Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'jerk' for splitting duo at height of success

Art Garfunkel has spoken candidly about the disappointment he felt following the split of Simon & Garfunkel at the peak of their career.

“How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul?” he rhetorically asked his bandmate during a recent interview. “What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?”

It’s been 45 years since the duo parted ways after the release of their most famous album, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Since 1971, the pair have reformed for a number of shows, however, from the 70s to the 90s, and in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009. A reunion in 2010 was scheduled to take place, but owing to Garfunkel’s reported paresis of his vocal cords – which left him unable to perform – the pair had to cancel plans to play with one another. “Art has some problem with his vocal cords,” Simon told the Today programme back in 2012, before adding: “I would just as soon not go back and visit the past.”

Ahead of his own solo tour, taking place across seven cities this year, Garfunkel shows no similar signs of wishing to forget the past. Speaking honestly about his feelings towards his former bandmate, he told the Telegraph that he thought Simon’s decision to originally part from the singer was “very strange”.

He added: “I want to open up about this. I don’t want to say any anti-Paul Simon things, but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory. Crazy. What I would have done is take a rest from Paul, because he was getting on my nerves. The jokes had run dry.

“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?”

When the Telegraph interviewer suggested that Simon might have a “Napoleon complex”, Garfunkel agreed, adding that at school he felt sorry for his friend because of his height, so he in turn offered him friendship as a compensation. “And that compensation gesture has created a monster,” he says. “End of interview.”

In spite of these comments, Garfunkel did not rule out a future reunion, and said that a Simon & Garfunkel show would be “quite doable”, describing their collaborative efforts as “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?’”

Earlier this year, Paul Simon and Sting completed a world tour together, sharing the stage with a 17-strong band.

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