Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of a Troubador, by Rickie Lee Jones (Grove Press 2021)

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Rickie Lee Jones was born in 1954, and made it really big with her first two albums in 1979 and in 1981. What I didn't realise is just how colourful her life before and after that success had been. Most of this memoir focusses on the before, and delves into her fascinating, gritty family background, and her conflicted, tragic childhood. She struggled to match the commercial success of her first two albums, but has continued to collaborate, record and perform, and has to date released 17 albums. This is a very candid memoir, intimate and moving, as she describes with great honesty her drug use, destructive and doomed relationships, but also her tenaciousness and self-belief. It's a very American life, a courageous life, and a brilliant read.