Vanguard Records/Myriam Santos
One of the greatest country musicians to grace America’s radio waves is in the midst of a tortuous internal conflict he calls a “double-edged sword”.
During an interview with Garden & Gun’s Matt Hendrickson, Merle Haggard sat down in his home alongside his pal Sturgill Simpson to discuss everything from retiring to new music he hasn’t recorded yet.
Haggard admits to Hendrickson that his family has been asking him to quit touring and that it’s been a constant struggle within him for some time – which is partly why he just bought a new tour bus.
“They want me to [stop touring],” Haggard reveals. “I can’t.”
The outlaw country legend opened up saying that touring feels like a “double-edged sword” to him and that it’s both “what keeps [him] alive” and what destroys his life at the same time.
“It’s hard to have a family, so I try and split it up,” he continued. “I try to build a life here of a reasonable sort, and then go and jump on the bus.”
Over the years, Haggard has achieved nearly 40 No. 1 hits and received a seemingly endless number of accolades including three Grammy Awards. With that kind of success, both Haggard and Simpson agree that even through the stress and conflict of touring, the way they’re able to provide for their families is a true gift.
“You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth because it’s providing for our family. Even if I don’t get to see [my son] my life is better off than it would have been when I was still stocking shelves at a grocery store or whatever, trying to be a songwriter, working at the railroad,” Simpson added.
With that said, Haggard is turning 78 next month (April 6th) and he’s had a good long run of touring in his 53 year musical career.
Do y’all think The Hag will stop touring?
Watch Merle sing one of his biggest hits during a recent visit to the Grand Ole Opry in the video below!
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