Charlie Daniels was 20 years into writing his memoirs last year but he couldn’t quite figure out how to end it.
“Being a songwriter I think you need to end with a hook, and I did not have a hook,” Daniels said early last month from home in Nashville.
Then he got the phone call: He was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“That, I thought, was a very good place to end it,” said Daniels, 81.
The morning after the induction in October 2016, Daniels sat down at the computer and tapped out the last chapter of “Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir,” which came out in late October.
Funny thing about memoirs: The last word is rarely the last word.
Every time he gets on stage, including his show Saturday, Dec. 9, at Desert Diamond Casino, Daniels adds another page to the story he began with his first band out of high school in the mid-1950s and a story that shows no signs of ending any time soon.
“I’m still out here doing it,” he said. “We’re booking dates into 2018; I think we have 60 dates on the books for next year. We ain’t going nowhere. Until the Lord takes me home or something happens, I’m going to be right out here picking.”
Performing long ago stopped being a job for Daniels, who is arguably his happiest when he stands on stage before an audience.
“How does anything get any better, that people enjoy something that you create and actually pay to come see you do it?” he said. “It’s that thing; I have created something that other human beings like. Every night on the road, I go in and play the stuff I have written for people who enjoy it. I can’t think of a better way to spend my life. I thoroughly enjoy it. I’m addicted to it, to be honest with you, and that’s why I keep doing it.
“It’s so much fun and that’s why I never get tired of playing ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’ and why I never get tired of playing ‘Long Haired Country Boy,’” added Daniels, who was last at Desert Diamond in 2013.
“We jam a lot in my band. Some bands make their guys play the solos the same every night to sound like the record. My guys play what they want to,” he said. “It’ keeps it interesting, it keeps it creative.”