Clark, The Autobiography of Clark Terry – is being published by the University of California Press! I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy. It was a long process (twenty years) to complete this project, but I knew that I had to stick with it until it was acceptable. Man, I have a new respect for all writers. I talked to Jimmy Heath the other day about his book – I Walked With Giants – and he said, “That was a whole lot of work!” I said, “Tell me about it.”
Working on my autobiography, in a way, was just like practicing my horn, going over and over a passage. Each time Gwen read a chapter to me, I’d analyze and scrutinize it, kick it around, make some changes, you know, trying to make it better. After a while, my publisher said, “Okay, that’s it. No more changes.”
I hope you’ll enjoy it. The book stores will have it on October 1st which is the official release date, but you can Pre-Order on the internet now (from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com) to reserve a hip hardcover, 1st Edition book, with a big discount – 34% off the regular price! One of my friends called me and told me that he ordered a dozen. I was gassed!
Gwen’s been reading Jimmy’s book to me, and I think it’s great! He won an award for it recently, you know, from the Jazz Journalists Association. I’m so proud of him. Jimmy and I go back for years, and I love shooting the breeze with him. Telling stories to each other about “then and now,” and catching up on what’s happening with our friends and our students.
Teaching those young lions is my greatest joy. A percussionist named Alan Hicks, is doing a reality film about me and some of my students, a documentary titled –Keep on Keepin’ On. It’s really coming along beautifully. He and his partner, Adam Hart, have been working religiously, filming here at home and at other places. I feel completely honored. I’ve been told by them that it will be finished in July of 2012. I’m extremely proud of Hicks. He’s in the film with some of my other students, like Justin Kauflin who is a fantastic pianist. Man, these kids are so talented!
I thought that things would be slowing down, being 90 years old and all, but I’ve been busier than fifty thousand ants at a picnic! Now, I’m getting ready to teach on Skype.