. do you still play nashville? >> sure. absolutely. i enjoy playing nashville. and the band that we used on this new record, these are all nashville pickers. and we played in nashville at the ryeland with all these songs and this band a few weeks ago. >> larry: are they the best, the -- always talk about the nashville sound. >> these are the cream of the crop. this is ronnie mccoury and his family, del mccoury, a great group of bluegrass pickers and chris sharp, and dennis crouch, a great upright bass player. these guys, the fiddle player, these are the real pickers. and it's always comfortable to be able to look at anybody in the room and nod at them and know they're going to take a great course. >> larry: kind of fun when you sing with great people. >> absolutely. >> larry: they make you better, right? >> they make me comfortable. >> larry: anybody you haven't worked with you want to work with? >> let's sing one. let's you and i do one.
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>> larry: want to do one? >> yeah. lrk want to do "blue skies"? >> yeah, we can do "blue skies." >> larry: want me to start? ♪ blue skies smiling at me ♪ nothing but blue skies do i see ♪ ♪ bluebirds singing a song, nothing but bluebirds from now on ♪ ♪ never saw the sun shining so arbitrate ♪ ♪ never saw things going so right ♪ ♪ working in the day, worry at night ♪ ♪ when you're in love, my how it flies ♪ ♪ blue skies ♪ blue days, all of them gone ♪ nothing but blue skies from now on ♪ >> larry: as we go to break, here's a look at willie on the road it again in concert. >> well, hello there! ♪ ♪ whiskey river, take my mind
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♪ don't let her memory torture me ♪ ♪ whiskey river, don't run dry ♪ you're all i got, take care of me ♪ ♪ whiskey river take my mind >> i've seen him several times. but i can't catch him alone. >> you're going to get to see willie. we're going, yeah! >> and he is continuously on tour from now through october of this year. i can't imagine that. it's just phenomenal. the guy is just great. >> we thought it was especially fitting that it's april 15th, tax day. and we just thought that as we dropped our 1040s in the mail today that we would hightail it over here. so here we are. >> he does his music for his fans, for himself, and doesn't do it for what anybody else thinks. >> this is my son lucas. he's been out here working for y'all earlier. ♪ ♪ i'm drowning in a whiskey
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river ♪ ♪ ♪ feeling the amber current flowing from my mind ♪ ♪ that warm and empty heart you left so cold ♪ ♪ whiskey river take my mind ♪ don't let her memory torture me ♪ ♪ whiskey river, don't run dry ♪ you're all i got, take care of me ♪ ♪ whiskey river take my mind ♪ don't let her memory torture me ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ on the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again ♪ ♪ the life i love is making music with my friends ♪ >> larry: of all the willie nelson songs, is "on the road again" the most famous? >> maybe so, yeah. either "on the road again" or "crazy" or "night life." "funny how time slips away." >> larry: yeah. "crazy" ain't bad, either. ross perot, was his theme. >> that's right. >> larry: ross perot's theme. >> he danced. >> larry: he loves that. he loves that song. but "on the road again," it's been in commercials. did that come to you? what is the story of the writing of that song? >> i was on a plane with sydney pollack and jerry schatzberg. and we were talking about doing the movie "honeysuckle rose." and we were talking about a
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song. and they said can you come up with a song for the movie? and i said oh, you mean something about being on the road again, on the road again, i just can't wait to get on the road again? they said yeah, but where's the melody? i said well, i'll find one. so i went to the studio pretty much with just that in my mind. and it was, you know, an easy song to write. >> larry: and once you hear it, it never gets out of your head. it's one of those songs. as president of farm aid, you wrote to barack obama offering to help him put together a new u.s. farm and food policy. any word back? >> well, i did talk to the secretary of agriculture, and i got some very encouraging reports from him, and i'm looking forward to talking to him again and seeing what he can do to help the farmer. >> larry: what's your basic idea? >> well, to get the farmer more money for what he does. get the dairy farmers more money for what they do. they are in bad condition right now. they're not getting enough
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money, and the dairy cows are not worth what they should be worth. and this is really bad for not only the farmers, it's bad for america. it's bad for all of us. >> larry: how did you get involved, interested in the farming thing? >> i was doing some shows in the illinois state fair. and i was on the bus talking to big jim thompson, the governor of illinois. and he and i were sitting there, and it was kind of like an annual ritual. i would come in and do the fair and he would come on the bus and we'd have a bowl of chili and drink a beer and talk about things. and this particular year, we started talking about the farmers. i'd heard from my friends in texas about how the farmers weren't doing that good. and i grew up on a farm. and i knew that it didn't ever do really great. but i heard that it was worse than usual, that they weren't getting any money and they were going out of business at an alarming rate. i started checking out, and sure enough, we at one time had over 8 million small family farmers, and now we're down to less than 2 million. and that's not right. >> larry: it's the big companies.
