"Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door."
— Saul Bellow
Memoirs are tricky. At best, they are credible lies mixed with unique stories that force the reader to realize how much better/cooler/darker/scarier etc. the author's life is from their own. One current Turnrow 20 selection, Townie by Andre Dubus III, fits this category. Dubus' memoir reads like a friend generously sharing with you all the fascinating struggles and triumphs that have defined him.
At their worst, memoirs are mundane accounts of precious Christmas memories or harrowing tales of a drug-addicted sister-in-law whose father could never take her fishing and whose mother died of a rare toe fungus. (Actually, that might be interesting.) The real trouble with memoirs is that everyone hasn't lived a fascinating life. Stop booing, it's true. Some people, most people, live an average life of little consequence. Bobby Keys is not one of these people. Bobby Keys has really lived.
Bobby Keys has seen and done more as a musician than most, and in his new memoir, Every Night's a Saturday Night.The legendary sax man hilariously recounts his time spent with some of the biggest musicians of the twentieth century. A small sampling of his associations include The Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Delaney & Bonnie, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Warren Zevon, Joe Ely, Sheryl Crow, John Lennon, Leon Russell, Plastic Ono Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Harry Nilsson.
The book is more than a simple account of road tales. It provides insight into the inner workings of some of the largest acts of the 1970s. It also demonstrates how Keys approached the music he created. It is a pretty amazing story to imagine that a saxophone playing kid who lived down the street from Buddy Holly could end up touring with the biggest band in the world, the Rolling Stones, or hanging out with Eric Clapton and George Harrison trying to complete albums with both.
We can't believe our good fortune to have such an vibrant and accomplished musician — a rock-n-roll legend — appearing at the bookstore. Make time on Sunday afternoon (this March 25) at 3 p.m. to hear him speak and get a book signed.
After his talk, Bobby will sit in with a local legend, Sid Herring, frontman for the Gants. We've enjoyed getting to know Sid since the release of his recent solo album, Music for Friends, and we knew he'd be a good fit to play with Keys. Coincidentally, they'd recently met and shared the stage in Nashville. Their history may extend even further.
"As The Gants we once recorded in Muscle Shoals right behind the Rolling Stones," Sid recently recalled. "While we were in town recording we all went to the movie there and were told that the Stones had just left the theater right before us. Then the Gants played at a club called The Phone Booth in New York with The Young Rascals opening for us in 1965 and two of the Stones were in the audience. Now we are playing with the Stones sax man, Bobby Keys, in Greenwood, Mississippi, at Turnrow Books. After all of these path-crossings we are making some music together. It will be a long-awaited big time. Which stands to show that if you never give up your dreams, you never know what might happen."
Show up early, around 2 p.m., to hear Sid and his band warm up with songs from Music for Friends. You can order the CD at our website, as well as signed copies of Bobby Keys' Every Night is a Saturday Night.