Without Getting Killed or Caught
The Life and Music of Guy Clark
Performing Arts - Poetry - Texana
6 x 9.25, 416 pp.
10 color. 103 b&w photos. Index.
Pub Date: 10/31/2016
John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas Music History, Texas State University
Price:        $29.95

title also available as an ebook:
More ebooks

Published by Texas A&M University Press

To Receive E-News


Without Getting Killed or Caught

The Life and Music of Guy Clark

Tamara Saviano

Winner, 2016 the Belmont Book Award, Sponsored by the International Country Music Conference

For more than forty years, Guy Clark wrote and recorded unforgettable songs. His lyrics and melodies paint indelible portraits of the people, places, and experiences that shaped him. He has served as model, mentor, supporter, and friend to at least two generations of the world’s most talented and influential singer-songwriters. In songs like “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” L.A. Freeway,” “She Ain’t Going Nowhere,” and “Texas 1947,” Clark’s poetic mastery has given voice to a vision of life, love, and trouble that has resonated not only with fans of Americana music, but also with the prominent artists—including Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Jeff Walker, and others—who have recorded and performed Clark’s music.

Now, in Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, writer, producer, and music industry insider Tamara Saviano chronicles the story of this legendary artist from her unique vantage point as his former publicist and producer of the Grammy-nominated album This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark. Part memoir, part biography, Saviano’s skillfully constructed narrative weaves together the extraordinary songs, larger-than-life characters, previously untold stories, and riveting  emotions that make up the life of this modern-day poet and troubadour.

Producer of Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, which won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, TAMARA SAVIANO is a publicist and producer living in Nashville. She is also former managing editor of Country Music magazine and produced the 2012 Americana Album of the Year, This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Take the dean of the Texas school of songwriting; mix in his wife, Susanna, an ethereal painter and an accomplished songwriter herself; add in their tragic friendship with Townes van Zandt, a tortured genius; and tell it all through the eyes of their friend, Tamara Saviano, one of the most gifted of Nashville chroniclers. With that, you have this book, a haunting account of the fiercely independent Guy Clark, and the ‘70s songwriting scene that swirled around him, hoping to find its own way to the other side of the sky." — Alanna Nash, author of The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley

"I can see every picture and every character Guy wrote about in his songs. I can't wait to read the book and fill in the missing pieces of my friend who I knew for 40 years" -Vince Gill

"Tamara Saviano hasn't just written the definitive biography of the definitive Texas singer-songwriter. She goes deep in unfolding the intimate relationship between Guy Clark, his wife and creative muse Susanna Clark, and their best friend, the other defintive Texas singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt." -Joe Nick Patoski author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire.

"Is one of the very best musical biographies in many years" — The Morton Report

"Detailed, enlightening account. She maneuvers the story elegantly from biography to memior." — The Wall Street Journal

“Saviano has patiently compiled a must-have edition to the library of any actual or amateur musicologist, and a compelling story of love, friendship, tragedy and cultural magic for the rest of us.”—Lone Star Book Reviews

“Saviano captures the full story of an extraordinary life and talent, told with both an unwavering honesty and loving admiration”—Austin Chronicle

"reads like an Americana version of Jack Kerouac's On the Road . . . If this were a record, it'd be my record not of just the year, but of the decade."—No Depression

“sent me back to my stereo and weeks of Guy Clark songs. It’s that good of a book, and he’s that good of a songwriter. . . . Highly recommended.” —Pacific Rim Review of Books


I'll Be Here in the Morning
Kent Finlay, Dreamer
Roots of Texas Music
Texas Courthouse Poster
Review Copy Request Form Desk Copy Request Form