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Neil Young: Writing New Memoir ‘Fit Me Like A Glove’

Neil Young
Peter Bregg, Getty Images

Securing the rights to Neil Young’s forthcoming memoir was quite the score for Blue Rider Press, who also recently inked a similar deal with Bob Dylan (so yeah, they’re having a winning streak right now, we’d say).

The Canadian rock vet is fairly confident about his new book and reflects on the creation process by saying, “I started and kept going. I felt like writing books fit me like a glove.”

Neil’s book is already highly anticipated and has great potential. ECW Press publisher Jack David says that the title’s odds for commercial success are good, if the circumstances are right. “A memoir coming from Neil Young — if, in fact, he’s written it, he’s honest, he can write, he has a good editor and lots of photos — will sell tons.”

The imminent release from Young has Canadian publishers scouring the sea of possibilities for other potentially lucrative literary options, but as they’ll tell you, it’s not an easy task.

“In Canada it’s kind of hard to come up with star-power names whose books people will want to buy,” says McClelland & Stewart president Doug Pepper. “And in the end, it’s not the size of the star that counts as much as his or her fearlessness. Can they be genuinely candid? Can they write about what people want to read?”

Some of the most desirable subjects have also been the most elusive. Singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell made plans to write her story a decade ago for Random House and in that time period, no book has materialized.

The one-time ‘Reckless’ ’80s rocker Bryan Adams, television producer Lorne Michaels, actor Kiefer Sutherland and Jim Carrey are high on the wish list of Harper Collins Canada, but most publishers agree that the two least likely print candidates are Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot.

“Gordon is just too private, too reclusive,” said one publisher to The Star. “And his life has been tumultuous. I can’t see him ever allowing himself, or the people he cares about, to be exposed that way.”

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