A Perfect Union of Contrary Things (Backbeat Books) by Sarah Jensen with Maynard James Keenan debuted at #10 on the New York Times Best Seller' list of hardcover non-fiction releases.
Keenan, who is known for not merely being protective about his personal life but at times pointedly cagey and misleading about his history, is in the midst of a round of book readings. The special evening includes Keenan reading passages from A Perfect Union of Contrary Things with a backdrop of never before seen photos and videos, as well as taking questions from the audience in what will be a rare moment of direct interaction between the elusive musician and the fans of his projects.
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things book readings:
November 18 Portland, OR The Aladdin Theater
Moderator (7:30 pm, SOLD OUT, and 10 pm readings): Paul Barker (Ministry/Lead Into Gold/Puscifer)
November 19 Seattle, WA Kane Auditorium SOLD OUT
Moderator: Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
November 21 San Francisco, CA Herbst Theatre
Moderator: Laura Milligan (aka Hildy Berger/Mr. Show)
November 22 Los Angeles, CA The Montalban Theater
Moderator: Billy Howerdel (A Perfect Circle/Ashes Divide)
November 25 Phoenix, AZ Mesa Arts Center SOLD OUT
Moderator: Kimber Lanning (Local First Arizona/Stinkweeds)
November 26 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater SOLD OUT
Moderator: Matt Mather (Sommelier at Frasca Food & Wine)
November 27 Dallas, TX Texas Theatre SOLD OUT
Moderator: Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips)
About the Authorized Biography, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents the outtakes, the scenes of disappointment and triumph, and the events that led Maynard James Keenan to take one step after the next, to change direction, to explore sometimes-surprising opportunities. Included throughout are passages in Keenan’s own words, often humorous anecdotes that illuminate the narrative. Commentary by his family members, friends, instructors, and industry colleagues rounds out the Sarah Jensen with Maynard James Keenan penned biography with a foreword from American visionary artist and longtime Keenan friend, Alex Grey. The biography arrives on Nov. 8 via Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group.
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things reviews
“Keenan, the lead singer, and songwriter for the Grammy-winning alternative metal group Tool, labels himself a 'world-class multitasker' in his e-mail signature and first-time author Jensen details all of Keenan's various enterprises – leader of musical side projects A Perfect Circle and Puscifer; owner and winemaker of the Caduceus Cellars winery; aspiring actor and comedian – in this entertaining biography, which also serves as a glimpse into one of the more important and influential bands of the 1990s. Sure to please Tool's many fans, Jensen's look at Keenan's development as an individual and an artist is comprehensive, covering Keenan's Midwestern youth and his time serving in the Army (which supported his subsequent time in art school), his life in Boston working in a pet store, and his move to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, where, along with bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Tool helped redefine the sound of metal ('The primal scream was the key to making it sound sincere') and carefully developed a radical stage show. Jensen is excellent at describing how Keenan used 'a lyricist's talent for conflating the visual and the aural to create a provocative synesthesia.' And she gets Keenan to step out from behind his carefully crafted persona to look back on his life and career and admit that 'most of it was dumb luck and trust. You step over the edge into darkness. The bliss finds you.’” – Publishers Weekly
“Keenan, best known as the singer for the band Tool, is an artist in every sense of the word. Born in the Midwest, he was raised to work hard and loved to sketch and sing. He chose to enter the U.S. Army after high school so he could get money to pay for art school. Several years and a move to Los Angeles later, he met many musicians and, because of his friendship with Tom Morello, almost became the frontman for Rage Against the Machine. Instead, Keenan formed Tool and obtained a record deal after playing only seven live shows. The journey from abject poverty to rock star is not the only focus of this book, however, as Keenan's success as a vintner and comedian are also examined. His longtime friend Jensen writes a chronological and fascinating look into his life. Sidebars include longer quotes from the musician and provide further insight into specific events of his life. VERDICT: This book is for not only followers of Keenan's bands (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer) but also fans of the 1990s music scene, Lollapalooza, artistic endeavors of all kinds, and those wanting to follow one's own path in life.” – Library Journal