Petty spent considerable time in the studio preparing for the release of the “Swerve or Die” audiobook. He did the voiceover for the memoir discussing his life, his racing career, and his move into the music space. Petty also recorded “Under the Big Top,” a song that has a unique connection to his memoir.
“I wrote the song ‘Under the Big Top’ several years ago, but I’ve never recorded it anywhere,” Petty said in a statement to Heavy. “I’ve played it at a few live shows and fans really seem to enjoy the story and meaning of the lyrics. After writing my book and going back and playing the song again, I realized there was a connection between the two — a connection related to my life, family and racing career.
“And I wanted to be able to share it with my fans and readers, especially those who may have never heard the song as well as those who may not even know I write and play music. Songs stick with you and leave an impact for a lifetime — I know this one has for me. I hope it sticks with others too.”
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The Audiobook Presented a Different Opportunity
Writing a memoir with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ellis Henican provided the opportunity for Petty to present some of the biggest moments of his life. He could talk about the highs, the lows, and everything in between while going into great detail.
The audiobook, for comparison, provided a different opportunity. Petty could still discuss all of the moments from his life, but he was able to put a different tone on the content. The fans could hear everything in his voice, only adding to the experience.
“I can’t say enough great things about how special it was for me to record the audiobook for my memoir, Swerve or Die,” Petty added. “Re-reading the manuscript and actually telling the stories out loud brought up many emotions for me — happy, sad, funny, heartfelt — and I hope that comes across in my narration as people listen to the audiobook.”
The Physical Copy of the Book Promises Special Additions
While the audiobook will feature narration and a live performance of “Under the Big Top,” the physical copy of “Swerve or Die” will have some special additions of its own. According to information provided in the original announcement, there will be “never-before-seen photos” from the Petty family’s personal collection.
Along with the photos, Petty will also provide details about the moment that he learned his son, Adam, had passed away in a crash in a practice session. He will also discuss the history of NASCAR, its southern roots, and where the sport is now.
When Petty announced his book, he did not provide many specific details about what he had discussed in the pages. There were some hints, but the NBC Sports analyst simply noted that there would be some “wild” additions.