Celebrating Willie Nelson at 75: No retirement plans

ABBOTT, Texas — Long before he became a country singing legend, before the Armadillo World Headquarters and Luckenbach, Texas, Willie Nelson figured that getting drunk and hanging out in honky tonks had probably ruined his shot at eternal salvation.

Rather than run off to the nearest church pew to repent, it was more like being wet and figuring you might as well get soaked.

Fame eventually came, of course. But four days shy of his 75th birthday, Willie is on tour in Europe, heralding the joys of marijuana in Amsterdam and carrying on, still, like that hungry kid from Abbott. Retire? Don't count on it.

"If he ever got to the point where people wouldn't pay to come see him play, he'd sit on the street corner and play," said his childhood friend, Jackie Clements, 75. "He'll play until they haul him away."

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