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>> the big corporate farmers are taking over. and that's not good for the food. it's not good for the land. it's not good for you and me. >> larry: how do you react -- what do you think about obama? >> i think he is a good man, yeah. i like him. i know his intentions are good, and he probably felt he was going to be able to do a lot more once he got in there than he's been able to do. but i think most of us realize that he was going to have some opposition. >> larry: did you support him? >> sure i did, yeah. >> larry: did you do any concerts for him? >> no. >> larry: but you lent your name to him? >> yeah. >> larry: all right. what do you make of the tea party movement? >> oh, i don't know. >> larry: oh, go ahead, willie, what do you think? >> i don't know. i'm not sure what they're for or what they're against. >> larry: maybe we can nail it down. they don't like big government. they don't like taxes, i guess. >> well, so far that's two out of -- that's pretty good. >> larry: what do you think about sarah palin? >> oh, i think she is a likable person.
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you know, personally, i like her a lot. >> larry: politically, you're not in tune? >> politically, i don't know, you know. i just don't know. >> larry: do you ever play alaska? >> yes, i have. >> larry: you ever play when she was governor? >> i don't know that i did. we played fairbanks and, you know, ketchikan. i went up there in '61. i know she wasn't governor then. i went up there in '61, me and ray price, and played ketchikan, alaska. >> larry: is there any state you haven't played? >> no. >> larry: all 50. you tour europe? >> yep. >> larry: asia? >> asia. going into -- well, me and johnny cash, kris kristofferson, and waylon jennings, the highwaymen, all toured asia. went to singapore. >> larry: how did that come about, the highwaymen? >> we had done a christmas show in switzerland with john and june, and we were having a photograph session with all of us there.
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and we was talking about going to switzerland and -- the photographer happened to ask waylon, said what are you all going to switzerland for to do a christmas show? and waylon says, because that's where jesus was born. and the guy said, oh, okay. >> larry: has that's how the highwaymen were born. >> yeah. >> larry: jesus was born in switzerland. >> that's right. >> larry: okay. lots of you are asking about willie's use of pot, which he has always owned up to. we'll ask about that and other things next. em up with an extra bag of mulch. let's get our hands a little busier. our dollars a little stronger. and our thinking a little greener. let's grab all the bags all the plants and all the latest tools out there. so we can turn all these savings into more colorful shades of doing. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. communities. industry. energy.
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♪ >> larry: we're back with the great willie nelson. don't forget the "country music" cd is now available as of this tuesday. terrific major country songs, 15 of them, recorded by the master himself, willie nelson. and the "on the road again" tour is in progress. look for it definitely. he'll be at a city near you. singer/songwriter john mellencamp has worked with you on farm aid. what do you make of the effort to try to get him to run for the u.s. senate? trying that up in indiana. >> he's a great american.
