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Columbia University Magazine - Summer 2016
CNN Appearance - January 23rd
Michael Smerconish show.
Art Signs Book Deal
Art has signed a book deal with Alfred A. Knopf, a New York publishing house which is part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House.
Here are two excerpts
Let me ramble some thoughts out loud to you, just you.
1. I never wanted to gain an influence on the public through my songs, and then use it for my politics. It's bait and switch
2. Xenophobia (fear of different people) is the issue of the 21st Century (said Bill Clinton to me backstage). We reach beyond nationalism- don't I sing for ALL hearts and minds.
3. But after 9/11 I realized that I truly love my America and quest for an identity with my fellow Americans
4. Almost 50 years ago I professed my love in a melodic suspension that soars at the end of our song, "America."
5. I wanted my arrangement to be urgent, reaching, yearning, shining, and full of glory, full of my love for America.
6. 33 yrs later, just after 9/11, I wrote a piece (in my website, to be out in my autobiography next year) that again holds up a mirror.
7. Who are we? 13 states in rebellion, making what kind of composite? Southern planters defending states' rights or a beautiful unity founded on Hamilton's respect for northern bankers.
8. Now I believe the monied interests have gone too far and have rigged the system.
9. "Perhaps if I steal from Thomas Wolfe and give him his proper due-- not the "man in full" but the "homeward angel"-- he might reappear for you. Then see him up there where the Rockies rise, his legs dangling over the ledge above Denver, eight thousand feet in the air. Before him, the plains, behind, the Pacific, stars coming out on a summer's night, and everywhere the twilight falls on America.
To the right is Amarillo, beyond it the Astros at play, over my shoulder, Seattle, over the other beyond the Great Canyon, gas fumes and fast food mix with the smell of L.A. Hear the blues parade across the stage. Up from New Orleans into Chicago, see all the clusters of lights beyond. Follow the fashion of Rock 'n' Roll-- St Louie to Cleveland to Philly to bond the nation's soul with music in its cars.
And in our hearts, love of the physical entity. America. Identity in doubt. We can't go home again, so we're runaway vagabonds, lost in twilight, wondering what we're about.
From page 172:
"What do I think of as I walk these days?
I think of cholesterol. Wasn't it Tim Russert who died of a sudden artery blockage near the heart? . . I think of the brilliant actress I married, how adorable she was doing "Easy Money" in her set at Birdland last Monday . . I remember Paul Simon played poker in High School. Concealing his emotions, he consistently won. The mind is glued to the people we know, but the walker's home is in the sky. All three hundred sixty degrees of horizon . . There- my father's tomato plants, how proud he was. And of his roses. He married one. The roses grew against the cinder blocks of our one-car garage. Twelve feet across was the white picket fence that marked our yard from the Skinners, Henry and Olive. I was Tom Sawyer, soon to meet Huck Finn, and my mother, Rose, was dearer than Aunt Polly could possibly be. As near as sunlight, I can hardly see her. I basked within and sang with private joy. She was the older sister after five brothers. Her hair was frizzy, she had short fingers, workwoman's hands. And a very beautiful face. She was the queen of mild, in the battle blaze of my father's loud frustrations. She teared up when she grated onions and potatoes, but Chanukah had to have latkes. She ran on a mother's motor, and so it was stunning when she gave me a gift. (We just didn't do gifts in our house). There, in white tissue, fingers so elegant, were fur-lined black leather gloves. I ran to my bedroom to cry. I was too touched. What is it all but luminous. I can't look at everything hard enough.
So I walk to see. Unglued and apart.
--from the Art Garfunkel Autobiography, coming in 2016.
Appearance on Tavis Smiley
Top Songs That Influenced Art's Life
More detail on how the top ten influenced Art.
(in chronological order)
1. Enrico Caruso-- Aria from The Pearl Fishers
2. The Andre Sisters-- "Drinkin' Rum and Coca Cola"
3. Nat King Cole-- "Too Young"
4. Nat King Cole-- "Nature Boy"
5. "Carousel," the show album ("If I Loved You")
6. Bing Crosby--"White Christmas"
7. The Crewcuts-- "Sh-Boom"
8. Lonny Donigan-- "Rock Island Line
9. Frankie Ford-- "Sea Cruise"
10. Huey Piano Smith-- "Don't You Just Know It?"
11. Sam Cooke-- "You Send Me"
12. The Everly Brothers-- "Songs Our Daddy Taught Us," the lp
13. Johnny Mathis-- "It's Not For Me to Say"
14. Ike and Tina Turner-- "River Deep, Mountain High"
15. The Righteous Brothers-- "Ol' Man River"
16. The Beatles-- "Here, There, and Everywhere"
17. The Beach Boys-- "Good Vibrations"
18. The Swingle Singers-- "Jazz Sebastian Bach," the lp
19. The Hi Los-- lp
20. My own (S&G)-- "Scarborough Fair"
21. Joan Baez-- her first lp (with "Silver Dagger)
22. J.S. Bach-- "The Christmas Oratorio," three lps
23. Lenny Bruce-- "American" with the bit, "Frank Dell at the London Palladium"
24. Nichols and May-- "Nichols and May Examine Doctors" lp
25. Steve Reich-- "Music for 18 Musicians" lp
26. Chet Baker-- any vocal