TODAY | November 20, 2012
>>> the legendary willie nelson hass made more than 100 albums. he's helped lead the farm aid movement and also a longtime proponent for the legalization of marijuana, so it's only appropriate that the name of his new book is "roll me up and smoke me when i die, musings from the road." willie nelson , good morning. welcome back.
>> nice to see you.
>> let's talk about current events , election day , a couple weeks ago, a couple of states colorado and washington approved the legalization of recreational use of marijuana.
>> we don't have to fly to amsterdam anymore.
>> do you think you're going to be alive? you're closing in on 80, keeping in mind it's still against federal law to smoke pot . do you think you'll be alive when it's legal in all 50 states ?
>> oh, i don't know. i would hope so. you never know about those things. that's a tricky situation.
>> you don't like to predict the future?
>> no, no. kink y friedman in the prologue to this book, and i'm paraphrasing, he said basically one of the reasons you didn't fit in so well in nashville was your pot-smoking. did you ever consider giving it up?
>> oh, i gave it up a bunch of times.
>> did you ever consider giving it up for good?
>> not really because i haven't seen any side effects that really are harmful to me, you know. i'm the canary in the mine. i'm 80 years old. check me out, you know.
>> you said something to our producer when he was talking to you about this book and i think he asked you the question. did you learn something about yourself, willie, when you wrote the book and i like what you said. i've always been pretty sure of where i am and who i am, so, no. why did you write the book?
>> they offered me a bunch of money?
>> willie, come on, make something up. is that really the reason?
>> that's the main reason. kinky friedman came with a deal. i said, you know, you can't turn down kinky.
>> you share the pages of the book with some people you love, family members.
>> you let them write some things about you. did any of the stories that they wanted to tell surprise you?
>> no, not really. they were all very complementary, and if they hadn't have been i would have taken them out because you have the last edit.
>> your son micah, most of your kids are musicians, right?
>> your son micah said, quote, i never felt as if i'm standing in his shadow. instead it's as if he blazed a trail of lights for me with which to cast my own shadowses. i think any father, i thought i would like that review.
>> it is.
>> did that come naturally to you as a waive parenting, or did you actually have to work at it?
>> i told him to say that.
>> seriously, it would have been easy to cast a big shadow over your kids. did you have to try to consciously not do that?
>> no. i was trying mainly trying to go from day to day being me and i wanted them to do the same thing, they experienced along with me a lot of things that i was going through and saw how i was handling it, and hope i handled it okay so they will get some experience on how they might want to handle thing.
>> were you happy so many of your kids went into music, something that pleased you?
>> yeah. it's great to have your kids, especially if they are good and they are on stage with you and you're performing and people are liking them, yeah, that's as good as it gets.
>> i think a lot of people will hear your name and think of the song you did before, "to all the girls i've loved before. ." but you've now been married to your current wife annie for 25 years. how is that working out?
>> it's a day-to-day thank.
>> want to make a phone call to make sure everything is all right? what's the secret in this one?
>> i think we're both pretty independent and we allow each other to be independent and have our own thoughts.
>> do you think she would say the same thing?
>> i don't know. probably not.
>> you are at the stage of your life now where people start to celebrate your lifetime achievements.
>> does that freak you out a little bit?
>> i don't know. i haven't really had time to think about whether i'm old or young yet. it's been pretty busy the last 40, 50 years, you know.
>> i mean, 80, does that get your attention a little bit?
>> it sort of did, but 60 did, too. i was -- when i was coming up on 60 i was saying, well, you know, what am i going to do, live or die? retire or keep going, and i felt the same thing at 70, and i'll probably move on at 80. i hope so.
>> one of the reasons you'll move on, i just want people to know, you're a fitness nut.
>> you work out a lot.
>> and i think people have that other image of you and perhaps don't quite know that side of you.
>> something you'll keep going?
>> oh, i joan it, and it's my therapy, you know. it's my medicine, working out.
>> you look good.
>> thank you.
>> and the book is fun.
>> thank you.