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Art Garfunkel Talks… But Not To Us

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Yep, it’s Art Garfunkel

The Telegraph has an interesting interview of Art Garfunkel and what do we learn? Really just old stories. Art does write, despite the fact that Paul Simon was writing all the songs when they were together, he writes prose poems, mostly. He is also very old-fashioned: ‘I never bought a computer or a cell phone.’ What? How does he survives?

Also, Art is a mathematician: ‘I’m precise. I think in proportions. I play games with numbers and I proportionalize. I imagine we have now done 1/8th of our interview.’ And he even was a math teacher in the Seventies! What?

‘I’d just got married and moved to Connecticut, and there was a nearby preparatory school and so I taught math there,’ he explains. ‘It was a weird stage of my life, to leave Simon & Garfunkel at the height of our success and become a math teacher. I would talk them through a math problem and ask if anyone had any questions and they would say: “What were the Beatles like?’

I don’t think he did teach for long, but he comes up with another juicy anecdote regarding George Harrison and the two Pauls: ‘George came up to me at a party once and said ‘my Paul is to me what your Paul is to you.’ He meant that psychologically they had the same effect on us. The Pauls sidelined us. I think George felt suppressed by Paul and I think that’s what he saw with me and my Paul. Here’s the truth: McCartney was a helluva music man who gave the band its energy, but he also ran away with a lot of the glory.’

Ouch, you can almost see the green head of that jealous monster showing up! And it’s getting worst after this, Garfunkel still shows a lot of resentment against Simon for their break-up:

‘It was very strange. Nothing I would have done. I want to open up about this. I don’t want to say any anti Paul Simon things, but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead. Crazy. What I would have done is take a rest from Paul, because he was getting on my nerves. The jokes had run dry. But a rest of a year was all I needed. I said: ‘I’m not married yet. I want to jump on a BMW motorbike and tour round Europe chasing ladies.’

It was also reported that Paul was a bit jealous of all the acclaim going to Art when he was singing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, because he was the author of the song…

‘I saw that quote, too,’ explains Art, ‘but how many songs did I sing upfront and have a real tour de force of vocal? Does he resent that I had that one? I find that ungenerous.’

Ouch again! They are in their 70’s, and there is still so much animosity! And because Garfunkel does all the talking here, he looks like a jerk. Nevertheless, he is asked about another Simon & Garfunkel tour: ‘Will I do another tour with Paul? Well, that’s quite do-able. When we get together, with his guitar, it’s a delight to both of our ears. A little bubble comes over us and it seems effortless. We blend. So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, ‘Why not, while we’re still alive?’

‘But I’ve been in that same place for decades. This is where I was in 1971.’…’How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?’

After reading this, I almost understand why Paul walked away, what a bitter old prick he seems to be… He is even still happy to make a joke about his old partner’s height. ‘Do you think Paul Simon has a Napoleon complex’, suggests the interviewer.

‘I think you’re on to something. I would say so, yes,’ answers Art… adding that ‘at school he felt sorry for Paul because of his height, and he offered him love and friendship as a compensation’. ‘And that compensation gesture has created a monster. End of interview.’

Is he senile or what? Even though they have had problems, is an interview a place to behave like this? This interview generated more than a 1,000 comments on the Telegraph site and after reading a few of them I can tell you most of them were not defending Garfunkel! Still whining after all these years? I just wonder who is the monster in the story.

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