Willie Nelson has announced a new book called Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship, arriving September 20 via Harper Horizon. The book chronicles Nelson’s longtime friendship with Paul English, who played numerous roles as Nelson’s drummer, bodyguard, tour accountant, and “guardian angel,” as the country star has put it. Nelson penned the book with music journalist 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).
Nelson and English first played together in Fort Worth, Texas back in 1955, kicking off a collaborative friendship that would last 70 years, until English’s death two years ago. “In 2020, my closest friend left me. Into the infinite abyss,” Nelson wrote in the introduction to Me and Paul. He continued:
The mission of this book is to bring him back…. Why were Paul and I so devoted to each other? Good question. That’s another reason I wrote this book—to show the mystical connection between me and Paul…. It was like I knew him before we ever met. And now that he’s gone, he’s still here. He still knows me. He still lives in my heart and in the hearts of everyone whose lives he touched. Another thing about Paul: I owe him big time. The man saved my life more times than I can remember…. It’s been said that a good friend knows all your best stories, but a best friend has lived them with you. Well, that was us…. In the Willie Nelson Family, he stood in the center. I was the front man of the band, but he was the front man of my life. He was the papa bear, the big brother, the wise uncle, the money man, the bag man, the dealmaker, the sharpest shooter, and the kindest heart.
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