Both artists are hoping to have their much anticipated books out quickly
Credit: Neil Young and Bob Dylan Illustration by Thomas Fuchs

The long-awaited biography of Neil Young is back on the front burner. Author Jimmy McDonough and his celebrated subject have settled their differences as well as the $1.8 million lawsuit McDonough brought against the rock star when he refused to allow publication of the book back in 1998. (The writer had reportedly turned in the manuscript before the singer could see it.)

”People get all excited, then after some time, people get less excited,” is how Lee Phillips, Young’s lawyer, explains the turnaround. McDonough’s lawyer, Bruce Van Dalsem, has this to say: ”[McDonough and Young have now] agreed upon the manuscript between themselves, which [solves] one of the original problems.” ”Like with any book, there were bumps in the road,” says Bruce Tracy, editorial director of Villard, adding that the book is ”brilliant, sprawling, and unpredictable, just like Neil Young’s music.”

Villard will publish ”Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography” next May. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced of a series of what are described as ”impressionistic” memoirs that Bob Dylan has agreed to write for Simon & Schuster. ”He’s talking to people from his early days,” says one insider with knowledge of the deal.