Last Tour For Simon & Garfunkel?
On Thursday (June 10), Simon & Garfunkel will kick off the second leg of their Old Friends tour in Albany, N.Y. But according to Paul Simon, this may be the final opportunity for fans to see the famed duo.
“If it was an ongoing act where there was new material being recorded and you were working that into the repertoire, maybe there would be some justification,” he said. “But I think this is a good example of the music that we made and I don’t really see any powerful reason to do it again, because we did it. It’s not a Sherman-esque declaration. It’s just how I feel.”
The boyhood chums have been famously estranged for years, the classic example of a duo that made sweet music onstage and hit sour notes when the lights went down. Now, however, “my friendship with Artie is back to where it was when we were 12 years old,” Simon said. “We’re laughing and kidding around all the time. It’s a lot of fun.” Garfunkel agreed: “We are remarkably like brothers in our musical calling and our senses of humor.”
They may be friends again, but that doesn’t mean they always see eye to eye. In the course of two interviews, they disagreed on whether Simon & Garfunkel has a recording future, a touring future beyond this summer and whether a change in their show for Europe was politically motivated.
Last fall, during the song “America,” a video montage ran on screens behind the two singers, showing images of the nation during the past 40 years. That will be either changed or eliminated when the tour moves to Europe July 14 in Manchester, England.
“It’s what an artist does when he feels the name of his country speaks too loudly and too provocatively [that] it pushes the music aside,” Garfunkel said, somewhat cryptically. He wouldn’t comment further. Simon said it will be altered to be more appropriate to Europeans. “It’s not a political statement,” he said. “It’s a geographic reality.”
Seeing the duo isn’t a cheap date, with the average ticket price for an S&G show last fall selling for more than $135. “It’s a hard subject,” Garfunkel said. “It puts me on the defensive. I didn’t make the ticket price. I’m involved in it, my profit is related to it. Am I squeezing the American people? Well, if they show up and say we’re happy to buy your ticket and come see the show, who am I to say you shouldn’t be happy?”
Garfunkel said he’s had great fun with the reunion, which he called “an open-ended experience.” The idea of new recordings from Simon & Garfunkel is “a very interesting and feasible possibility,” he said.
That may be wishful thinking. Although they’re preparing a CD and DVD recording of their fall shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Simon doesn’t expect any new music from the duo.
“I think we’re about what we were,” not what we could be in the future, he said. In the meantime, Simon is halfway through a new solo album, an intriguing partnership with producer Brian Eno. As previously reported, the artist’s solo albums will be released in a nine-disc boxed set on June 29 by Warner Bros., and individually in two batches on July 13 and July 27.
This is entry number 5800! – So if they aren’t touring anymore, is that the sounds of silence?
Last Tour For Simon & Garfunkel?