The Willie Nelson Incident

willie nelson

by Walter Price

I found this album in 1977, I was a small young lad with huge loves for Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson. Nelson although American perfection some of his lyrics probably not kid’s stuff. But it was a different time and when the need for me to learn a song for the school talent show I pulled out Willie’s 1970 cool Both Sides Now.

It had a few ‘hits’ but I didn’t care about hits at the time, I cared about songs that made me laugh and so I choose  “I Gotta Get Drunk”. I must add parental supervision was handled differently in those days. In my house anyway. So, for a week I studied the track and learned it awesomely. I thought I had the breaks right and the cadence was pretty good for a guy my age. Bingo!

That Friday I put on my favorite red cowboy shirt and headed across the street to my elementary school for a performance that would blow everyone’s minds…and it did. In the not the way I planned style.

I got three lines in with the album track playing on the classroom turntable playing behind me. The teacher jumped up, ran to the player and did that thing where the needle scratched across the album and then silence followed by an immediate roar of laughter from my fellow young talents.

I didn’t stay enrolled at that school much longer, but that experience has stayed with me to this day and has been told repeatedly with fondness ever since.

Well I gotta get drunk and I sure do dread it
Cuz I know just what I’m gonna do
I’ll start to spend my money callin’ everybody honey
And I’ll wind up singin’ the blues
I’ll spend my whole paycheck on some old wreck
And brother I can name you a few
Well I gotta get drunk and I sure do dread it
Cuz I know just what I’m gonna do

 

walter price

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