Willie Nelson‘s new book, Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship, tells the tale of Paul English, Nelson’s longtime drummer, friend and bodyguard/guardian angel. The book will be available from Harper Horizon on Sept. 20.
Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship chronicles the pair’s unbreakable bond that lasted until English’s death at 87, on Feb. 11, 2020.
For 70 years, English served in a variety of roles in Nelson’s life: as the steady musical heartbeat in the band, the gun-toting bodyguard, the tour accountant, and more. The country legend first immortalized English with the song “Me & Paul.” Penned for the drummer in the early 1970s, the song became the title track for Nelson’s 1985 studio album and a fan-favorite in his live sets.
“There’s something about my friendship with Paul that reminds me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Tom was more civilized and Huck was wilder. Although I was plenty wild at age twenty-two, I’d have to say Paul was wilder,” Nelson recalls. “Like Tom and Huck, though, we became a team. Nothing could or would ever separate us. If someone tries to tell my story without putting Paul by my side, don’t bother reading it.”
Nelson wrote the book with Grammy-winning music journalist/biographer/author David Ritz, who collaborated with the singer-songwriter on It’s a Long Story: My Life and Me (2015) and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band (2020).
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