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Read Art Garfunkel’s Recollections of His Early Days of Friendship With Paul Simon

Ebet Roberts, Getty Images
Ebet Roberts, Getty Images

Art Garfunkel is offering fans a sneak peek at his upcoming memoir What Is It All but Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man — specifically the singer’s recollections of his days as a junior high student alongside Paul Simon.

Billboard is offering an excerpt from Luminous, which is due in stores Sept. 26 and available to pre-order now. Looking back on his time as a new student at Parsons Junior High in Flushing, N.Y. — “where the tough kids were” — Garfunkel recalls how the two “saw each other’s uniqueness” and sought one another out, sharing their first cigarettes and withdrawing from the adolescent chaos around them. Meanwhile, rock ‘n’ roll loomed on the horizon.

Garfunkel’s spark was struck by a friend who happened to leave a note he stumbled across, asking someone to tune into the radio to hear his dedication. Dimly aware of DJ Alan Freed and the way he’d “taken this subversive music from Cleveland to New York City,” Garfunkel tuned in — and neither he nor Simon were ever the same.

“I was captured. So was Paul,” wrote Garfunkel. “We followed WINS radio. Paul bought a guitar. We used my father’s wire tape 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.”

Garfunkel is set to embark on a brief book tour in support of Luminous, starting Sept. 25 in Doylestown, Penn., and concluding in Miami in mid-October. Visit his official site for a complete list of event dates and ticketing information.

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