Last October, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Maynard James Keenan, frontman of Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, and accomplished winemaker, let on that, in addition to his many other projects, he was working with writer/editor and longtime friend Sarah Jensen on an authorized biography.
That interview fostered feverish speculation within the many online realms populated by Keenan’s fans and followers. A mere glimpse of the cover at online bookselling sites early this year led to a preordering frenzy months ahead of the book’s arrival.
Until now, Keenan’s fans have had access to only an abridged version of his story. That all will change with the release of A Perfect Union of Contrary Things (Nov. 8, 2016, Backbeat Books, $29.99).
As Keenan explained to Rolling Stone, “There’s always that perception that whatever you’ve done that’s the largest media-friendly thing in your life, where the world came to know of you, there’s a perception that there was no life before, and that you were nothing before. There’s a lot of stuff that went on in my life that nobody really knows about. So I feel like this is the chance to show the patterns, tell a story.”
Jensen, who has known Keenan for three decades, rolls out that untold story chronicling his journey from his Midwest childhood to his years in the Army to his time in art school, from his stint at a Boston pet shop to his place in the international spotlight and his influence on the disparate fields of contemporary music and regional winemaking. The result is a comprehensive portrayal of a versatile and dedicated artist that pays homage to the people and places that shaped the man and his art.
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents the outtakes, the scenes of disappointment and triumph, and the events that led him 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. There is also commentary by his family members, friends, instructors, and industry colleagues. The book also features a foreword by Alex Grey, an American visionary artist and longtime friend of Keenan.
Featuring photos of Keenan from childhood to today, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents Maynard James Keenan’s story as a metaphor for the reader’s own evolution and an encouragement to follow our dreams, hold fast to individual integrity, and work ceaselessly to fulfill our creative potential.