The feud between Simon & Garfunkel has been labelled one of the most vicious in music history.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met as schoolboys in Queens, New York. The boys were inspired by the vocal stylings of The Everly Brothers and their very early demo reflected this.
They were originally signed in the late ’50s under the band name Tom & Jerry and released the track Hey Schoolgirl. However, soon after would come the first blight to their relationship.
Simon, the songwriter of the duo, was offered a solo recording contract, which he accepted without telling Garfunkel, who regarded it as a betrayal.
They recorded as solo artists before reforming as Simon & Garfunkel. The duo quickly gained success with their records Sound Of Silence, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme and The Graduate.
However, a bitter rivalry was also beginning to form over looks, fame and talent.
“Artie knew Paul wrote the songs and thus controlled the future of the pair. I don’t think he ever got over what happened with Tom & Jerry,” the band’s manager Mort Lewis noted years later.
Garfunkel confirmed this in his biography years later in which he wrote:
“I concluded in an eighth of a second, and the friendship was shattered for life…I never forget, and I never really forgive,” he said. “Paul won the writer’s royalties. I got the girls,” Grarfunkel added, adding insult to injury.
When Garfunkel began being offered parts in a number of films, Simon felt betrayed and ultimately decided to go solo after the pair played their last show together.
Though the pair reunited several times since then, it appears that the relationship is still fractured.
In a 2015 interview with The Daily Telegraph, when asked about a reunion, Garfunkel said , “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?”
A year later, when Simon was asked about a reunion he retorted, “Quite honestly, we don’t get along. So it’s not like it’s fun.”