Art Garfunkel lashed out at his former Simon & Garfunkel partner Paul Simon in a scathing new interview where the singer accuses Simon of suffering from a Napoleonic complex and suppressing Garfunkel’s creativity. Speaking to The Telegraph, Garfunkel also cites Simon as the reason why the duo aren’t embarking on a reunion tour and even takes a mild jab at Paul McCartney.
“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.” Garfunkel said before pretending to address Simon. “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?”
Garfunkel also talked about befriending Simon when they were school kids because Garfunkel felt sorry for Simon because of his height. “And that compensation gesture has created a monster,” Garfunkel said. When asked if Simon has a Napoleonic complex, he responded, “I think you’re on to something. I would say so, yes.”
Regarding their post-Bridge Over Troubled Water breakup, Garfunkel said, “It was very strange. Not my choice. Nothing I would have done. I want to open up about this. 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.”
In the interview, Garfunkel relays an anecdote about meeting George Harrison and how the Beatles guitarist compared Paul Simon to Paul McCartney. “George came up to me at a party once and said ‘my Paul is to me what your Paul is to you.’ He meant that psychologically they had the same effect on us. The Pauls sidelined us,” Garfunkel said. “I think George felt suppressed by Paul and I think that’s what he saw with me and my Paul. Here’s the truth: McCartney was a helluva music man who gave the band its energy, but he also ran away with a lot of the glory.”
Simon & Garfunkel last performed together in July 2010. In recent years, Garfunkel has suffered through vocal problems, but he told Rolling Stone in February 2014 that his voice had returned to 96% strength. (Garfunkel told The Telegraph that he has “now almost fully recovered it.”) Garfunkel also told Rolling Stone that he believed he and Simon would reunite to tour again.
“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. “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.”
Instead, Simon continued his co-headlining tour with Sting, where that duo frequently performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” together, much to the chagrin of Garfunkel, according to The Telegraph.