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Paul Simon Bio Gives Backstory On Final Split With Art Garfunkel

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In the upcoming Robert Hilburn biography, titled Paul Simon: The Life, Paul Simon finally comes clean as to why he and Art Garfunkel will never perform again. The book, which will be published on May 8th, is culled from Hilburn’s years of covering Simon’s life and music — along with over 100 hours of recent and exclusive interviews with the singer-songwriter. In the book, the events surrounding Simon & Garfunkel’s disastrous appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 24th, 2010 — in which Garfunkel lost his voice onstage — are chronicled.

Promoter John Scher, who managed Art Garfunkel for 19 years before parting ways in 2013 revealed, “I got him the best doctors and the prognosis was that one of his vocal cords was slightly paralyzed. They recommended vocal therapy. They said that if he worked hard at it for six months, maybe a year, he’d be okay. The problem is Art didn’t follow through. He went to a voice therapist once or twice, but he thought he could take care of it himself. Meanwhile, he kept telling Paul that things would be fine, not to worry.”

Hilburn went on to explain how Simon at first was supportive of Garfunkel — but in the end believed he had been deceived by his partner: “The remaining tour dates were pushed back to July to give Garfunkel’s vocal cords time to rest. But by mid-June, it was obvious the shows would have to be canceled again. At the time, Simon decided Garfunkel had been underplaying the vocal problems all along — and he was angry. . . Simon & Garfunkel had to pay nearly $1 million each in cancellation fees, but it wasn’t the money that upset Simon. It was the lack of candor, reminding him of the final days of Simon & Garfunkel when he believed Garfunkel had betrayed him by accepting (the acting role in Carnal Knowledge) without telling him.”
Simon explained the situation to Hilburn that led to, presumably, the final split of the two childhood friends and partners: “He could’ve said he couldn’t do this after New Orleans, but he didn’t. There was all this denial. He let us all down. I was tired of all the drama. I didn’t feel I could trust him anymore.”

Hilburn went on to write that although Garfunkel held out hope that as his voice regained its strength, he and Simon would reignite their reunion plans, but that “Simon moved on with his career. The break was complete — personally and professionally.”

When we last caught up with Art Garfunkel — who has grabbed headlines over the past few years by slamming Simon for refusing to commit to a Simon & Garfunkel reunion — we asked him about the status of his relationship with Paul Simon these days: “I observe myself as a man who is devoted to music and musicianship. And if somebody is your old friend from the old neighborhood, and he’s a brilliant musician, you are very deeply connected to him. Because the music has captured you. So, I can see how much a blood brother Paul Simon is because his musicianship is first rate.”

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Photo Courtesy of Columbia/Sony

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