Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Bringing rock stars to book

Is this another revenue source for the heritage rock star I see before me? It was announced this week that Neil Young will publish his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, in late 2012. Young’s book should certainly be worth a read, …

Fri, Sep 23, 2011, 10:00

   

Is this another revenue source for the heritage rock star I see before me? It was announced this week that Neil Young will publish his autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, in late 2012.

Young’s book should certainly be worth a read, especially if he decides to be candid and forthcoming about his long, eventful career. It will also be interesting to compare it to Jimmy McDonough’s brilliant “Shakey’” bio on the Canadian legend.

Young’s forthcoming tome will probably lead to brainstorming sessions at publishing houses as a list is drawn up of other musicians to be tapped for their memoirs.

The problem, though, is that the official story from the horse’s mouth is usually nowhere near as interesting or compelling as the story of the act as told by an outsider.

Like many of us, musicians have a habit of rewriting history when it comes to seminal events from years gone by and often prefer to play it safe with the more salacious and interesting happenings in their career.

A case in point is U2’s official book “U2 by U2”, a title which was coveted by many publishers. But the finished book was a poor, unsatisfying and unremarkable read and the wait goes on for a really interesting book on the band.

There are, though, some artists who do come up with the goods. Bob Dylan’s excellent “Chronicles” is full of great colour and fascinating detail and we have high hopes for Mike Scott from the Waterboys’ forthcoming memoirs which are due in 2012.

But much as we’d love to read the self-penned thoughts of Prince, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen or Paul Simon, they’re unlikely to be as forthcoming on their lives and times as someone outside the camp is likely to be. We wait to be proven wrong.