It’s been a media-blitz week for Willie Nelson supporting his new album “My Way,” a collection of songs widely associated with Frank Sinatra. After a Tuesday appearance on ABC’s “The View,” he visited Stephen Colbert for “The Late Show” on CBS Wednesday night.
Before performing “Summer Wind,” Nelson invited Colbert out of his studio and onto his bus on 53rd Street in Manhattan. They made small talk about old photos and the new album (and, inevitably, marijuana), but they also touched upon the rally Nelson is playing next weekend at Auditorium Shores to support U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Addressing the controversy that arose in the wake of the rally announcement, Colbert asked Nelson, “Do you get shook up by people saying they’re going to boycott your music?”
Willie’s answer: “Naw, not really. You know, it’s their prerogative. I might not like their music either, you know, so I don’t hold any grudges against people.”
Nelson also cleared up some confusion about a statement in last week’s press release announcing the rally would be “the first public concert Nelson has held for a political candidate.” Nelson mentioned he’d played shows in the past for Dennis Kucinich, Ross Perot and even country singer Tex Ritter, a Republican who lost a 1970 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee.
Past political events Nelson played, however, involved ticketed fundraisers, Nelson’s publicist Elaine Schock clarified Friday, whereas the Sept. 29 rally is a free event open to the public.
In Nelson’s appearance on “The View,” Schock reported that when he was asked about the controversy regarding the rally, his response was simply, “We’re not happy until they’re not happy.”
One interesting bit of trivia that arose from the Colbert interview segment: Willie apparently was not familiar with legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Someone ought to get those two in a room together and see what happens.
Here’s the footage of his “Summer Wind” performance: