A lyrical memoir of a creative life by half of the successful music duo traces his experiences before, during and after Simon & Garfunkel, from his youth in the mid-20th century and early successes with Paul Simon to the heyday of their popularity and the gradual divides that ended their collaboration.
From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical; the making of a musician; the evolution of a man, a portrait of a life-long friendship and collaboration that became one of the most successful singing duos of their time. He 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 pathbreaking sound.
"From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical impressions of a life that reveal the making of a musician, the evolution of a man; a portrait of a lifelong friendship and of a collaboration that became the most successful singing duo in the roiling age that embraced, and was defined by their pathfinding music. In What Is It All but Luminous, Art Garfunkel writes about growing up in the 1940s and '50s (son of a traveling salesman listening as his father played Enrico Caruso records), a middle-class Jewish boy living in a redbrick semi-attached house on Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens, Queens, playing chess by day watching the Brooklyn Dodgers on TV by night, feeling his vocal cords "vibrate with the love of sound" from the age of five when he "began to sing with the sense of God's gift running through" him. He writes of meeting Paul Simon, the funny guy who made Art laugh (they met at their graduation play, Alice in Wonderland; Paul was the White Rabbit; Art, the Cheshire Cat). Of their being twelve at the birth of rock 'n' roll--Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Freeman ("It was rhythm and blues. It was black. It was from New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia. It was dirty music; 'sexual.' I was captured. So was Paul."), of a demo of their song "Hey, Schoolgirl" for seven dollars 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, ruling the pop charts from the age of sixteen, about not being a natural performer but more of a thinker, an underground man. He writes of the hit songs, touring, sex on tour for the thrills, reading books to calm it down, the road to walk it off ... he writes of his wife to ease his soul and children to end the aloneness ... about being an actor working with director Mike Nichols ("the greatest of them all"), about choosing music over a PhD in mathematics. And he writes about his long-unfolding split with Paul, and how and why it evolved, and after, learning to perform on his own ... about his voice going south (a stiffening of one of his vocal cords) and working to get it back ... about being a husband, a father, and much more."--Jacket.