It was 1980, the Nova Road Drive In Theater in Daytona Beach FL. I was just 9 years old. Our parents took my brother and me to see the Willie Nelson Movie, Honeysuckle Rose. This was the point in 4th grade, after my folks split up and then tried another go at it, which was short lived. My parents must of saw that we really dug it because, I know they got us the double album that featured the song “On The Road Again.” My brother and I sat in our room and sang On The Road Again over and over on to a cassette tape, so we could play it for our parents.
I ended up writing my first song, around that time called “Hiways.” I still know it. In fact even my wife and kids know it. That’s the sign of a real hit. I recorded that song on to the tape cassette player and shared it with a kid at school. The next day I asked him what he thought. He told me he couldn’t understand the words. I was pleased because I thought that it was just like a real song on the radio. Here are the words to ‘Hiways’.
I saw you going down the highway with a man in your passenger seat.
The first offer is when you get home would you like a lemon drink.
The second offer is would you like to go to bed. The third offer is yes I would.
The fourth offer is we’ll get some coffee in the morning.
So at the ripe age of 9, I was singing about the road, drinking, sex and hangovers. This song was a big thing for me over the next couple years. I’d draw lightning bolts and write “Hiways” on my notebooks. This is the reason I misspelled Hiway in the move and album name. It’s to honor that same 9 year old kid, who’s still inside of me now, with that same dream.
Strangely, it wasn’t until just recently, that I connected seeing Honeysuckle Rose and the artist I have come to be. I was talking with my friend Jack Evan Johnson, who wrote my bio. He was asking me a lot of questions, trying to dig back into my life. It clicked for at that moment, Willie Nelson touched me as a 9 year old kid.
Lost Vegas Hiway is the first album I’ve ever recorded. Lost Vegas Hiway is the first time I’ve ever really acted. This is something that Willie would do, just go for it! Jack plays my manager in a scene in the movie. Ironically on the set, Jack brought a really cool Willie Nelson bandanna that hangs on the wall, as he walks into the bathroom. It’s just another one of those weird accidents in the making of the film. The guy who brought a Willie Nelson bandanna, connected the dots that Willie was likely my biggest influence, a year after we shot Jack’s scene.
Now Willie has been making music ever since the 50’s and I can imagine I’m not the only person with this kind of story. My only hope is that, I can touch a few people with the songs I’ve written. You reading this is a good start for me. I ‘ve got the album and movie available for purchase on the site, so please jump over to http://shop.jeffmix.net/album/ to check it out! Thanks for reading and I’m hoping your still feeding that 9 year old with a dream inside of you. Why? Because they’re still there.