Today’s blog is about Willie Nelson. Certainly one of my all-time favorite musicians! Below are just two short selections from his long out-of-print first autobiography, Willie. It was written with his long-time friend, Bud Shrake back in 1988. Since one of his most famous songs is, “On The Road Again”, he naturally kicks off the book right away with:
“A long time ago when I walked onto stage to do a show, I would search the room with my eyes. I was looking for somebody who was looking at me, who appeared interested in learning what I was doing in front of a microphone with a guitar in my hands. Once I found that friendly face, I would sing to that person all night long. I would zero in and make heavy contact with their spirit. And it would grow. The flash of energy between me and the one friendly face would reflect into others, and it would keep growing – these bolts of energy ping-ponged from one table to the next, or from one pair of dancers to the couple dancing nearby – and before long I would have the whole crowd caught up in my music and me. But it all had to start with one friendly face.”
I often think of this quote when I’m performing on stage in front of people. When I was first starting to share my music with people, this is one of things I did – I’d find a friendly face in the audience and sing to them. And Willie was right – this warm feeling would spread, and people would come up to me and compliment me on my stage presence. I try to share this with my students when they are on stage feeling nervous during a recital. My wife had stage fright when we first started singing and playing together. When she started tuning into the vibe of Willie Nelson and imagining that he was with her, she began to feel more comfortable. She wears a braid in her hair occasionally while we’re on stage to remind her of his spiritual approach to being seen in front of an audience.
Here’s another quote from Willie that really embodies his spirituality:
“Intuition is just an attunement of your inner self with the universal mind. The average person ignores these higher vibes if they seem to oppose the distinct and familiar impressions transmitted by the physical sense organs – such as your eyes and ears. To develop intuition, the moment you ask yourself a question you must give credit to the answer. You must not permit reasoning or argument to take place and change the answer your intuition gives. As soon as you can abandon your willpower and anxiousness and tune your mind to the inner self, you will gain a wonderful bullshit detector.”
Enjoy the Willie vibes!