Toby Keith Swore to Never Smoke With Willie Nelson Again in “Weed With Willie”

Toby Keith had the night off in Las Vegas and was invited to his friend Charles Barkley’s birthday party, which started at midnight. Before the party, Keith stopped over to the now-defunct Hacienda Hotel and Casino, where Willie Nelson was playing at 8 p.m. Keith went up and performed a few songs with Nelson before getting ready to leave.

“I get up, do a couple of songs with him, I’m ready to leave, and he hollers at stage ‘Stay after the show a little bit. I wanna talk to you,'” remembered Keith in a 2010 interview. “So I meet him out at his bus. Of course, everybody knows that Willie’s a big weed guy. So Willie’s got some real chronic, medicinal stuff. So I’ve never smoked much pot in my life. It’s not my high.”

Keith continued, “We sit down and he rolls one up and it’s just me and him sitting there. And when in Rome. … We burned one, and I couldn’t even function. It was like the most hardcore weed that I’d ever smoked, and I only hit it three or four times. And unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale.”

When Keith stood up to leave he felt the full rush. “He was just looking at me and I remember my ears were burning. My head was throbbing, I’m breathing different, and he was just sitting there grinning. He knew he got me.”

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After leaving Nelson’s bus, Keith got a car back to his hotel, passed out, and missed Barkley’s entire party. “I went and laid down and went to sleep,” said Keith, “and it was the first time in my adult life that I had a night off in Vegas, [I] could’ve went by to see Charles, have a few drinks, play cards—whatever. I could have had a great night, and I was in bed by 11:30.”

‘I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again’

When Keith woke up the next morning he said “I’m never, ever smoking weed with Willie again.” He also remembered that every time he’d visit Nelson’s bus, people would be coming off his bus saying “‘Did you smoke that? Man, I ain’t never smoking weed with Willie again,'” remembered Keith, “so we thought it’d be a funny song.”

Co-written with Scotty Emerick, “Weed with Willie” documents what happens when you smoke with the country legend, Along with referencing his Honeysuckle Rose tour bus, the song also mentions Nelson’s 1973 song “Whiskey River.”

I always heard that his herb was top shelf
And Lord, I just could not wait to find out for myself
Well, don’t knock it ’til you tried it
And I’ve tried it, my friend
I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again

Now we learned a hard lesson in a small Texas town
He fired up a fat boy and he passed it around
And the last words I spoke before they tucked me in
I may discount bungee jump
But I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again

I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again
My party’s all over before it begins
Now you can pour me some ol’ Whiskey River, my friend
But I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again

We hopped on his old bus, the Honeysuckle Rose
The party was Huntsville, it was after the show
Alone in the front lounge, just me and him
I took one friendly puff and the Grim Creeper set in

Toby Keith and Willie Nelson during Willie Nelson and Friends Perform in Celebration of Willie’s 70th Birthday at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, NY, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

“Beer For My Horses”

Out of his visit with Nelson, the two recorded the duet “Beer for My Horses,” which went to No. 1 on the Country chart and was released on Keith’s seventh album, Unleashed, which also topped the Billboard 200.

“Weed with Willie” was later released as a bonus track on Keith’s eighth album Shock’n Y’all in 2003.

“Someone was interviewing Willie recently, and he said the funniest thing I’ve heard him say,” wrote Keith on his website. “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.”

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

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