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Toby Keith wrote this with Nashville songwriter Scotty Emerick, who he's collaborated with many times. The first time Emerick and Keith met Willie Nelson, they visited Willie's bus to present their song "Beer For My Horses
" as a possible duet for Toby and Willie. Not only did they achieve a #1 Country hit for "Horses" from that experience, but they had a night to remember, which inspired this song. Since then, Scotty says, "I've smoked weed with Willie, like, 20 times. You have to, you know. When in Rome." And it is really, really good stuff. "I think fans come and bring it to him."
According to Toby Keith (from his Web site), "I've never stepped on Willie's bus without hearing someone say the words to this song: 'I will never smoke weed with Willie again.' Someone was interviewing Willie recently, and he said the funniest thing I've heard him say. They were talking about how he'd cut back on weed, and they asked if he'd done it for his health. He said, 'No, it's just getting harder to find the good stuff.' Funniest thing I've ever heard! Trust me, you don't even want to mess around with that stuff if you're not a professional, which I am not."
Emerick has been a fan of Willie's since Scotty was about 11 years old. Scotty describes him as "the Shakespeare of American music for me." And when he got to meet the Country music icon about 15 years later, he was nervous, he says, but Willie was so nice it was easy to get comfortable with him. "Willie's so cool, such a really kind spirit. Really fun. He loves to sit around and play songs and talk about songs. Since that first meeting, I've been around him a whole bunch, and he's very nice, kind, and respectful to everyone." (Check out our interview with Scotty Emerick
This song mentions a 1973 song by Willie Nelson called "Whiskey River," and Willie's tour bus, "Honeysuckle Rose," which was the name of Willie's 1980 semi-autobiographical movie co-starring Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving.
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