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i know he probably will do a great job. >> you think he's got a shot? >> yeah, i think so. he's well liked, well known. >> larry: how good a singer is he? >> well, i like his singing. you know. he's rock and roll all the way. and you know, i like that. >> larry: you mentioned johnny cash, who appeared in that seat quite a few times. where do you rank him among -- did you see the movie? >> yes, i did. fantastic. >> larry: that guy was unbelievable. >> yeah, he did a great job. yeah. john and i were brothers. he used to call me a lot, you know, whenever -- because i'm always telling him dirty jokes. >> larry: what a surprise. >> whenever he needed a laugh or pumping up or something, he would always call me to get a new joke. >> larry: what was he like to sing with? because if ever there were two distinct voices in american popular music, country or otherwise, it would be yourself and johnny cash. you could not hear either one of you and say who is that? what was it like to sing with him? >> well, it was great.
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you know, every night -- in fact, him and waylon and kris, i was their biggest fans. and i got to stand there every night and watch three of my heroes sing, and me standing over on the other side of the stage and joining in every now and then. but no, i loved john's singing. and waylon and kris. >> larry: when the highwaymen worked, how did you choose how many minutes each guy would do, and what percentage did you sing all together? >> kris was here, john was here, waylon was here and i was here. and we had our songs that, you know, we had chosen to do and that were recorded. and kris would do one. john would do one. they would do one together. then waylon would do one, i would do one, we would do one together. >> larry: did you ever do all four singing together? >> oh, yeah. >> larry: did you have a big backup group? >> we did. we had one of the best bands out of nashville, reggie young and all his guys. >> larry: oh, yeah. you've never been a fan of government, right? you're a skeptic.
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>> yes. very skeptical. >> larry: you don't trust. but you seem like such -- like a regular guy. but most people look at willie nelson say skeptical? but you are of government, aren't you? >> well, yeah. i think whenever you turn over your money and your life to somebody, you should know a lot about them. >> larry: and you've turned over a lot of money. didn't you once protest taxes? >> not really, no. i was always glad to pay taxes. i always said that hey, let me make the money, i'll be glad to pay the taxes. >> larry: to me if you complain about paying a big tax bill, that's a great thing. you're doing well. >> it's a nice problem to have. >> larry: one of our kings things followers. we have a twitter. do you twitter? >> no. >> larry: you don't twitter? >> no. conway twitter or -- >> larry: conway twitter! about the same thing. anyway, one of our kings things followers wants to know -- this may seem funny, but i'll ask it. is willie a conservative? >> well, i don't know. i might be in some areas.
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>> larry: really? because i would always think of you as liberal. >> i would like to consider myself a liberal, but i -- probably certain areas where i'm pretty conservative. >> larry: financial end? >> financially i have no knowledge. >> larry: no? but you want us to do more for farmers. >> i believe if you make it, throw it away. >> larry: you don't care about keeping it? >> no. >> larry: willie nelson. by the way, you're still an outlaw? is bei ing an outlaw now differt from back in the days being an outlaw with waylon jennings and the guys? >> it's still fun. >> larry: you were outlaws. in a sense. you were renegades. you were different. >> we were determined to play our music mainly the way we wanted to play our music. and that's really where the term "outlaw" i think came into it. there were certain people that didn't really want waylon to take his band into the studio because they had, you know -- you go in there with a small
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budget, nobody gets to cut up a lot of money. if you go in there with a $1 million budget, then everybody makes a little, but the music might not be that great. >> larry: money was never your driving force, though, right? >> no. >> larry: you were never motivated -- money came along with it? >> yeah, i always felt like the money would be there, and it always has been. >> larry: willie's famous for telling jokes. we'll see if he's got one for us that he can tell on a family network. stick around. ocket scientists. they have to be. the technicians at ford and lincoln mercury dealerships are highly trained. they really do know their stuff. and, they have all the parts to make sure the job gets done right. get the works - an oil change, tire rotation and more just $29.95 or less after $10 mail-in rebate. does this thing do email? you betcha. see, smart and friendly.
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at meineke, you're always the driver. ♪ don't knock it until you've tried it, well, i've tried it my friend ♪ ♪ and i'll never smoke weed with willie again ♪ >> larry: my guest, the great willie nelson. don't forget, that terrific album will be out tuesday, and he is on tour right now. he is a long-time advocate of legalizing marijuana. there are a lot of people in that ballpark now. the late william f. buckley was one of the leaders of that movement. california and other states are talking about legalizing it so they can tax it. you think it's ever going to happen? >> sure. it's just a matter of time and a matter of the economy. i think the way the economy is now it's helping it to come along, because if you do tax it and regulate it, there is a lot of money there that can be used for whatever we need it for, for
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education, for different things. >> larry: the late lenny bruce said once "marijuana will be legal someday because every law student i know smokes it." do you think it will be legal? >> i think so. and you know, california votes on it in november. and there is the old saying, as california goes, so goes the nation. >> larry: i think it was maine. >> oh. okay. let's change to it california. >> larry: another twitter question. lots of them, by the way, tweeting. we mention you, the tweets came in. asking about pot smoking. basically, how much and how often? >> well, you know, i have changed my habits a little bit. my lungs -- and i smoked so much, you know, and i'd roll them and smoke them and roll and smoke. but i did get congestion from it. and i was wheezing in the night and coughing. so i switched over to a vaporizer, which you don't get any smoke and you don't get any heat. and for a singer or someone's lungs, it's much, much healthier.
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>> larry: it's not pot, right? >> yeah. oh, yeah. it's pot in a vaporizer. but you -- when you, you know, you're getting vapors, but not heat and not smoke. >> larry: does it have the same effect? >> yeah. it's even stronger, i think. >> larry: did you ever fear that it might be harming you? >> well, i kind of questioned myself all the time. and i was kind of like my own canary in the mine. i was watching because i smoked cigarettes one after the other from the time i was this big. >> larry: still smoke? >> no. i threw those away. i rolled up 20 joints and put it in my chesterfield pack and started changing my habits. >> larry: could you smoke like a few joints and go on stage and sing? >> oh, sure, sure. but i have a huge tolerance for it that maybe everyone doesn't have. but yeah. it doesn't really -- >> larry: did you ever go with stronger stuff? >> no. no. >> larry: so you would recommend it.
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it wouldn't harm you, it wouldn't bother you if people you knew smoked it? >> you can overdo it. you can hurt your lungs by putting anything into your lungs that has heat and smoke in it. yeah, you can overdo it. but as far as being as dangerous as cigarette smoke, no. >> larry: did you smoke today? >> do i smoke cigarettes? >> larry: did you smoke pot today? today. this day. >> sure. >> larry: before you came here? >> yeah. >> larry: so you have pot in you right now? >> yeah. you could arrest me. >> larry: this state? >> give me an enema test. >> larry: as we go to break, willie's got quite a tour bus. he parked it right outside our studio and gave us a look inside. you can see how he travels and why he loves its style. watch. >> hey, this is willie. i'm on the road again, and we're stopping in to see ol' larry. ♪ on the road again ♪ just can't wait to get on the road again ♪ >> hey, larry, come on.
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let me show you the bus. this is where i live most of the time. and this is our ol' kitchen area, a little coffee whenever you want it. a few bunks back here. and i live in the back. not a big deal, but it's pretty nice. ♪ seeing things that i may never see again ♪ i'm at the doctor getting my shoulder looked at. as we're finishing up, i mention i'm going to the bathroom more often. he checks it out. good thing. turns out... my urinary symptoms -- such as going frequently, trouble going, flow starts and stops...
