Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour

Grove. Apr. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780802127129. $28. MUSIC
Jones, a relatively unknown performer, shot to recognition overnight in 1979 with a legendary performance on Saturday Night Live, thanks to her captivating voice and distinctive red beret. A Grammy Award for Best New Artist and multiple covers of Rolling Stone magazine quickly followed. Jones takes readers on her wild journey to stardom in this memoir of her youth and early career. Her youth was transient, as she crisscrossed the country with her family until finally settling in the Pacific Northwest. As a teenager, she suffered from suburban malaise and ran away from home several times, even living in a Big Sur cave. Like her music, Jones’s anecdotes bop with immediacy and are filled with unsavory—but somehow sweet—characters such as bank robbers, pimps, and drug dealers. In spite of her troubles, she is generous toward her family and her many collaborators.
VERDICT Fans will enjoy this buoyant coming-of-age narrative by one of music’s most idiosyncratic performers.
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