Willie Nelson to Detail Lasting Friendship With Drummer Paul English in Upcoming Book
Country legend Willie Nelson will give fans new insight into his lasting and eventful friendship with longtime drummer Paul English in an upcoming book. Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship, set for release via Harper Horizon on Sept. 20, finds the 89-year-old reflecting on the 70 years the pair have spent making music together through the highs, lows and everything in between.
"In 2020, my closest friend left me. Into the infinite abyss," Willie writes in the book's introduction. "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."
Nelson hopes that the project will keep English's memory and legacy alive in the hearts of country fans for many more years to come.
"I owe him big time," he explains. "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."
Me and Paul: Untold Tales of a Fabled Friendship is the latest in a string of book releases from Nelson over the past year. In June 2021, he released Willie Nelson’s Letters to America, which includes a mixture of thoughts and opinions on a range of topics, from music, faith, family and American culture. Just three months later, Nelson shared Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of The Family Band, a memoir written with his sister and celebrated pianist Bobbie Nelson. The heartwarming project was released just six months before Bobbie died on March 10, 2022 at the age of 91.
Currently, Nelson is out on his Outlaw Music Festival Tour, which will stop at a variety of outdoor music venues across the U.S. through mid-October. The tour features a lengthy, rotating cast of supporting artists, including Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, The Avett Brothers, Zach Bryan, Billy Strings, Brittney Spencer, Charley Crockett, Larkin Poe and more. You can find a full list of tour dates and ticketing information here.