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♪ don't fight it, don't spite it, just wait until tomorrow, maybe he'll ride on again ♪ >> larry: we're back with the great willie nelson. the album "country music" will be out this tuesday. we're having a great time tonight with one of the truly great american artists, who is an avid golfer. can you smoke pot and golf? >> sure. >> larry: okay. >> i can't play any worse than i normally do anyway. >> larry: are you a good player? >> no. >> larry: why do you like golf so much? >> oh, i don't know. it's just a place to get out and walk around outside. that's originally the reason i started doing it. i moved down to lost valley in bandera, and they had a golf course there. and it was just me and my band. my house had burned, so we moved
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down there and rented five houses on the golf course. so it was just the thing to do every day. we'd go play golf. >> larry: you know a great definition of golf? a great walk spoiled. what do you make about the tiger woods story? >> oh, you know, i'm not the guy to comment on any other person's marital problems because i've had enough of my own, and i know that it's real personal. and i wish him well. >> larry: what did you make of the fuss made over it, though? >> i thought it was ridiculous, to put that much time following the guy around and see who he slept with the last few years. because it's really no one's business. >> larry: you think the only business was his wife's? >> him and his wife. >> larry: what are your feelings, willie, about the irs these days? i know you had a problem back in 1990. the government sued. the final bill, $16 million. they seized some of your property. you released a mail order album
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titled "who will buy my memories: the irs tapes." don't forget that. how do you stand now? >> oh, i'm fine. yeah, i think i'm pretty well paid up. >> larry: was that tough going, though? how did you come to owe that much? >> well, i had invested in some tax shelters for many, many years ago, you know, the cattle feeding things, and all those different things that at some point the irs disallowed. and so after advising me, my financial advisers told me to go into all this, and then the irs disallowed it. so i was deferring taxes every year and putting them into the feeding cattle deal, and when they disallowed it that meant all those years went by that i hadn't paid taxes. it started out i only owed $2 million. if i'd have paid them that, i would have never had a problem. >> larry: how do they tell you you owe $16 million? do you get a call? do you get a letter? how do they do that? >> i knew it was accruing rapidly over the years. >> larry: interest. >> penalties and interest every
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day went up $5,000 or $10,000. so it really got up to $32 million, and then they chopped it down in half, and then we negotiated on that. my bass player, somebody asked him if he thought i was in trouble. and he said, well, you know, they let a guitar player get into them that far. if he owed them $100,000, then he would probably in trouble. but $32 million, they're in trouble. >> larry: that's true. in fact, who's got to worry? they do. willie generated a lot of controversy with some comments about 9/11. next. so many arthritis pain relievers --
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♪ and through the ages i'll remember ♪ ♪ blue eyes crying in the rain >> larry: willie took part in a great benefit for 9/11 victims and their families. he sang "america the beautiful." i don't think anyone ever sang it better. but he's questioned the official story. what prompted you to look into this from another angle?
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>> well, just logic. i've seen buildings implode before. i just saw the texas stadium implode just a couple of days ago. and these two buildings imploded. and the one next to it, nothing hit, it no plane hit the one next to it, it just decided to fall on its own. so naturally i have questions about -- >> larry: you think something was done inside? >> yes. >> larry: but i'm told the reason it imploded was so much heat from above and so much fuel on the jets that that caused it to go down rather than go over. >> never before has a building collapsed because it was hit by an airplane, a steel building. never before. >> larry: has any building been hit by a 747, though? >> i'm sure they have. >> larry: so you think there was something going on inside the building? >> well, i just question the whole thing. i question the story. i question the implosions. it just looks too simple, you
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know. >> larry: well, others have questioned it, too. although there was an investigation. >> there was an investigation, and i think there should be more. >> larry: willie nelson. another tweet to kings things. how many guitars do you own? >> oh, i've got probably 12, 15 around the house there in austin. i really play one. and that's the old martin trigger. and i -- >> larry: why do you call it trigger? >> oh, i don't know. it's just my pet name for like roy rogers' horse was trigger, so he decided to name my guitar. >> larry: how many songs? i guess you don't even know. have you written? >> i don't know. 2,000 or 3,000. >> larry: how many cds have you zmut. >> i don't know, because there's been a lot of compilations and bootlegs and different ones. i don't know. hundreds. >> larry: which of your songs are you proudest of? >> well, the ones that --
