You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
My Years With Townes Van Zandt
Twenty years with Townes Van Zandt riding shotgun
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 21, 2018
Harold F. Eggers Jr. served as Townes Van Zandt's road manager, co-producer, and business partner from 1977 until the Texan's death on New Year's Day 1997. In Eggers' telling of their relationship, the two made a strange if symbiotic pairing, the tortured and literally haunted artist and his PTSD Vietnam vet manager traversing the chaos that Van Zandt created and attracted. "Danger and Townes were two natural storm forces liable to intersect at any time, anywhere," writes Eggers. "And stir up the weirdest tornado you could imagine." The stories are wild and absurd, and yet they still only feel like the tip of the iceberg, the memoirist having acclimated to the singer's brand of crazy cantankerousness. What emerges, though, is a warm tale of an unlikely and deep friendship, less Fear and Loathing madness than a heartfelt buddy movie amid the extremes TVZ cultivated. In the telling, Eggers – a co-parent with longtime Chronicle Credit Manager cindy soo – offers the same steady and low-key narration that stewarded the troubadour's music and life for two decades and a deep compassion for Van Zandt's ghosts and genius. It's a poignant and untold view into the artist from one of his closest confidants, a memoir and unvarnished eulogy that reveals the humanity of the lionized artist.
My Years With Townes Van Zandtby Harold F. Eggers Jr. with L.E. McCullough
Backbeat Books, 220 pp., $29.99