Guy Clark Biography Set for Release in October
Guy Clark's biography, Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, is set for release on Oct. 18. The project, which was penned by Tamara Saviano, was completed just before the artist's death in May.
Saviano, who has worked behind the scenes in the country music industry since the 1990s, began working on the book in 2008, when she started interviewing some 200-plus people about Clark's life. According to Saviano, every interview subject went to Clark for permission before speaking to her, and the late icon told them all the same thing -- “I’m not out to rewrite the truth. Just tell her everything. Don’t hold back.”
“It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I went back to every part of Guy’s life and found the people who were there at that time,” Saviano says in a press release. “I learned details that nobody else knew, including his closest friends.”
Much of Without Getting Killed or Caught focuses on Clark's relationship with his wife Susanna, a visual artist, and his best friend, Townes Van Zandt.
"They were really just in this artistic life together, and even any money that came in, they were pooling it," Saviano tells the Austin Chronicle. "Susanna told me of one time Townes got a check for a couple hundred bucks -- a royalty check or something -- and they were all excited because it meant meat for dinner. They were going to go out and buy groceries, but Townes said the first thing they were doing was buying Susanna some paint."
Saviano enters the story herself during the third section of the book: She met Clark in 1998, during her time as the managing editor of Country Music magazine, and she ended up working as the publicist for his 2006 album, Workbench Songs, and 2009's Somedays the Song Writes You. She also served as a producer on the Grammy-nominated This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which was released in 2011.
“I had no idea that I was going to grow to love the old curmudgeon, but I did,” she says. “I felt I needed to make it very clear that I was not only a reporter. We had become good friends, and Guy confided in me about many things. I’m not sure it was a typical relationship for a biographer and subject.”
Without Getting Killed or Caught is currently available for pre-order via Amazon.
Clark died on May 17 at the age of 74, after years of declining health. Per the singer's final wish, his ashes are being turned into a sculpture by fellow country outlaw Terry Allen. A tribute concert in his honor is being planned for mid-August in Nashville.
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