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"crazy," funny how time slips away, "nightlife," "on the road again," "angel flying too close to the ground." >> larry: how did you come up with "crazy"? that's a great song, a great tune. >> i don't know where it came from. it was a melody that was there, and the word "crazy" was there. i think i ripped off floyd tillman somewhere along the way. >> larry: do you hear music in your head? >> sure. yeah. i hear melodies. >> larry: you're writing all the time. >> it's -- i could if i wanted to. i could, you know, sit down and write something right now. who knows if it would be any good or not, but it would be something. i think any songwriter, if you're a pro, you should be able to write on the spot. >> larry: you often perform with your youngest sons. are they on this tour with you? >> they're going to be. they're starting out with me. lucas is playing, opening for me on this next tour i'm going to start. >> larry: you must be very proud of that. >> that's exciting, yeah. >> larry: willie's pretty much
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done whatever he wanted, however he wanted it done. does he have any regrets? our last moments, final moments with the great willie nelson next. her. this. lives. how ? by bringing together... information. ... people ... ... machines ... ... systems ... ideas... verizon helps businesses worldwide... including fortune 500 companies... find and achieve... better. better. better. better. [ male announcer ] we call it the american renewal. because ge capital understands what businesses need to grow. that's why today ge capital provides critical financing to more than 300,000 growing companies. ♪
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>> how's it looking, good looking? >> i remember when a dime bag cost a dime, you know what i mean? >> larry: back with our remaining moments with willie nelson. tell me about bio willie. what is that? >> bio willie is the name of a product, biodiesel, that we developed. it's made out of vegetable oil from restaurants. and we use it to fuel the trucks. >> larry: cal, cal fussman, who wrote my book with me, has a mercedes that runs on that. >> yeah. >> larry: he gets it from restaurants. >> absolutely. it's the new thing. >> larry: you're riding on grease. >> vegetable oil. yeah. >> larry: you have it on the bus? >> have it on the bus also. >> larry: you seem to have lived pretty much by your own rules. do you have any major regret? as sinatra would say, regrets, i've had a few, but then again,
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too few to mention. >> that's probably the truth. i wouldn't want to sit down and say i regret this or i regret that because i really like the way things are now and i think if i were to say, well, i wish that was different, then it might change in some way the way things are now. >> larry: any song offered to you you turned down and you later regretted it? >> no. i was talking the other day about the song "gambler" that kenny rogers did. i had a chance -- >> larry: that was offered to you? >> yeah. i had a chance to do that. >> larry: why didn't you do that? >> honestly, because i knew it was a hit and it was so long and had so many verses i'd have to do tefr night. >> larry: you have to know when to fold 'em. you turned that down? your good kris kristofferson
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said anybody that doesn't like willie nelson is dead or may as well be dead. you turn 77 april 30th. >> i like everybody, too. >> larry: you like people? >> yeah. >> larry: what about the plans for the july 4th backwards summer picnic this year? >> we're having it. leon russell, ray wily hubbard, david wily, billy show shafer, i tell everybody you have to have three names to get on there. >> larry: it's in austin. >> it's in austin. yeah. >> larry: you'll be touring all summer. >> touring all summer. in june we go to europe and come back just in time to do the picnic. >> larry: you got a joke? >> i've got some but i'm not sure they're, you know -- >> larry: anyone say you could change the world -- >> how about a golf joke? >> larry: a golfing joke. >> yeah, a golfing joke. this lady went to the pro shop and told the pro that a bee had stung her. do you have anything for a bee sting? and he said, well, where did it
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sting you? and she said between the first and second hole. p and he said, first of all, your stance is too wide. >> larry: funny. all right. let's close with a song, you and i. >> let's do it. >> larry: "stardust"? ♪ sometimes i wonder why i spend ♪ ♪ the lonely nights dreaming of a song ♪ ♪ and the melody haunts my referee ♪ ♪ a ♪ and i am once again with you ♪ when our love was new ♪ and each kiss had inspiration ♪ >> larry: the nightingale. ♪ that was long ago and now my consolation is in the stardust of a song ♪ ♪ and beside the garden wall when were stars were bright and you are in my arms ♪ ♪ and the nightingale tells a fairy tale ♪ >> larry: fairy tale.


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