Art Garfunkel has urged estranged partner and childhood friend Paul Simon to get in touch with him. The pair has been at odds in recent years, with Simon choosing to carry on as a solo performer, resulting in Garfunkel lobbing some pretty fierce and very public jabs at Simon.
During a chat with American Songwriter, Garfunkel was praised at earning a standing ovation every time he sings the Simon-written Simon & Garfunkel masterpiece, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Garfunkel explained, “Paul’s just a great writer, and when his great writing happens for me in my heart and mind, I deliver the exciting song. A good singer, that would be me, makes a powerful song. I started thinking of what Paul was really talking about. It’s very sad that we don’t talk, too. Some of his lines kill me. In 'The Sound Of Silence,' the fourth verse: 'Silence like a cancer grows.' We never speak these days, Paul and I. And yet he wrote, 'Silence like a cancer grows.' It’s sad how true it was years later. 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' has these things: I’ll be your friend when you’re in trouble. Well, I’m in trouble now that I’m 78, Paul. If Paul is supposed to be my friend, give me a phone call, Paul. Read this American Songwriter interview and give me a phone call. . . It’s been a while.”
Garfunkel was asked what he remembered 45 years on about Simon & Garfunkel's initial reunion track — the 1975 Top 10 hit “My Little Town”: “Well, it was surprisingly black. I remember it as black. I felt that this one’s not going to be melodic at all. I know they love Simon & Garfunkel’s sweet tooth. We could be funky and pretty in a surprising way that’s quite witty when we want to be, and we use it a lot. But here’s one that hardly has any of that. It’s done very sparingly. And then it gets real pretty. It’s sweet stuff in a careful way that fits the lyric. It’s bitter. It’s about how unimaginative they were, where I come from. Now you know my friend Paul. He’s had an angry side of how unimaginative they were, those people where I come from.”
Like many Simon & Garfunkel fans that love the duo's periodic reunions, the ultimate wish for many is to see the two reunite for their first full-fledged studio album since their 1970 multi-platinum swan song, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Good friend and one of Garfunkel's major solo collaborators, singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb, told us that a Simon & Garfunkel reunion album could only be a win-win situation: “Anything you hear about them is only. . . It's like taking a snapshot on an ongoing train-wreck. I think it would be great for them to make another album, and I think maybe. . . maybe they'll both realize that someday at the same time. There's a complex relationship there; there's a lot I don't know about it, and it would be a great thing, I think a great thing if they for them and the fans if they did another record.”
When we last caught up with Art Garfunkel — who has grabbed headlines over the past few years by slamming Simon for refusing to commit to a Simon & Garfunkel reunion — we asked him about the status of his relationship with Paul Simon these days: “I observe myself as a man who is devoted to music and musicianship. And if somebody is your old friend from the old neighborhood, and he’s a brilliant musician, you are very deeply connected to him. Because the music has captured you. So, I can see how much a blood brother Paul Simon is because his musicianship is first rate.”