SAN ANTONIO – During a Zoom interview from his home in Maui recently, Willie Nelson discussed his life off the road for the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that during the early stages of the pandemic, he was quarantined at his 700-acre Texas Hill Country ranch outside of Austin.
”It could’ve been worse”, he said with a smile. “Quarantined there on the top of the hill with all my ponies, that ain’t bad,” he said. “Had a good view and nice folks around me.”
His wife Annie and sons Lucas and Micah joined Nelson during the quarantine. While there, he noted author Turk Pipkin teamed up with him to write a book, titled “Willie Nelson’s Letters to America.”
It’s a series of his reflections on his past, present and future. His immediate future includes a celebration of his 88th birthday in April.
Asking what he planned to do to celebrate, Nelson laughed and said, “Hopefully I can do everything on that day as I’m doing today, which is practically nothing.”
Aside from the book, Nelson also spent his time off the road recording his second Frank Sinatra tribute CD.
He said “Frank Sinatra is my favorite singer, period.”
Nelson said that one of his biggest regrets involves an invitation to a party Sinatra extended.
”I couldn’t do it because I had to get back on the bus and go to LA,” he said. “But that’s one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get a chance to hang out with Frank.”
Nelson said that any plans to resume touring remain on hold for now.
”I haven’t heard anything before August, and I want to make sure that when I get back out there it’s going to be safe because I don’t want to take a chance on somebody getting sick in the audience or me getting sick,” he said.
Nelson received his COVID-19 vaccinations in February.