Buffalo Tom founder publishes Leon Russell biography

Written by Buffalo Tom founding member Bill Janovitz, the biography of legendary musician and composer Leon Russell hits shelves today.

Leon Russell. The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History has been deemed “the definitive, never-before-told chronicle of one of the most important music makers of the 20th century”. Penned by the founder of the alternative rock band Buffalo Tom, it details Russell’s career and the profound influence he had on other artists.

In his book, Janovitz describes him as a “truly mythical figure in American music”. Russell delved into multiple genres throughout his 60-year career, including rock and roll, country gospel, blues, southern rock and folk.

Leon Russell
Credit: GAB Archive/Getty

Russell, who passed away in November 2016, was an inspiration to many. Over the years he crossed paths with musical icons like Elton John, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Many were anxious to collaborate, eager to channel some of his unique sound into their own music. He is credited with altering Willie Nelson’s career and image and with being integral to Tom Petty’s rise to fame.

Elton John described Russell as someone he “wanted to play like more than anybody else”. In 2010 the two released a collaborative studio album, The Union. It received overwhelmingly positive reviews and ranked at no. 3 no Rolling Stone’s 30 best albums of 2010. But despite his talent and transformative influence on the rock and roll scene, Russell is often referred to as an “underappreciated artist”.

Bill Janovitz Book
Credit: John Tlumacki/Hatchette Books

This isn’t Bill Janovitz’s first journey into the world of literature. He first emerged as an author in 2005 with Exile on Main St. The book provides behind-the-scenes insights into the creation of The Rolling Stones’ 12th studio album of the same name. In 2013 he published Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones.

As Janovitz’s first dive into the world of biography writing, it will be fascinating to see how his often conversational tone presents the highlights of Russell’s life. Leon Russell. The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History will prove an intriguing read for fans of Leon Russell, Buffalo Tom and anyone who loves rock and roll.