Willie Nelson

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It's a safe bet no one's ever had a recurring Willie Nelson nightmare but me. Years ago, a song I'd co-written was being recorded in Nashville, and the producer, a good friend of the Ponytailed One, said, "You know, I can hear Willie singing a harmony on this." For four days, it looked like this might happen, and for four nights I woke up in a cold sweat on account of Willie Nelson. In the dream, Willie brought along that nylon string guitar he's had forever, a Smithsonian-worthy artifact with signatures ranging from Prince Charles to B.B. King to a bellhop he just took a liking to. After Willie nailed the part, he asked the awestruck musicians to sign his guitar in a show of camaraderie. Then Willie turned to me and said, "You wrote that song?" I nervously muttered, "Uh, yeah," and he said, "Well, why don't you sign this guitar, too?" Each night after I'd put a Sharpie to that guitar, it would crumble into a gazillion shards. So I was more relieved than disappointed when Willie couldn't do the session, and equally relieved to see him play that same beat-up nylon string guitar years later on The Tonight Show. But I had to turn it off when he asked if Jay Leno would sign it.

 
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