Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Art Garfunkeled on my lunchbreak

"...I been Mick Jaggered, been silver daggered.
Andy Warhol, won't you please come home?
I been mothered, fathered, aunt and uncled,
Been Roy Halee'd and Art Garfunkeled
I just discovered somebody tapped my phone...”

-- A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission, written by Paul Simon.

I think it was Mae West who said, famously, “Men and women should not live together. They should be neighbors and visit once in a while.”

Perhaps this applies to other relationships as well.

Anyone alive in the 1960s or soon thereafter (my decade!) knows the duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Sounds of Silence" and "Cecilia" are all that you will hear of them today, played on the grocery store PA system. But their body of work was much greater than that. Poets and singers both, they wrote some beautiful, incredibly evocative music ("Old Friends," "America, To Emily, Wherever I May Find Her") as well as some weirdness that could only find a home in the 1960s, such as the song referenced above.

I have been a fan since I was a teenager.

But Simon and Garfunkel just couldn’t seem to stick it out together and they have been together and broken apart a half-dozen times.

On my lunchbreak today, for no apparent reason, on Wikipedia, I checked out Art Garfunkel, the lesser reknowned half of the duo – and I was astounded.

He’s much more than an angst-y aging hippie with a lingering weakness for cannabis.
Of Romanian Jewish heritage, Garfunkel earned a Master’s degree in math but also loves reading.

“His website contains a year-by-year listing of every book he has read since 1968. Currently the list contains more than 1,000 books,” wikipedia says.

“He has also undertaken several cross-continental walks in his lifetime, writing poetry along the way. In the early 1980's, he walked across Japan in a matter of weeks. From 1983 to 1997, Garfunkel walked across America, taking 40 excursions to complete the route from New York City to the Pacific coast of Washington. In May 1998, Garfunkel began an incremented walk across Europe.”

As noted, Garfunkel has been arrested twice for the possession of cannabis: in early 2004 and again in August 2005.


Ian Lidster said...

Pothead or not, I always found him more interesting than Paul Simon.

mermaid musings said...

I am glad to read that you are ok
after the tornadoes. I am fan of the duet and yes I do find him interesting too.
heyy I enjoyed the quote of MAe West, LOL
neighbors, uh???

eastcoastdweller said...

Ian: Their personalities -- and relationship -- seem eerily similar to another famous duo: Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

(Yeah, I know that George and Ringo were part of the group, too, not quite in the limelight, though.

Beautiful Carmen: I'm not quite sure if that was a Mae West quote -- how on earth would one google something like that, I wonder.

Thanks, regarding the tornadoes.

Janice Thomson said...

I am a fan of these two also.
The Sounds Of Silence was way before its time- a song that is forever etched in my heart. I watched their reunion a few years back but Simon seemed awful cold towards Garfunkel

Kat said...

Art has always been my favorite of the two .... with the most soul.

Trisia said...

I preferred Art for obvious reasons :P

Hmmm... I think you're right -- nowadays you'll only hear The Sound of Silence and a few others. And I'm not familiar with most of them. Nevertheless, I simply love "I Am A Rock."

eastcoastdweller said...

Janice: You mean that Central Park concert?

Kat: I agree with You. But we can't bash Simon entirely. It takes two to tango, and two to argue. I was very intrigued a year or two ago by an NPR interview with Simon, in which he spoke of a certain line of poetry that had inspired him to write a song, a haunting song, about prayer in time of war.

Trisia: I knew that you would, for obvious reasons. Invest a few [almost wrote your local currency here, then wasn't sure you'd approve] in a Simon & Garfunkel comprehensive CD -- you won't be sorry.

Molly said...

Another fan here. We met in the late sixties and my husband was a big fan, and I became one. They really had their fingers on the pulse of America.....I wouldn't hold his pot-headedness against him.I'm not one, but I know several who are dear to me in spite of it!