Nashville, Tennessee, 1992. It's a boom year in country music,
and the noise attracts a host of getaheads to town, including Mason
Reed, a Hollywood mogul with a dark side. Tommy Price, a neophyte
songwriter in the middle of an identity crisis, follows his nose
into a hall of mirrors, loses his way, and finds himself. This is
the story of Mason, Tommy, and other vivid characters who inhabit
this fast paced novel centering around the corrupt music scene full
of payoffs, drugs, and murder.
SONGWRITER ADDS PUBLISHED AUTHOR TO HIS LIST OF CREDITS
Jack Hurst - Chicago Tribune
Music City Confidential,
the first novel of Nashville songwriter turned author Dan Tyler,
is being mistaken for a kiss-and-tell expose, says its creator.
"It is definitely a work of fiction," Tyler says. "I
call it fiction that's full of truth. It's going to ring true (to
people who know the industry). But it's not a bitter book. Nashville
has been great to me."
Apparently so. Tyler wrote the 1979 No. 1 Eddie Rabbitt single
"Hearts on Fire" as well as the 1982 Oak Ridge Boys smash
"Bobbie Sue" and a lot of other Nashville-recorded songs.
But the former practicing attorney from Mississippi has become
beguiled by the best-selling success of his fellow Mississippi ex-barrister
John Grisham. So Tyler began a sleek little volume about a drug
lord who tires to make Nashville a movie capital and in the process
catches the protagonist, a New Jersey-born Nashville songwriter,
in the middle. The book also cover such territory as the country
music industry's nepotism and lily-white racial makeup.
Tyler says he accomplished what he set out to do even down to word
"I wanted the book to be short, 200 pages, and it's 205,"
he says of the book he co-published with Nashville's little Eggman
Press. "It's about a five or six hour read. I wanted a book
you could finish in an afternoon on your back porch."
The new novelist claims to be geared for short work by his profession
as a songwriter ("I'm used to writing three-minute songs")
and a legalistic appreciation for precise language.
Born in McComb, Miss., son of an English-teacher mother and a father
who worked on the business side of newspapers and radio but wanted
to be a lawyer, Tyler did his collegiate undergraduate and law-school
studies at the University of Mississippi at a time when the dragging-on
of the Vietnam War made college "a good place to be."
After graduation in 1974, he clerked for a judge, but in college,
enthralled with Bob Dylan, he had written songs, poems and stories.
He got his first song recorded by an Atlanta firm while still an
After finishing his clerkship, he and his wife "against all
logic" moved to Nashville, where he scrambled around, got into
a law firm on Music Row, and uneasily juggled songwriting with entertainment
law and other ventures eventually enjoying a variety of creative
and business successes.
But when Nashville started turning away from the pop country crossover
direction of the '70s and early '80s and "the cowboy hats started
showing up," Tyler as a pop-country writer "didn't know
what to make of that" and began looking for another career
With another book (set in Mississippi, not Nashville) now underway,
he plainly hopes his present mini-tome's confessional sounding title
doesn't give people on Music Row the wrong impression.
"I want to keep writing songs too," he says.