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In Paul Simon: A Life, New York Times bestselling biographer Marc Eliot presents the most detailed and ...
In Paul Simon: A Life, New York Times bestselling biographer Marc Eliot presents the most detailed and comprehensive account to date of the incredible life and career of this multitalented, dynamic, and influential music icon.
This definitive biography reveals how Simon's immigrant parents encouraged his musical development from an early age, how he became friends with a tall gangly schoolmate who threatened to steal his musical thunder in a grade-school production of Alice in Wonderland, and how their pattern of breaking up and reuniting began long before they became "Simon & Garfunkel."
Drawing on extensive interviews with many of Simon's friends, fellow musicians, and collaborators, Eliot relates how the duo was discovered at Gerde's Folk City in 1963, what exactly Paul was doing in England while the re-engineered recording of "The Sound of Silence" was becoming a monster hit back home, and how a song that he hadn't even finished writing became one of the biggest of Simon & Garfunkel's many huge hits.
You'll find a detailed review of the crucial role Paul played in the Monterey Music Festival, how Art Garfunkel's acting career delayed the recording and release of the Bridge over Troubled Water album, and how that landmark and last Simon & Garfunkel record documents their long and contentious friendship.
You'll also discover the enormous efforts Paul made to ensure that his first solo album would sound completely different from Simon & Garfunkel; the long and complex process that led to the creation of Graceland, the album that reinvigorated his career in the 1980s; and the whole story behind The Capeman, his disastrous 1998 attempt at a Broadway musical.
Complete with more than two dozen photos, many never before published, this highly entertaining biography will give you a new understanding of this talented artist.
"Were Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel lovers? No, but Marc Eliot's serviceable biography of the duo's more prolific, more successful, shorter half gets kudos for raising that question about two folk superstars who loved the sound of bickering more than the sound of silence.
"'Several of the songs on [the album "Bridge Over Troubled Water"] explicitly point the accusatory finger of abandonment at Artie,' writes Eliot, who has also published books about the Eagles and Bruce Springsteen. 'To some, the finished album had a whiff of homoeroticism about it, as much of it seemed to be about the romantic breakup of a couple.' But if Garfunkel spent too much time away from music dabbling in film, perhaps it was only because Simon had been trying to go solo since at least 1957, when as teenagers the pair scored the hit 'Hey Schoolgirl' under the pseudonyms 'Tom & Jerry.'
"Simon, of course, got the last laugh, composing and writing the quintuple-platinum masterpiece 'Graceland' (1986) not long after Garfunkel's acting career had gone from 'Catch-22' to B-movies like 'Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession.'
"Eliot is less than convincing when he criticizes 'the sociopolitically correct media lions forever waiting for celebrities at the arrival gates of every politically incorrect airport' who dared question Simon's decision to write 'Graceland' in apartheid South Africa. But the author does pin down the source of his subject's notorious crankiness: 'Paul was, and always would be, self-conscious about his height.' Maybe all it takes to sell 5 million records is a robust Napoleon complex and a tall partner." (Washington Post Review)
If Dylan was the undisputed poet of the sixties, Paul was its resident diarist" offers Eliot (American Rebel), biographer of cultural icons, as he turns his spotlight on Simon. While younger audiences may know him mostly as a solo artist, fans of Simon & Garfunkel will appreciate the attention Eliot gives to the early years. A child of musicians, Simon began singing with Garfunkel as a young man; the two have performed together, off and on, for most of their lives, and Eliot details their numerous songs, concerts, and breakups while never neglecting Simon's private life. Readers will lean about the music industry, the inspiration behind many of Simon's songs, and his musical friends and rivals as Eliot follows Simon from schoolboy to musical innovator. From efforts that came before "The Sounds of Silence" to the failed stage production of The Capeman and beyond, Eliot almost obsessively chronicles aspects of every song with prose that is smooth and lively, if at times slipping toward purple. Fans of any era of Simon's long career will appreciate the attention to detail. (Publishers Weekly Review, October 2010)"
PART ONE: Tom & Jerry.
1 Two Princes from Queens.
2 Paul's Mystic Journey.
3 "Kathy's Song".
4 The Calm Before the Storm.
PART TWO: Simon & Garfunkel.
5 The Sounds of Simon.
6 A Gathering of the Tribes.
7 The Graduate.
8 A Time It Was.
PART THREE: Simon without Garfunkel.
9 So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.
10 On Top and Alone.
11 Still Crazy.
12 Where Have You Gone, Mr. Simon?
13 The Prince and the Princess and the Pony.
14 Saturday in the Park with Paul and Artie . . . and Carrie.
PART FOUR: Going to Graceland.
15 Redemption's First Finale.
16 Saintly Rhythms.
17 New Bohemian.
18 The Singing Capeman.
PART FIVE: Making Plans for the Past with Simon and Garfunkel and Joe.
19 Ladies and Gentlemen, Simon and Garfunkel.
Paul Simon Discography.
Posted May 29, 2011
No text was provided for this review.
Posted July 14, 2011
No text was provided for this review.