Friends and family will tell you I’m more than a fan, that the music and the attitude behind it have been the sound track of my life.
Many of you have written me over the years to tell me how wrong that is.
I didn’t write you back.
Now, Jerry Lee has answered for me.
When word came out a couple years ago that Jerry was co-writing his autobiography I expected he would would hire a sycophant to co-write with him and intimidate him into writing what he wanted people to hear.
It was even more likely that he would quickly tire of the process, fire everyone, threaten to shoot someone, then go play a song for whoever showed up at the next concert.
The Killer suffers no one gladly…
Instead, he found a man who understands the music, the dirt, the Holy Ghost, and him and this is now the definitive biography of the “last man standing”.
You can’t understand Jerry Lee Lewis without understanding Pentecostalism and the American South, without understanding that heaven and hell met in a mans hands and soul and tore him asunder.
The co-author, Rick Bragg… understands.
The Pulitzer prize winner is a son of the South himself, a master story teller weaving an almost biblical tale together.
The result is a great book that not only captures Lewis, but is an opened time capsule about the South and the music that came forth from it and changed the world a lifetime ago.
All the dirt is here and Lewis apologizes for none of it.
He asks God to forgive it.
He’s an old man now, in his eightieth year…and he’s settling accounts with the Giver of his prodigious gifts.
He wonders if there’s grace to cover it all.
Now and again, thunder still rolls from his left hand.
You can hear it in the pages of this book.