Book Review: 'My Years With Townes Van Zandt: Music, Genius and Rage' by Harold F Eggers, Jr

Townes Van Zandt

Harold F Eggers, Jr
MY YEARS WITH TOWNES VAN ZANDT: MUSIC, GENIUS AND RAGE
Backbeat Books
Townes Van Zandt, one of country’s most enigmatic songwriters, was a curious character and that’s never been in doubt. A character in turmoil whose well-spoken gentlemanly charm was in sharp contrast with his intake of drink and drugs.
He died on New year’s Day 1997 from heart problems caused by decades of self-abuse, aged only 52, yet the creator of songs that sold millions of copies, but only by other artists. There’s Pancho And Lefty (a No. 1 for Willie and Merle) and If I Needed You (a top 10 hit for Emmylou Harris and Don Williams) for starters, with many more such as For The Sake Of The Song, honoured by others (not least our own Danny and the Champions of the World).
Yet what has never before been documented quite so profoundly – and sadly – is the true depth of Townes’ internal pain. This book comes from the inside looking out, Eggers (“H” as Townes knew him), the artist’s long-time road manager and in his later years, business partner.
While the tragic tale of the downfall of a genius, the book is also full of laughs, able to chronicle Townes’ knife-edge switches from cheeky schoolboy to demented depressive.
For every pained story of the problems caused by his teenage electric shock treatment to stem his rebellious personality, there’s one of madness on the road as he and H fled gangster club bosses, climbed out of windows and high-tailed it across the US like something from a silent comedy film.
The road heads from Austin to Nashville and all the way to the UK (he worked with Brit country-rock artist Michael Weston King, recording his song Riding The Range with his then band, the Good Sons) and back.
It’s the story of a poet and a performer never quite able to live with himself, leaving others to live with those conflicts instead. Sad, beautiful – and laugh a minute.
Nick Dalton
www.backbeatbooks.com
 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print
Share on linkedin

MORE LATEST NEWS

C2C

C2C Line-up announcement 2022!

Country to Country; Europe’s biggest country music festival is back for 2022!!!!!  Returning for its eighth year on Friday 11 to Sunday 13 March 2022,

CMA

CMA announces nominees for the 55th annual awards ceremony

The Country Music Association has revealed the nominees for “The 55th Annual CMA Awards,” with Eric Church and Chris Stapleton topping the list at five nominations. Other top nominees include Gabby Barrett along with mix engineer Jason Hall and producer Jay

For King & Country

For King and Country release new single

For King & Country’s brand new single “Relate,” is available everywhere NOW!!  The new track exemplifies for KING & COUNTRY’s ability to write instant earworms

CMA

CMA announce international awards nominees

The Country Music Association has revealed the nominees for 2021’s CMA International Awards, which honor artists and industry executives who have supported and impacted the growth and promotion of Country