Long post alert! Five years ago today we interviewed Guy Clark on camera for the first time with a documentary in mind. We ended this week on a high note after turning over our first rough cut to the extraordinary editor, Sandra Adair. Sandra received an Oscar nomination for her work on Richard Linklater’s film “Boyhood,” and has edited all of his films. But, she came to my attention a couple of years ago after Paul and I saw the film Sandra directed, “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” at SXSW. From the moment I saw Sandra’s film on Lance Letscher, I wanted her to be our editor. I asked around to see if we had mutual friends. We did. Erika Schultz introduced me to Sandra via email. My co-writer Bart Knaggs and I met with Sandra and immediately connected with her. She’s a Guy Clark fan and Sandra and her husband Dwight fell in love listening to Jerry Jeff Walker sing Guy’s songs back in the day. The only problem was Rick Linklater was making a film (“Where’d You Go Bernadette”) and Sandra was, of course, on board as editor. Damn it. Sandra wasn’t sure if and when her schedule would open up and had other commitments even after Linklater’s film. We moved on and Paul and Jon Grimson worked together to edit our Guy doc. Meanwhile, Sandra and I became friends. We’ve had many dinners and parties together over the last year or so. Even if she wasn’t going to be our editor I was thrilled to have a new badass girlfriend. About a month ago, Sandra’s schedule unexpectedly opened up. The minute she told me the project she was doing fell through, we hired her. I got my wish. Sandra is now editing our film and will take our rough cut and improve it through the final cut. Now your homework assignment is to go to amazon.com or iTunes and watch “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” and you’ll see why I wanted Sandra for our film. We have the most amazing film team—Paul Whitfield, Connie Nelson, Bart Knaggs—and now the circle is complete with Sandra. Tamara
Last weekend we filmed the opening title sequence of the documentary. It was a lot of planning and work for a 4-1/2 minute scene but it is an important piece as it sets up the story and we wanted to use "L.A. Freeway" in its entirety. It's a long scene but we love it. We found this fantastic version of Guy singing "L.A. Freeway," just him and his guitar, from an old KCRW radio interview. We discovered it last summer as we spent night after night listening to and digitizing old cassette tapes. So many treasures in those tapes but we'll save some of those stories to surprise you in the film. We started planning this particular scene last March after my cowriter Bart Knaggs and I finished the first draft of the script. We waited until now to film it because Susanna and Guy arrived in Nashville the weekend before Thanksgiving in 1971. It was important to us to shoot it in the proper season. After we couldn't find a bus in Nashville, we placed an ad on Facebook and Louisville, Kentucky native Sean Daugherty found us. Sean and his brother Paul hauled Sean's 1965 Volkswagen Bus from Kentucky to Tennessee and the bus is the superstar of this scene. It has a great story behind it, too. The bus belonged to Sean and Paul's father Joseph. Joseph Daugherty was a marine mechanic in Louisville and he collected and restored Volkswagens as a hobby. Joseph was a mechanic on the famous Belle of Louisville riverboat. After Joseph died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 42, they found his name welded on the bottom of the riverboat. Sean was only 12 and Paul was 14 when Joseph died. Sean asked his mother to keep Joseph's '65 VW Bus. As Sean and Paul grew, so did their love of VWs and the continued connection to their father. To this day, Sean works as a mechanic and Paul is a body man. Together they restore and collect old cars and each have a vast collection of VWs. Here are a few photos from the magical weekend:
Sign up for The Vinyl Den, Dualtone Music Group’s vinyl subscription service, by November 30th and get Guy Clark: The Best of the Dualtone Years on limited edition silver vinyl as well as a live album by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Brandi Carlile! New subscribers will also get a FREE LP with their first month!
I am a proud Texas A&M University Press author. My friend and TAMU publicist Christine Brown hosts a show called the Bookmark on College Station's PBS affiliate. She was kind enough to have me on to talk about Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark. Christine is a natural at this hosting thing. I enjoyed our conversation. --Tamara
It was Lee Roy Parnell who first brought me to Guy's house on April 1, 2000. I had known Guy a little bit from interviewing him when I worked at Country Music magazine but it was after Lee Roy brought me over to Guy's 17 years ago that Guy and I became good friends. I also interviewed Susanna Clark for the first time that day. I sat at her bedside and we talked about Townes and she told me not to take any shit from Guy or any other man on Music Row. On that first visit to Guy's, there was no way I could know what would unfold and that I would spend so many years with Guy, his friends, and his wonderful family Travis Clark, Krista McMurtry Clark, Jan Clark, Caro Dugan. Next week we'll all be together again to honor the life and work of my friend Guy. Thank you, Lee Roy Parnell, for bringing me into the fold. Tamara Saviano
Jamie will be with her band the Trishas at the Texas Heritage Songwriters' 2017 DKR Homecoming Show at Paramount Theatre in Austin on April 7th, paying tribute to Guy Clark and honoring Tamara Saviano. https://tickets.austintheatre.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=2200. We are hosting an unbelievable line-up of Texas singer-songwriters, including Rodney Crowell, Joe Ely, Bruce Robison, Lee Roy Parnell, Jack Ingram, Verlon Thompson, Terry Allen, Brennen Leigh, Shawn Camp, The Trishas, Noel McKay and other special friends of Guy Clark.
Thank you No Depression and Henry Carrigan for listing Without Getting Killed or Caught at the top of your list of 2016's best music books. In the last couple of years of Guy's life, I was dragging my feet on finishing the book. It was hard. I procrastinated. I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. I was afraid. Sometimes I would show up at Guy's after not being there for a few days or a week and he'd ask me where I'd been and remind me that we had work to finish. It was important to Guy that I finish the book and he dragged me kicking and screaming over the finish line. The day I turned in the book to Thom Lemmons, I went over to Guy's house and sat with him in the sun room while he twiddled with his mandola. It was just another day at Guy's. He drank coffee and smoked and we looked out the window at the birds. After about 20 minutes I said "Guy, I finished the book and turned it in." He put his mandola down, took a long drag from a joint, looked me in eye, smiled and said "Tamara, I haven't seen you look this relaxed in years." I'm thankful that I finished the book and more thankful that so many people seem to like it. I think Guy would be proud and wish he was here to witness all of this. I miss him so very much.
The Texas Heritage Songwriter Association is honoring Guy and his biographer Tamara with the Darrell K Royal Texas Music Legend award for her many years of supporting Texas songwriters. Show is in Austin at the Paramount Theater on April 7, 2017. Tickets on sale January 20. Texas Heritage Songwriter Association does wonderful work and we're proud to be part of this.
Somedays The Song Writes You, My Favorite Picture Of You, Songs & Stories, and Workbench Songs are now on sale for $5 for a limited time on Amazon.com! https://www.amazon.com/Guy-Clark/e/B000APWAQ2/digital/ref=ntt_mp3_rdr?_encoding=UTF8&sn=d
It's Dualtone Music Group's 15 year anniversary sale at Apple Music! Get three Guy Clark albums for $6.99 each this week only! https://itunes.apple.com/us/collection/15-year-anniversary-$6.99/id11?fcId=1162336599