Wilco's Jeff Tweedy is working on a "funny, disarming, and honest" memoir that will trace his path from being a young Clash fan to becoming one of the most eclectic voices in rock music. In a statement, Tweedy said of his tome, "I have stories to tell, and I'd like for this book to be a combination of those stories about my experiences, and maybe a window into one person's creative process, as well as some of what I've seen working with other artists in my current and former bands, in the studio, on the road, in my basement with my sons and more."
Dutton, an arm of Penguin Random House, will publish the book after winning a bidding war for the memoir; Tweedy's book deal is estimated to be worth in the mid-six figures, The Associated Press reports. The as-yet-untitled autobiography does not have a release date scheduled.
The book will reportedly combine personal and professional stories from his career, including his work with other artists including Mavis Staples. Tweedy's jump from indie artist to major label rocker to label owner will be explored, as will his thoughts about the current state of the record industry and the art of making music.
Tweedy's memoir will hopefully also shed some more light on his mindset after Wilco's acclaimed 2002 LP Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was initially rejected by Reprise Records, resulting in a split from that label. (Nonesuch Records, which like Reprise was a Warner Music Group subsidiary, eventually released the landmark album; the album's journey was similarly documented in the film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.)
Tweedy's life has also been plagued with chronic migraine problems and an addiction to prescription painkillers, which the singer kicked following a 2004 stint in rehab. More recently, the Tweedy family persevered through the death of Tweedy's brother in 2013 and Sue Tweedy's cancer battle, which inspired Jeff and son Spencer's side project Tweedy and their debut LP Sukierae.
"I certainly have been very prolific in the past few years, and it could be for a couple of reasons, [including] my wife's cancer diagnoses," Tweedy told Rolling Stone following the surprise free release of Wilco's new LP Star Wars. "She's doing great now. It provided maybe a deeper need for the distractions that I've learned how to use helpfully in my life. Like, no matter what condition I was in with addiction or anything, music has been a healthy adaptation in the face of some kind of maladaptation. But there's also something more practical than that, which is that I've been home a lot more than before, and in between chemo sessions and taking my wife to radiation and her recovering from the surgery, I've been walking to the loft, making something for a little bit every day."