The Shape of Things to Come
Another fall publishing season has come and gone, and the last two columns have listed a few memorable books. For the past few weeks, publishers have been announcing their spring books. There are a few interesting memoirs — Jessi Colter weighs in on her marriage to Duane Eddy and her life with Waylon, and Mike Nesmith gives us a creative, unconventional autobiography, as we’d expect from him — and there’s a “definitive” biography of Otis Redding coming along in May.
Here’s a short list — with a longer and more complete one to come next week — of a few books to which we can look forward.
John Oates, with Chris Epting, A Change of Seasons: A Memoir (St. Martin’s) April — Oates has been keeping journals since the 1970s and in the new memoir he relies on them to allow us a glimpse into the music that influenced him before he hooked up with Daryl Hall to deliver such tunes as “Man-Eater” and “She’s Gone.”
Jessi Colter, with David Ritz, An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith That Brought Me Home (Nelson/HarperCollins) April — Follows Colter’s life and times from her childhood as the daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race car driver to her short-lived marriage to Duane Eddy, her marriage to Waylon and the challenges she faced as dealt with his addictions, and her songwriting and music.
Michael Nesmith, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff (Crown Archetype) April — Nesmith entertains as only he can in this intimate glimpse into the son of the woman who invented Liquid Paper, his life and music with the Monkees, his time with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix in London, and his invention of the music video.
Mayte Garcia, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince (Hachette) April — Prince’s first wife offers an intimate and candid glimpse of his personal life and his life in music. Expect a flurry of Prince books over the next few years.
Dave Thompson, Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall (Backbeat) March — Yet another doorstop of a biography, chronicling the life and music of Pink Floyd songwriter and frontman Waters, including rare photos and a detailed discography.
Jonathan Gould, Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life (Crown Archetype) May — Touted as the definitive biography of Redding, released just in time for the 50th anniversary of Redding’s performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
Jean R. Freedman, Peggy Seeger: A Life of Music, Love, and Politics (University of Illinois) February – The first full-length biography of the music legend.
Jim Dickinson, I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone (University Press of Mississippi) April — The long-awaited memoir — published posthumously — that takes its title from Dickinson’s epitaph for himself.