Willie Nelson • High Times


Willie Nelson turns 87 on April 29. To pay tribute to the longtime weed advocate, we’re republishing the following profile from the January, 1978 edition of High Times, written by Harry Wasserman.

Willie Nelson smokes a lot of dope, drinks a lot and fights a lot when he’s drunk. He’s 45, and he wears an earring, long gnarled hair, a bramble-bush beard. His anarcho politics are nearer red than redneck, but he has his fingers in most of the Texas music scene. For Willie Nelson, Austin, Texas—home of the armadillo—is a country power base like Plains, Georgia.

“I’m a cosmic cowboy,’’ says Willie. “A cosmic cowboy has a guitar, wears boots, smokes pot and is an outlaw. Being an outlaw is saying what I want to in my music.” An Austin friend of Willie’s: “Willie’s kind of outlaw doesn’t ride a motorcycle, he drives a pickup truck with a gun rack.” Willie’s outlaw myth began years ago when he was a songwriter in Nashville. He led a rat pack…


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