Guy Clark Biography Slated For October


A comprehensive biography on songwriter Guy Clark will be published on Oct. 18 by Texas A&M University Press. Starting in 2008, and with Clark’s approval, author Tamara Saviano interviewed more than 200 of Clark’s friends and family members for the book, titled Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark.

The book details Clark’s marriage to Susanna Clark and their friendship with songwriter Townes Van Zandt. It also includes 113 photos from all phases of his life and career. Saviano completed the 406-page book just before Guy Clark died in May. She is currently working on a documentary about the relationship between Guy and Susanna Clark and Van Zandt.

“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. “I learned details that nobody else knew, including his closest friends.”

Saviano is also part of the book’s narrative. She was managing editor of Country Music magazine when she met Clark in 1998. In 2006, she became his publicist for the album Workbench Songs, a role she repeated for 2009’s Someday the Song Writes You. In 2011, she produced the Grammy-nominated album This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which was named the 2012 Americana Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

“I had no idea that I was going to grow to love the old curmudgeon, but I did,” Saviano said. “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.”

Clark’s most notable songs include “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “The Randall Knife,” “She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” “L.A. Freeway” and “Texas, 1947.” He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.


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Craig Shelburne is the General Manager at MusicRow.

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