Paul Simon admits he doesn't blame Art Garfunkel for the pair's acrimonious split
26 September 2023, 14:04 | Updated: 11 October 2023, 13:33
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Duos don't come more iconic than Simon & Garfunkel.
The legendary folk poets' blend of evocative songwriting and matchless harmonies saw them become one of the most influential and iconic acts of the 1960s.
Meeting at the age of twelve, they ostensibly discovered music together, and after the realisation they could sing in tandem pursued their dreams as a pair.
There weren't any acts that could quite hit the same emotional heights that songs like 'The Sound Of Silence', 'America', and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' reached.
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But when Simon & Garfunkel reached that pinnacle of critical and commercial acclaim, they imploded.
Simon, the genius behind the majority of their works, later went on to become an enormously successful solo star whilst Garfunkel's career in music didn't quite reach the same heights.
Naturally, tensions often simmer and boil over when creative differences come into play, but in a new interview, Paul Simon has revealed he doesn't blame Art Garfunkel for the duo's disintegration.
Appearing on The Howard Stern Show recently, Simon admitted "it wasn't Artie's fault" and that outside influences began to weigh heavily on the pair.
Together, they were originally touted to appear in director Mike Nichols’ 1970 film Catch-22, but found themselves being pulled in different directions, which planted the seed of their differences.
"We were in the midst of making Bridge Over Troubled Water [at the time] and this was interrupting, and Simon & Garfunkel were at their peak.
"From The Graduate to Bridge Over Troubled Water, we were probably as big as The Beatles," Simon confessed to host Stern.
"What was going on in the studio though was a real tug of war about taste and how to do it. We were friends since we were twelve years old, but our musical inclinations are quite different."
"So we would have disagreements, and the disagreements could be, you know, real arguments that could stop a session cold," the Graceland singer revealed.
It seems like the final straw in their creative partnership was when Simon found out that Garfunkel had signed up for a role in Nichols' next movie, Carnal Knowledge.
After a mutual friend informed Simon about Garfunkel's next moves, he'd finally had enough of working with him.
"'I was afraid if I told you, you would stop working on Bridge Over Troubled Water'," Simon recalled Garfunkel saying. "And I thought, 'I’ve got to get out of here'."
Likely because of how successful he later became in pursuing his own path, Paul Simon felt the split was destined to happen at some point and feels no resentment towards Art Garfunkel at all.
"And when they get back together, it's not about the music, it's about the business," though Simon & Garfunkel did reunite on several occasions - once for a lucrative world tour - before calling it quits again.
He wasn't always as zen about how the duo ended, revealing in his biography This Life that he was fuming about being put aside whilst Garfunkel had one eye on becoming an actor.
"He knew how I'd feel [about taking the part], but he did it anyway. I thought, 'F**k you, I’m not going to do that.' And the truth is, I think if Artie had become a big movie star he would have left."
"Instead of just being the guy who sang Paul Simon songs, he could be Art Garfunkel, a big star all by himself."
"When he agreed to make Carnal Knowledge, something was broken between us," Simon continued. "I just wanted to move on. We were finished."
Paul Simon Explains Why Simon & Garfunkel Broke Up