2023 Website Interview

1. What is your secret in being able to focus on reading so many books?

When you have read three pages and you’re falling asleep on yourself, push three to the fourth page for that “second wind.”

2. The Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was rated as one of your favorites. What did you find so specifically intriguing about this work?

His early years in the Savoy part of France.

3. I noticed that your initial solo album output from 1973-88 ping pongs back and forth between two distinct templates. The odd numbered albums (1,3,5) that are Angel Clare, Watermark, and Scissors Cut feature production by Art himself along with Roy Hallee at times, and feature Jimmy Webb as a common songwriter and source of singles. The even numbered albums (2,4,6) which are Breakaway, Fate For Breakfast, and Lefty have outside producers in Richard Perry, Louie Shelton, and Geoff Emerick and have no Jimmy Webb songs, but have multiple Stephen Bishop songs and all feature singles that are covers/remakes in I Only Have Eyes For You, Since I Don't Have You, and So Much In Love. Was it intentional to alternate between these two differing types of albums?

Yes sir. You’re on to me.

4. How did working with Mike Nichols as a musician on The Graduate differ or compare to working with him as an actor in Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge? Do you have any fun memories from working on any of these movies?

Loved it a lot. Jack and I would harmonize to “Fire and Rain” (James Taylor song) as we were driven to work. (Vancouver)

5. I know you do a lot of writing on the backs of envelopes. What do you do with all of them?

All in a modest size shopping bag. First drafts, etc.

6. Do you still like to walk and are there still walks on your to do list?

El Paso, Texas north to Jasper Canada. (With son Art Jr.?)

7. As an artist, which other artists do you greatly admire (musical/acting)?

Stephen Bishop melody gift. Nicholson on the screen.

8. Do you plan to release another live cd recording? An example: The Royal Albert Hall 1988 in England was a Great Live Wonderful Performance!

Why not.

9. I live in Iceland and am wondering if you have ever been to Iceland and if not would you like to if you had the opportunity?

Yes, definitely. You’re ahead of me.

10. Do you have a favorite place or good memories from performing in Japan?

Kyoto. Kim and I are thinking of a year in Japan with Beau, between High School and College.

11. What was your most apprehensive moment in your career as a singer/poet/author?

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (2010) I barely squeezed it out. Paul was a brother.

12. What was one of the highlights of your career?

Still – Concert in Central Park top them all.

13. It can be challenging for artists in their later years to maintain a high level of vocal discipline and range. You've done a remarkable job of maintaining that quality. It's well known that you've experienced some struggles with your voice over the years. When you look at the challenges you've faced, combined with the natural loss of range that comes with aging, how does your approach to warming up and vocal exercises differ from years past?

I still work with my 176 cds on my iPod. (Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, James Taylor, Kenny Raskin, Dylan Thomas, my own stuff.)

14. As a musician/Singer/Songwriter, I get some compliments on my voice but I personally do not like my voice. I know we are our own worst critics, so is there something that you have encountered over the years with yourself that has especially allowed you to become completely comfortable with your voice?


15. When you walked across America, who were some of the most memorable people you met, and what made them memorable?

I go inside and meet myself. Brett Schmidt in the Amish part of Pennsylvania.