by: Joseph Hudak
Jimmy Kimmel wrapped up his week of South by Southwest shows in Austin last night with a love song to the Texas capital: “To Austin, I Can’t Love You More.” But shortly into the performance, Kimmel, dressed in a cowboy hat and bolo tie, dramatically stopped and asked for a little help. Enter Willie Nelson, who walked onstage to a standing ovation.
Set to the tune of Nelson and Julio Iglesias’ Number One duet “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” the lyrics found the talk-show host paying homage to the city that is “beautiful and weird,” along with its breakfast tacos, ubiquitous pedicabs and Matthew McConaughey’s “alright, alright, alright.” Texas’s favorite son Nelson, meanwhile, saluted all the Congress Avenue bats he ate — “got high and put them on my plate” — and lamented being too stoned to feel his legs. In the end, Kimmel dedicated the song not only to Austin, but to “Willie Nelson’s bong,” as a Texas flag unfurled behind them. (Watch the performance, complete with lyric subtitles, above.)
Prior to the showstopping performance, Nelson joined Kimmel for an interview, in which he announced his new album: a record of duets with longtime friend and collaborator Merle Haggard. Titled Django & Jimmie, the album will be released later this spring, with first single “It’s All Going to Pot” out April 20th — the very pot-friendly date of 4/20. Django & Jimmie also includes the pair’s musical tribute to Johnny Cash.
Nelson sang a few lines of “It’s All Gone to Pot” during his couch time: “It’s all going to pot, whether we like it or not/as far as I can tell, the world’s gone to hell and we’re sure going to miss it a lot.” Kimmel also asked the famously longhaired singer about his braids, which sold at auction for $37,000 earlier last year. Quipped Nelson, “Plant them and they’ll grow.” (Watch the exchange below.)
Earlier this week, Nelson appeared in the show’s “Pot Quiz,” in which a reporter asked SXSW festivalgoers questions about history, geology and weed. Only Nelson answered all of them correctly.
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