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“Michael McDonald Unveils His Autobiography Co-Written with a 1990s TV Star”

In an unexpected collaboration, the renowned singer and keyboardist of the Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald, is gearing up to launch his autobiography co-authored with none other than Paul Reiser, the star of the 1990s hit show Mad About You. Titled “What a Fool Believes,” a nod to McDonald’s chart-topping Doobie Brothers hit, the book is set to hit the shelves on May 21, 2024.

As revealed on McDonald’s official website, the genesis of this project took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, several years after the singer and Reiser struck up a friendship at a party. The duo’s connection deepened over their shared love for music, with Reiser showcasing his prowess as a skilled pianist and songwriter.

In addition to his accomplished acting career and musical talents, Reiser is also a bestselling author, having written acclaimed books such as Couplehood, Babyhood, and Familyhood.

Crafting the Narrative: McDonald and Reiser’s Collaborative Writing Journey

In an exclusive interview with People, Reiser disclosed that he was the one who floated the idea of McDonald penning a memoir.

“I would occasionally throw questions at Mike about the Doobies, about him, and jokingly suggested, ‘You should write a book so I don’t have to bother you all the time,'” Reiser shared. McDonald responded in kind, saying, ‘I’ve thought about it, but I don’t know how you start that.'”

With ample time on their hands during the pandemic, the duo decided to embark on the venture of co-authoring a book. The collaborative effort kicked off in the spring of 2020, utilizing Zoom interviews as the foundation for the project.

Initially unsure if his life held enough interest for a book, McDonald, the 71-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, confessed, “My story, I’ve always felt, existed more in the people I worked with. It wasn’t really so much about me as my good fortune to work with a lot of different people.”

As the book took shape, McDonald discovered a deeper personal understanding of his own story. Beyond his contributions to The Doobie Brothers, his expansive music career includes key roles in several Steely Dan albums, solo success, and collaborations with legends like Ray Charles, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, James Ingram, and Patti LaBelle.

Reiser highlighted McDonald’s diverse musical journey, stating, “There’s so many touchstones of music that he straddles, and there aren’t a lot of people who have that kind of breadth of career. Along the way, Mike’s personal story comes forward. So much of it is uniquely his, but even the parts that are uniquely his, I think, resonate with people.”

“What a Fool Believes” also delves into McDonald’s past struggles with drugs and alcohol, shedding light on his battles with insecurity.

Exploring Future Collaborative Endeavors

In the meantime, McDonald and Reiser shared with People their intentions to extend their collaborations beyond the memoir. The duo has been exploring the idea of a potential Broadway musical, and Reiser added that they are currently working on a song together.

“We share a lot of common ground in our musical tastes,” he explained. “We’ve tossed around some playful, half-formed ideas about working together on various projects, and we’ll see where it goes. It’s likely to be a more streamlined and quicker process compared to writing a book.”

Recording Tonight’s Television Episode

McDonald and Reiser are currently in Nashville on December 13, recording a television show. As mentioned on MichaelMcDonald.com, the show will feature “stories, music, and highlights” from their upcoming release, What a Fool Believes.


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