Art Garfunkle is 73 years old.
“Will I do another tour with Paul? Well, that’s quite do-able. When we get together, with his guitar, it’s a delight to both of our ears. A little bubble comes over us and it seems effortless. We blend. So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, ‘Why not, while we’re still alive?’
“But I’ve been in that same place for decades. This is where I was in 1971.”
He then seems to address not me but his old friend. “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?”
Art still hasn’t noticed how “lucky” Paul has been over the last 45 years. I’ve written before about famous people who happen to be narcissists – Newt Gingrich, for one. And by ‘narcissist’ I don’t mean a person who is arrogant, I mean somebody with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The real deal. My father was one. Art Garfunkle appears to be one.
Actually, another question strikes me. I speculate about whether Paul Simon might have a Napoleon complex. Is there a height thing there, between them?
“I think you’re on to something. I would say so, yes.”
He adds that at school he felt sorry for Paul because of his height, and he offered him love and friendship as a compensation. “And that compensation gesture has created a monster. End of interview.”
Right. Though he was but a 13 year-old schoolboy, Art took pity upon his misfit pal and made him a musical genius. But what did he get for his troubles? Millions upon million of dollars, of course, and fame, as well as glory, eye-popping mansions and a royal life of ease. Sure, all of that – but when did Paul ever say ‘Thank You’ for the melodies and words that Art Garfunkle bestowed upon him? Did he ever mention it was Art’s middle-school mercy that made his career? Or did he merely pretend it was all his own hard work? It’s as if the real genius, the towering tween – bitter and careerless, now sixty years on – had nothing to do with it. Dear.