Willie Nelson Talks Sinatra and Air Sickness on ‘Sunday Today’

His second Frank Sinatra tribute arrives February 26.

Written by Chris Parton
Willie Nelson Talks Sinatra and Air Sickness on ‘Sunday Today’
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: Willie Nelson performs onstage during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.. (Photo by Mickey Bernal/WireImage)

Willie Nelson opened up about a new album and an old hit on NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist this weekend, revealing the mile-high origins of “On the Road Again.”

Chatting with his host from his rustic living room and looking super comfortable in a zipper hoodie, Nelson was gracious in explaining his upcoming Frank Sinatra tribute album, That’s Life. But he used his signature wit everywhere else. Speaking about the birth of “On the Road Again” — an iconic staple of Nelson’s which was written for the 1980 movie Honeysuckle Rose — the Texas troubadour confirmed that it was written “on the fly.”

Asked by Geist if there was any truth to the rumor that Nelson wrote “On the Road Again” on the back of an airsickness bag, the living legend couldn’t resist making a joke:

“Well, yeah. I was on an airplane,” Nelson admitted. “They wanted me to write a song for the movie that we were about to do. I said, what about this? [Sings ‘On The Road Again’] How about that? And they said, ‘Yeah!” … [Then I] threw up and moved on.”

Elsewhere, Nelson and Geist talked about the upcoming That’s Life album, which is set for release February 26 and marks the country favorite’s second tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Nelson opened up about the pair’s unlikely friendship and also shared the story behind another of his biggest hits. among other topics — like why he doesn’t do regrets.

“If I changed anything in the back, it would change where I am now, and I really like where I am now,” Willie Nelson said. “So I wouldn’t change anything.”