William Heinemann is publishing songwriter and guitarist Robbie Robertson’s autobiography.
Robertson rose to stardom in the 1960s and 1970s as the guitarist and principal songwriter in The Band, and has worked such rock idols as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. He was behind songs like "The Weight", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "This Wheel’s on Fire and "Up on Cripple Creek".
Jason Arthur, publisher at William Heinemann, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Lance Fitzgerald at Crown Publishing Group.
Roberston's memoir, entitled Testimony, will weave together his "rollicking" years with Ronnie Hawkins, recount The Band’s formation and trial-by-fire supporting Bob Dylan on his ’66 world tour, and the cloistered sessions leading to their unique sound. It also shares what it was like to be part of Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde recording sessions, and catapulting to fame on the release of The Band’s Music From Big Pink in 1968 through to The Last Waltz farewell concert that was made into a film of the same name by Martin Scorsese.
The book's "supporting cast" includes Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Ronnie Hawkins, Miles Davis, Van Morrison, Salvador Dalí, Carly Simon, Marlon Brando, Allen Ginsberg and David Crosby.
Arthur said: "The Band was, to my mind, the most important group of the 1960s and early ‘70s, and along with Dylan has formed the backbone of my personal soundtrack for the last thirty years. The story of the ’60s and ‘70s told from Robbie’s perspective is something every fan of popular music should read. That he tells it so compellingly and brilliantly just adds to my excitement. As a portrait of the era alone it’s worth the price of admission – the fact that Robbie and The Band influenced generations of musicians and he is telling his side of things for the first time makes Testimony irresistible."
Robertson continues to record as a solo artist. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and in 2008 Robertson and The Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Testimony will be published in hardback, by William Heinemann, and as an e-book on 24th November 2016 and as a Windmill paperback on 29th June 2017.