“This book is as candid, moving, and hilarious as Loudon Wainwright’s music.”
“Wainwright is an engaging and witty memoirist.”
—Wall Street Journal
Loudon Wainwright III, the son of esteemed Life magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright, Jr., is the patriarch of one of America’s great musical families. He is the former husband of Kate McGarrigle and Suzzy Roche, and father of Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Lexie Kelly Wainwright. With a career spanning more than four decades, Wainwright has established himself as one of the most enduring singer-songwriters who emerged from the late 1960s. Not only does he perform regularly across America and in Europe, but he is a sought-after actor, having appeared in many movies and TV series.
There is probably no singer-songwriter who has so blatantly inserted himself into his songs. The songs can be laugh-out-loud funny, but they also can cut to the bone. In this memoir, Wainwright details the family history his lyrics have referenced and the fractured relationships among 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 work, including boarding school, the music business, swimming, macrobiotics, sex, incarceration, and something he calls Sir Walter Raleigh Syndrome.
Wainwright writes poignantly about being a son—a status that dominates many of his songs—but also about being a parent, a brother, and a grandfather. His lyrics are featured throughout the book, amplifying his prose and showing the connections between the songs and real life. Wainwright also includes selections from his father’s brilliant Life magazine columns—and, in so doing, reestablishes his father 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.