Art Garfunkel, one half of legendary hitmakers Simon & Garfunkel, has made some scathing remarks about his former bandmate Paul Simon in a new interview, claiming that he only became friends with him at school because he felt sorry for him and that he “created a monster”.
Garfunkel, who enjoyed an intermittently successful solo career following the duo’s dissolution, was speaking to The Telegraph, and said that he befriended Simon when they were kids because he felt sorry for him because of his diminutive height. "And that compensation gesture has created a monster,” Garfunkel said. He was then asked whether he thought Simon had a Napoleonic complex, and agreed. “I think you're on to something. I would say so, yes.”
The two talents, responsible for some of the most distinctive folk-pop songs of the late ‘60s, have endured an extremely fractious professional relationship ever since they split up in 1970. At their 1981 reunion gig in Central Park, New York, Simon famously walked offstage for Garfunkel’s rendition of their most famous hit, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, for which Simon felt he didn’t get the appropriate credit. More recently, Simon went on a North American tour co-headlining with Sting in 2014, and frequently performed the duo’s songs, much to Garfunkel’s chagrin.
Art Garfunkel spoke about his relationship with Paul Simon
About the original breakup that caused all this bad blood, 73 year old Garfunkel said: “It was very strange. Not my choice. Nothing I would have done.” “I want to open up about this,” he continued. “I don't want to say any anti-Paul Simon things, and I love that the world still loves Simon & Garfunkel, 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. A rest was very much called for. The jokes had run dry. But a rest of a year was all I needed.”
He also intimated that Simon’s personality was the reason that the pair aren’t currently out on a reunion tour, which would be hugely in-demand. “Will I do another tour with Paul? Well, that's quite doable. As far as this half is concerned, why not? But I've been in that same place for decades. This is where I was in 1971.”
However, fans needn’t lose all hope. The two last performed together live as recently as 2010, and Garfunkel has never ruled a reunion out completely.
“It takes two to tango. I don't want to be the blushing bride waiting for Paul Simon to walk down the aisle,” Garfunkel said enigmatically. “If he's too busy to work with me I guess the real answer to your question is, 'I'm too busy to work with him.' I think that's the only answer I can give you for pride's sake.”