Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The second time around!

Big news, gang.

Huge, actually.

After two lonely years spent in my patented deep-sea isolation chamber, I've emerged victorious with the enhanced and improved second edition of my Guaraldi biography. McFarland, my beloved publisher, graciously agreed to share this magnificent tome with the world at large. It officially becomes available today.

[Um ... too much?]

Okay, I embellished a little.

In point of fact, I was quite honored — back in January 2022 — when McFarland expressed interest in an updated version of the original 2012 book. The target goal of such projects, I was told, was at least 25 percent new material; did I think I could supply that much?

Goodness, yes, I replied. Probably a bit more.

For starters — and this is no surprise, with such a book — within weeks of original publication, I started hearing from additional people with great "Guaraldi encounter" experiences to share, along with sidemen I'd either been unable to track down, or who simply hadn't been on my radar at all. Some of their stories first appeared in earlier posts in this blog; others are seeing print for the first time in the book's new edition.

Then, too, Guaraldi's star has gone supernova during the past decade, with all manner of new album releases, expanded and re-mastered editions of earlier albums, and wholly unexpected and unprecedented Billboard chart-making sales figures. Guaraldi arguably is much more famous today, than he was during his own lifetime ... and he was well celebrated then!

The excitement generated by all this fresh success demanded to be recorded for posterity in an updated edition of his biography.

But there was one stipulation: Neither McFarland nor I wanted the book to get excessively fat, because that would have pushed the cover price beyond what we considered reasonable. It therefore became necessary to trim the existing content by roughly 25 percent, in order to make room for the new material.

That was a fascinating challenge ... because, ideally, I wanted such cuts to be invisible, or nearly so. I felt like a director tasked with whittling a 160-minute first cut down to its best possible self, at 120 minutes ... and then making it even better with 40 additional minutes of fresh footage.

And, yes; that took the better part of 20 months. As the work progressed, I frequently was reminded of the sage wisdom of British journalist, critic and novelist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who advised the frequent necessity to ruthlessly "murder your darlings." Which is to say, a glib turn of phrase — or paragraph or three — that's cute for its own sake, serves no real purpose.

Hard advice. I like my glib turns of phrase.

(And yes; I'm well aware that many attribute that guidance to either William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway. They're wrong.)


Both McFarland and I are pleased with the ultimate result: a heartfelt book that (in my humble opinion) does an even better job of honoring the late and totally great Vince Guaraldi.

I'm further honored to have a new, second Foreword by good buddy and multiple Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Michael Graves, and the truly snazzy cover designed by equally good friend and multi-talented Douglas Anderson. Gentlemen, take a bow.

The official McFarland order page can be found here.

Although the book wasn't officially released until today, I'm pretty sure folks have been able to order from other sources for awhile. Such is the crazy world of publishing these days.

Needless to say, I hope you all enjoy it...


Doug A. said...

Fantastic news, Derrick. Really looking forward to tucking into the updated incarnation of your magnum opus, on the lookout for new anecdotes and details! Will be happy to have *both* editions on my shelf (and Kindle!).

Honored and very pleased to have contributed something new to the new edition. But I can't take credit for the full cover design, just the illustration. The typography and layout were 100% MacFarland. ;-)

Derrick Bang said...

Details, details. That's still 99.9 percent of the visual impact!