A rambling memoir of life as a troubadour.
In concert, Snider has long been known for his storytelling abilities, both within his songs and (especially) between them, so a book about his escapades with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff Walker and John Prine would seem to be a natural for him. Snider claims he can’t focus unless he is heavily under the influence—of marijuana or whatever else is handy—but as he tells readers, “rest assured, during this entire time of writing you this book, I have been totally and completely focused.” The author presents himself throughout as a good-natured guy whose heart is (usually) in the right place and whose head is in the ozone. He writes of sabotaging record deals, blowing off club sets, getting robbed at a carwash by Tony Bennett (same name, different guy), getting busted, meeting his wife in rehab and learning a lesson in bighearted generosity from Garth Brooks. “Garth was a lot less music business–oriented toward me and a lot gentler and more poetic toward me than some of my supposedly art-first songwriter friends,” he writes. Snider also explains how his experiences over the years have changed his attitudes, though he remains adamant about resisting maturity: “I am devout about next to nothing, but I am devoutly not going to allow myself to grow up. I believe with all my soul that not growing up is going to be the best way to contribute to the world the best way I can. The alternative wasn’t going to help me in any way or make any of my songs better.” He also pads the narrative with full lyrics to many songs and the stories behind them, giving devout fans more insight into the man and his music.
A memoir that’s a lot like being at a very long Snider show, without the melodies.