A lot of progress continues to happen with the Al Jarreau biography that I’ve been working on for the past three years. I think of it as a long drawn out process, and in some ways it is. But at other times, it seems like it is all moving along at a very good clip.
I won’t bore you with all of the details of what’s happened since my last post, last September (2022). But I went through another round of working through edits with my editor Liz, and more challenging, a whole raft of questions, comments, edits, etc. from the copy editor, Katherine, who went through the whole manuscript with a fine-toothed comb. The issue with some of these give and takes for me is that sometimes I get a big project (like responding to the copyedit) and only have a few days, or at best, a couple of weeks, to go through all of the current document, whatever that stage is.
But all the steps happened, and in November the “book” went to the next stage, to the “production staff.” They take all of the document — introductory pages (title pages, etc.), table of contents, preface, introduction, twenty-five chapters, the many “sidebars” in which the individual albums are discussed, and the acknowledgements — AND the 50 photographs that are included — and put it together in a way that is pleasing to look at and digest for readers. I will get the pdfs of what they’ve come up with, what are called the page proofs, in a couple of weeks. And then I’ll work hard for another couple of weeks to go through those very, very carefully. After I return them, eventually there will be a second set of page proofs for us to plug away at.
There are other things to attend to, like getting all the credits and permissions for all of the photos/illustrations. And making sure that we are not using too much of any of the song lyrics that would then require special permissions. And this is after we got permission, almost miraculously in my opinion, from Warner Brothers Records to use (free!) images of all of the jacket covers of the records Al made for them (except for one that is still owned by the photographer’s estate — the famous Richard Avedon).
And after that, it will seem like forever before the book is actually released in the fall.
One other bit of news: I can now reveal the title of the book, the first part of which comes from one of Al’s original songs. Never Givin’ Up: The Life and Music of Al Jarreau.
I hope that you all are well, and wish you the very best for 2023.