Art Garfunkel: What I Know Now

Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel, opens up on everything from Paul Simon to parenthood in this revealing interview.

by Cal Fussman (adapted from Esquire) from Reader's Digest Magazine | April 2012
Art GarfunkelHulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

On his high soprano
I knew I was touched when I was five. I was kind of a goody-goody who could sing like an angel. I would seek hallways and stairwells where the tiles gave reverberation.

On Paul Simon
I met Paul in our school play Alice in Wonderland. He was this funny guy who cracked me up all the time. We moved to junior high school together. We loved “Earth Angel,” and we emulated the Everly Brothers. We would stare at each other’s mouths to copy each other’s diction.

On the end of Simon and Garfunkel
Ultimately, you’re overworked. When we would finish a project, I was ready for a two-month pause. Paul was ready for a two-week pause. So we differed on that, and I got very tired. I am sorry that the rest turned to a split. I think the compatibility of our two talents is a cool thing.

On character
What you look for in a woman shifts over the years. When you’re young, the pretty mouth is everything. Then, when you’re older, character is everything. Depth. Can you see me when I’m hurting, and can you be there?

On parenthood
When my boy turned 16, he became his own man. It throws the papa a little bit, you know? He has his own haircut, his own sense of style. He has his own identity. The shift is challenging. It can happen overnight. All they know is “This wasn’t me for the first 15 or 16 years. But this is me now.” You’d better fasten your seat belt, watch, and learn.

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