"Liner Notes is, unsurprisingly, as good as its author's songs, with moments of sharp humour alternating with real-life pain, and vivid reflections on love, death, and the whole damn thing. Loudon Wainwright is a true original: not like anyone else, just as he set out to be." Salman RushdieWith a career spanning more than four decades, Loudon Wainwright III has established himself as one of the most enduring singer-songwriters who emerged from the late sixties. There is probably no singer songwriter who has so blatantly inserted himself into his songs, about parents, grandparents, children, siblings, and wives.
As he puts it in "So Many Songs": It's taken so long to finally see / My songs about you are all about me. The songs can be laugh out loud funny, but they also can cut to the bone. In his memoir, Wainwright continues to emphasize the personal: he details the family history his lyrics have referenced and the fractured relationships in the Wainwright family throughout generations: the alcoholism, the infidelities, the competitiveness -- as well as the closeness, the successes, and the joy.
Wainwright reflects on the experiences that have influenced his songwriting, including boarding school, the music business, swimming, macrobiotics, sex, incarceration, and something he calls Sir Walter Raleigh Syndrome. LINER NOTES is very much about being a son -- a status that dominates many of Wainwright's songs. But it is also about being a parent, a brother, and a grandfather.
Wainwright's song lyrics are represented throughout the book, amplifying his prose and showing the connections between the songs and real life. He also includes excerpts and selections from his father's brilliant LIFE magazine columns - and, in so doing, re-establishes him as a major essayist of his era. A funny and insightful meditation on family, inspiration, and art, LINER NOTES will thrill fans, readers, and anyone who appreciates the intersection of music and life.