Tuesday 25 September 2018

Grumpy Art needs to build a bridge (over troubled water) and get over it

Art Garfunkel
Art Garfunkel

I love a good celebrity spat. Not the silly stuff we read between Louis and Cheryl. I'm talking about good old-fashioned bitterness that has been fermenting for years.

Like the feeling Art Garfunkel clearly has towards his old pal Paul Simon.

I read recently that Art is a tad angry with his old partner. Angry since 1970, when they split up. In an interview this week he's claimed that Simon has a Napoleon complex and asked his one-time colleague: "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?"

When I was young, my older sisters played all of Simon and Garfunkel's songs. Along with Donovan, Kate Bush and The Beatles, my earliest musical memories were of these two. The tall one with the fuzzy hair, the small one playing the guitar.


But even as an eight-year-old, I knew that the smaller one was the star. The taller fuzzy-haired one always looked a little awkward, not as handsome. I read on the back of the album that Simon wrote the tunes, so eight-year-old me knows who had the brains.

I was only thinking the other day of their song Old Friends. How far from the sentiment of that song is the reality?

Art Garfunkel wanted a year off from the duo in 1970, when they were at the height of their career.

Paul Simon was a bit miffed, went off on his own, and became hugely successful.

Unfortunately there is a perception that Art was the lesser of the two. But that is a complete misconception. His voice was perfect with Paul's and vice versa. Just listen to A Hazy Shade of Winter - it might not have the most complex harmonies, but the two voices merge into one magical sound.

Maybe if Art had stuck with Paul he might not be seen by most as "the curly-haired one who sang Bridge Over Troubled Water", and obviously he wouldn't be the bitter guy he is today.

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