Iconic singer-and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member-Art Garfunkel has a busy 2019 planned. He kicked the year off with a run of dates of his In Close-Up concert through Tennessee (including Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium), has a 14-date run through the U.K. set for April and a 7-show run through Germany this October, with many more U.S. shows planned throughout the year.
Tuesday, September 10 will mark the release of the trade paperback edition of his acclaimed autobiography What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From An Underground Man, and you can pre-order it here. First published in hardcover in 2017, the Huffington Post praised the book as “charming and poetic.” Of his very personal and unique memoir, friend James Taylor said, “Art Garfunkel has seen it all. He has surveyed it from the heights and lived it at street level. He has walked the world. A deeply thoughtful man whose voice has made an indelible mark on his time, he is a friend and a colleague for half of my life and is still a mystery. He opens his mind to us in this delightful diary. I wish you the joy of it.”
In What Is It All But Luminous, Art writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel…about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by their groundbreaking sound. He writes about growing up in the 1940s and ’50s (son of a traveling salesman), a middle class boy, living in a red brick semi-attached house in Kew Gardens, Queens, a kid who was different-from the age of five feeling his vocal cords “vibrating with the love of sound”…meeting Paul Simon in school, the funny guy who made Art laugh; their going on to junior high school together, of being 12 at the birth of rock ‘n roll, both of them “captured” by it; going to Manhattan to make a demo of their song, “Hey Schoolgirl” (for $7!) and the actual record (with Paul’s father on bass) going to #40 on the national charts, selling 150,000 copies. He writes about their becoming Simon & Garfunkel, taking the world by storm. Touring; reading or walking to calm it down (walking across two continents-the USA and Europe). He writes of being an actor working with directors Nicolas Roeg (Bad Timing) and Mike Nichols (“the greatest of them all”)…getting his masters in mathematics at Columbia; choosing music over a PhD; his slow unfolding split with Paul and its aftermath; learning to perform on his own, giving a thousand concerts worldwide, the loss of his voice in 2010 and a full recovery. Art is a lover, a husband to Kathryn (Kim) and father to sons Arthur Jr. (28) and Beau (13).
In an exclusive excerpt in Billboard magazine, Art talked about being captivated and inspired by the early rock disk jockeys of the 1950’s: “I was captured. So was Paul. We followed WINS radio. Paul bought a guitar. We used my father’s wire recorder, then Paul’s Webcor tape machine. Holding rehearsals in our basements, we were little perfectionists. We put sound on sound (stacking two layers of our singing). With the courage to listen and cringe about how not right it was yet, we began to record.” You can read the full excerpt here.
For his In Close-Up tour dates, Art brings along a guitarist and keyboardist, performing Simon & Garfunkel songs, solo hits, select covers and he reads excerpts from Luminous. He recently told Nashville Scene, “I don’t look at it as a tour. I just look at it as: ‘This is what I do.’ I go out on the road and I do shows, usually on the weekend. Are they tours? They’re mini-tours. This is my life. I sing; I have a booking agent; he finds me stages; and I go all over the world and I do my shows. I love it. And you do these famous songs, you earn your pay and move on to the next town – I like this.”
Art Garfunkel Germany Dates
Sat 10/26 Rostock, GER Stadthalle
Mon 10/28 Hamburg, GER Laeizhalle
Tue 10/29 Frankfurt, GER Alte Oper
Thur 10/31 Cottbus, GER Stadthalle
Sat 11/2 Chemnitz, GER Stadthalle
Sun 11/3 Dresden, GER Kulturpalast
Tue 11/5 Munich, GER Philharmonie