Art Garfunkel has played a lot of roles in a career that spans five decades. He’s been a solo musicians, an actor and a poet. He also spent many years by Paul Simon’s side as part of Simon and Garfunkel, one of the most influential and successful duos in the history of popular culture. At 74, Garfunkel is currently working on his book which will be published next year by the New York publishing house Alfred A. Knopf.
He also continues to tour, playing a handful of concert dates annually.
Garfunkel will bring his show “Art Garfunkel: In Close Up” to the IP Casino Resort on Saturday. Tickets start at $30 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.
I’ve been a fan of Simon and Garfunkel for as long as I can remember. I loved “My Little Town” as a young child. I’ve grown even more fond of the song as an adult and once I discovered that Roger Hawkins played drums on it and David Hood played bass on the track.
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When I was 11, Simon and Garfunkel released a version of the Everly Brothers classic “Wake Up Little Susie,” for which I had the 45.
Through the years, I’ve gone back and discovered the Simon and Garfunkel catalog as well as the solo works of Paul and Art.
Art was gracious enough to speak to me via phone from a hotel in Tulsa before his show in Biloxi.
Your show is being billed as an “intimate evening with Art Garfunkel.” Does this mean you will be sharing stories with the audience about your life and your music?
Yes, I do. I also give them stuff from a book I’m going to put out that is about my career. I think they’ll know me a lot better by the end of the show -- I talk.
Tell me about your book. Is it your memoirs?
Jeff, it’s like no other book. It’s very hard for me to describe it. It’s autobiographical, it runs through the years, but it’s very poetic. I’ve been writing these prose poems for years, so my book has a lot of these fanciful, picturesque language prose poems. It’s very hard for me to describe. I will put a few of them into the show and you’ll see they cast a light on my life. I’ll talk about marriage and I’ll talk about Paul Simon and I’ll talk about what it’s really like in show business. I’ve walked across the United States and portions of Europe and I write from the road sometimes. It’s hard to describe my book. It’s coming out next autumn. It’s done. I have the pictures in and the whole 185 pages of text. Now, the editor will probably mess with it and I’ll try to be open to the suggestions. I have a title, Jeff, but I don’t want to tell you what it is.
Recently I wrote, “Am I old and jaded or did the world just all go flat? Once you were an icon if you made it, now I wonder about words like that.”
I read some of your writings you posted on your website. You wrote about loving America in a post-9-11 world and about xenophobia. What are your thoughts on the current presidential campaign.
Shocked and dismayed would be a very fair description. That pretty much sums it up.
You supported Sen. Bernie Sanders. Are you putting your support toward Secretary Clinton?
Man, I’m not going in further (laughter). No in depth. My contribution to the human race is in the sound I make as a singer and there it is. I really don’t want to spout off about my political notions.
On your website, you have a list of songs that you said influenced your life. I would like to ask you about two of them that caught my eye.
The first one is “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys.
What a masterpiece of a record. You know, there’s the songs and then there’s the reocrd and they are two different things. The song is an element within the record. Record making is what I always thought I did with Paul and what I do as a solo artist. I was a record maker. The record includes the band, the groove, the engineering, the singer the lyrics — the song is prominent in the record. “Good Vibrations” is Brian Wilson’s masterpiece of a record.
The other song that really caught my attention was “Here, There and Everywhere” by The Beatles.
Do you love that song like I do, Jeff?
I love The Beatles. I love Simon and Garfunkel; I love the Beach Boys — these are the things I grew up listening to through my parent’s record collection. When I say “love,” I mean that I truly adore these artists. I’m 45, I loved this music all my life. And yes, absolutely, “Here, There and Everywhere” is a great song. I’m curious what about it appealed to you.
Music is this thing that intoxicates. It moves the atmosphere and “Here, There and Everywhere” is the most intoxicating.
Is there any song in your show that you look forward to singing?
I like “Perfect Moment” a lot. It’s a song I wrote that fits my taste. And when “Bridge Over Troubled Water” comes up, that’s always a pleasure. I know just what I want to do with it vocally.
Thanks so much for your time. I’m really looking forward to seeing your show.
Jeff, you said a lot when you said, “I also love The Beatles and I love Simon and Garfunkel and the Beach Boys.” That makes me know that, “Oh, Jeff’s a fellow traveler.” He knows the good stuff of vinyl from the old days. I can understand your ears and I can feel your appreciation. Come to the show and it will be a pleasure to entertain such as you.