Portland musician and writer Nick Jaina‘s memoir “Get It While You Can” is a meditation on fear, freedom, heartbreak, and what it means to be a successful artist. The book encompasses unsent love letters, standout musical performances, day jobs that haunt Jaina, and the bizarre death of 1960s daredevil Nick Piantanida.
This is Jaina’s first book, but not his first foray into prose. He’s chronicled his tours around the country with his band and other adventures in a column for Willamette Week. Many of the unsent love letters scattered throughout “Get It While You Can” originated on the Somnambulist blog.
Jaina told OPB that writing personal narrative holds him accountable in a way that writing songs doesn’t. “In a song, you could say ‘I’ and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re talking,” he explained. “You don’t have to necessarily stand behind it. But in a book if you say you believe something, you have to believe it because people will assume it’s true.”
Editor’s Note: If you’re in Portland, hear Jaina talk more about the book on February 5, 2015 as part of a Late Night Library event at Literary Arts on 925 SW Washington Street.