Host, Eric Comstock:
I’m Eric Comstock, the New York-based jazz pianist/vocalist and Tony Bennett fan, so happy to be talking with David Evanier about his excellent new biography of Tony, ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE. What fascinates me about David’s book is how he gets inside the mind and world of a much-loved celebrity we don’t really know a lot about. Tony seems the happiest of men on stage, but David brings to life the never-ending personal and career struggles that Tony has faced.
It’s never “happily ever after” for a superstar who cares about his work and respects his audience as much as Tony Bennett does. David has peeled the onion to reveal the sometimes-charming, often-raffish world of New York showbiz, and the competitive treadmill of recording for Columbia Records, people who always gravitate toward the quick buck rather than the distinguished catalog. That Tony has succeeded, and has had the best period of his career while in his 70s and 80s, is both a miracle and a great story, which David tells wonderfully.
This is the third book David has written about an Italian-American pop vocalist, by the way. His previous books include MAKING THE WISEGUYS WEEP: THE JIMMY ROSELLI STORY and ROMAN CANDLE: THE LIFE OF BOBBY DARIN.
To begin, David, I must ask: What draws you to these Italian-American artists?
Eric Comstock is a jazz pianist/singer and regular headliner at New York’s legendary Algonquin Hotel and in concerts, festivals and nightclubs across the country. He has appeared on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross and other jazz-related NPR programs, and will appear with his wife, the vocalist Barbara Fasano, at San Francisco’s RRazz Room at the Nikko Hotel on November 13 & 14. Eric’s latest CD is “Bitter/Sweet”, a collaboration with the guitarist Randy Napoleon, available at www.ericcomstock.net.