Art Garfunkel Calls Paul Simon 'Jerk,' 'Idiot' in Interview

Itay Stern
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Simon and Garfunkel perform at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2009.Credit: AP
Itay Stern

Art Garfunkel has harshly criticized his former partner Paul Simon, the other half of the famed Simon and Garfunkel duo, calling him a “jerk” and an “idiot” in an interview he gave to the British Telegraph newspaper.

In the interview, he was asked about the period in which the duo broke up in 1971, after their albums had been top sellers, awarding them with several Grammies. Garfunkel, who will perform in Israel on June 10, said that he has done different things over the years, including teaching math. When he used to ask his pupils if they had any questions they would ask ‘what were the Beatles like?’ When the interviewer asked him the same question, Garfunkel replied that he was mainly connected to George Harrison, who told him once that both of them were suffering from a ‘Paul syndrome,’ meaning that both of them stood in the shadows of two Pauls – Paul McCartney and Paul Simon.

“I don’t want to say any anti-Paul Simon things, Garfunkel said, "but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead. Crazy.”

He later adds that in his opinion Simon suffers from a "Napoleon complex," which fits with his short stature. He notes that when they were in high school together, he felt sorry for Simon because of his short height, befriending him as a form of compensation. “And that compensation gesture has created a monster.”

Despite these harsh words, Garfunkel seemed optimistic about the chances for another reunion with Simon.

“Well, that’s quite doable. When we get together, with his guitar, it’s a delight to both of our ears. So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, ‘why not, while we’re still alive?'"

After the duo broke up they performed together several times. In 1981 they performed in Central Park in front of half a million people. Their last tour was in 2004. It ended with a performance in Rome in front of 600,000 people. In 2009 they appeared together in a concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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