The often contentious relationship between Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon is still contentious. In an interview with The Telegraph, Garfunkel said he is still surprised his ex-partner quit Simon & Garfunkel in 1970, while the group was at the height of its fame.
“It was very strange. Nothing I would have done,” Garfunkel said in the interview. “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.”
In the interview, Garfunkel also said his friendship with Simon at a young age “created a monster,” but that he’d be open to another reunion tour. (Simon and Garfunkel last performed together in 2010.)
“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,” he said. “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?'”
Over the last 45 years, both Simon and Garfunkel have often commented on their complicated relationship. In 2001, at Simon’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (he was earlier selected as a member of the Hall of Fame as part of Simon & Garfunkel), the singer thanked Garfunkel by name and expressed regret that their friendship had ended.
“I hope that some day before we die we will make peace with each other,” he said, before joking, “No rush.”
At a documentary screening in 2013, Garfunkel said the pair’s friendship soured after Simon was cut from Mike Nichols’ 1970 film Catch-22. Garfunkel remained part of the cast, and received fourth billing. The incident led Simon to write “The Only Living Boy in New York,” according to Garfunkel.
“That, of course, is an irritant of the first order,” Garfunkel said at the time. “So I had Paul sort of waiting: ‘All right, I can take this for three months. I’ll write the songs, but what’s the fourth month? And why is Artie in Rome a fifth month? What’s Mike doing to Simon & Garfunkel?’ And so there’s Paul in the third month, still with a lot of heart, writing about, ‘I’m the only living boy in [New York]. You used to be the other one.'”
For Garfunkel’s full interview with The Telegraph, head here.