Rocker Robbie Robertson set to write memoirs

Tue Mar 8, 2011 2:12pm EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rocker Robbie Robertson is about to add "author" to his lengthy list of professional activities.

The former frontman for The Band said he will start penning his memoirs in a few months following a couple of aborted attempts with ghost writers. The Canadian rocker hopes the book will come out within two years through Random House.

"I'm very excited about doing it," Robertson told Reuters, while getting ready for the April 5 release of his first solo album in 13 years. "I just have to roll up my sleeves, get a cabin in the woods and do it properly."

He said he considered collaborating on the project with highly regarded writers on three separate occasions. But it quickly dawned on the raconteur that he could do a better job of telling his stories about the rise and fall of The Band, and his work with the likes of Bob Dylan and Martin Scorsese.

Not only will it be a solo endeavor, but he is also leaving untouched a hefty pile of memoirs by the likes of Dylan, Keith Richards, Patti Smith and former bandmate Levon Helm.

"I keep thinking, is it good for me to look at these, or is there just a pure innocence about me just going into this? I don't know if I want to know what somebody else did in their thing. But I do have a structure that I've started to sort out in mind."

One book he has read, or at least the first 30 pages of it, was British author Barney Hoskyns' 1993 biography about The Band, "Across The Great Divide." Robertson said he was too busy at the time to guide Hoskyns, and when he finally got around to cracking open the tome he discovered it was "very imaginative and random, and it wasn't what happened at all."

In the meantime, his new album "How To Become Clairvoyant" serves as a good appetizer for the memoir because it boasts a selection of heavily autobiographical tunes.   Continued...